Have you gotten hooked on The Great British Baking Show yet? Whether you are watching on Netflix or catching it on PBS, it's adorable and addictive, and will send you searching for a Victoria sponge recipe that uses American measurements.
Here are some ways AADL can foster your newly-awakened baking obsession:
Bakers looking to stretch their skill sets will find the recipes and instruction they need in The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: All-Purpose Baking Cookbook, which covers everything from A (apple pie) to Y (yeast breads), and probably something that starts with Z, too. Along with helpful technique tips, this cookbook provides ingredient and equipment advice helpful to bakers at all levels.
Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours is a gem - Greenspan is a true expert and offers recipes ranging from easy to ambitious, but she provides plenty of illustrations and guidance along the way. Her World Peace cookies are not to be missed.
There's also The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book: baking demystified with 450 recipes from America's most trusted food magazine, or Baking Illustrated: a best recipe classic, both produced by the team at Cook's Illustrated, and which are heavily tested and laboriously detailed. As the founder of Cook's Illustrated, Christopher Kimball has cemented his reputation as a provider of precise instruction, and he's built a dedicated fanbase through hosting PBS' America's Test Kitchen and his appearances on public radio's The Splendid Table.
If bread is more your cup of tea than sweet desserts, try Flour Water Salt Yeast: the fundamentals of artisan bread and pizza by Portland, OR-based Ken Forkish. Bakers who are serious about bread will find both excellent recipes and the reasons why they work in this bread-baking bible. For bread-lovers who do have a sweet tooth, Beard on Bread by the inimitable James Beard is a good fit. Like all of Beard's work, it is eminently readable, but the recipes within are a little sweeter and softer than bakers interested in a more artisan-approach may desire.
True disciples of The Great British Baking Show may have to check out Mary Berry & Lucy Young Cook Up a Feast just to satiate their Mary Berry fixation. She's a good-hearted master home baker who provides tried-and-true methods for foolproof recipes, and instructions for getting things done ahead of time so you can properly enjoy an event for which you are baking.
Fiction lovers might enjoy The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughn, a story about contestants in a baking competition who learn a thing or two about attempting to leave their real-life struggles behind and aiming for culinary perfection. There's also Simply From Scratch by Alicia Bessette, about a widow who enters a baking contest to shake off her grief, and ends up finding a friend in a motherless neighbor girl who came for the desserts, but finds more benefit in the companionship.
Knead any more proof of AADL's baking resources? No? How about another baking pun? No again? Well, happy baking, friends!