The Science of Baking

Jesse—

do you happen to have any suggestions of books that explain the science behind baking?  I’m envisioning a pseudo-chem lab text book.

Thanks,

N.

N.—

A few resources come immediately to mind:

  1. Alton Brown has a tremendous volume that sounds pretty much what you’re looking for, though broader in its scope.  I’m Just ere For the Food: Food + Heat= Cooking is the only cookbook that I’ve ever read cover to cover.  And I took notes on it.  Therefore, I can give an unequivocal 4-orange recommendation to this volume.  Mr. Brown also has a follow-up volume, Food x Mixing + Heat= Baking, which I have never read and therefore cannot give any recommendation on, but based on teh quality of his initial volume, I imagine that this may be the book you seek.
  2. On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee is a comprehensive reference volume on many of the scientific aspects of food and its preparation.  It is not set up like a lab manual (the way Mr. Brown’s book is), but the information included in it is far-reaching and (often) fascinating.
  3. Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking Revealed, by Shirley O. Corriher, is a volume that I have consulted on several occasions and have found to be useful in answering some of my questions.  The author also has a book called Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking Revealed that may be more of what you’re looking for.

I hope this helps!

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