This season’s list of exceptional cookbooks is long and varied. Here are baking tips from more than 50 of them to help you find the perfect present.
Make beignets with rice flour—they’ll stay fresh longer.
Flavor Flours, Alice Medrich
A new way to candy nuts: Cook them over low heat with sugar and water until sticky; drain, then fry.
Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts, Brooks Headley
Use bread flour for pastries that need shaping, like palmiers.
The Secret Recipes, Dominique Ansel
Spritz oven walls with water when baking bread. Steam helps make a good crust.
Bread Revolution, Peter Reinhart
Cook caramel or chocolate frosting in a copper pot or Dutch oven to keep it warm and spreadable for longer.
Sweet & Southern, Ben Mims
Caramel is dark enough when it lets off white smoke.
Sugar Rush, Johnny Iuzzini
Sprinkle pie dough with bread crumbs before adding fruit filling. The crumbs will absorb excess juices.
Baked Occasions , Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
When making cheesecake, use a commercial brand of cream cheese, rather than a natural or specialty kind, for the best and most consistent flavor and texture.
The Baking Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum
If dough sticks to your fingers when making bread, don’t run them under water. Instead, put a little flour on your hands and rub them.
Della Fattoria Bread, Kathleen Weber
When making a layer cake, don’t trim the domes off the bottom layers. When they come out of the oven, use a clean towel to press down on the tops to flatten them.
Hand Made Baking, Kamran Siddiqi
For an elegant garnish, press fresh sage sprigs into the top of bread before baking.
The Bread Exchange, Malin Elmlid
Roast fruit such as pears on a bed of rock salt. The salt locks in the moisture and flavor while gently seasoning.
Bar Tartine, Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns
To give pie a crisp bottom crust, finish baking on the lowest shelf of the oven or on a pizza stone.
Ovenly, Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin
To test a cake’s doneness, don’t insert a toothpick—it doesn’t have enough surface area. Use a knife instead.
Baking Chez Moi, Dorie Greenspan