Book Brief: The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

Baking evokes the sweet comforts of home, filling your kitchen with aromas as enticing as the homemade treats themselves. One of our newest cookbooks, The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, features nearly 400 of our best recipes, including homespun favorites, bake-shop sweets and popular restaurant-style desserts.

This comprehensive guide is divided into chapters according to types of baked goods—from breads, muffins and scones to cookies, cakes and other desserts. You'll also find some savory selections, including quiches, tarts and soufflés.

One of the simplest ways to make any meal more memorable is to serve freshly baked rolls or muffins warm from the oven. Add a homey touch to weeknight suppers with cloverleaf rolls topped with poppy seeds. For breakfast or brunch, bake a batch of orange muffins studded with tangy cranberries.

When it comes to satisfying sweet tooths, bakers will find plenty of options for decadent treats. Delight kids and adults alike with chocolate-peanut butter sandwich cookies—they’re perfect alongside a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee. For a taste of authentic European baking, try our almond stollen enriched with amaretto and a medley of dried fruits.

Recipes for fruit desserts make the most of each season's bounty. Winter is the perfect time to whip up a hearty fruit crumble that combines fresh cranberries with ripe Anjou pears. When the occasion calls for a light, sunny indulgence, treat dessert lovers to fluffy lemon pudding cakes or a creamy coconut custard pie.

To ensure sweet success in the kitchen, the book begins with Chuck Williams' expert guidelines for foolproof baking. Recipes are equally instructive, combining easy-to-follow directions with informative sidebars explaining key ingredients and techniques. At the end of the book, you'll find a collection of basic recipes plus a step-by-step primer that will help you master fundamental techniques, from frosting a layer cake to making a lattice-top pie.

A wonderful addition to any kitchen library, The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book is the ultimate guide for today's home bakers. Whether you've been baking for years or are just trying your hand in the kitchen, you’ll find lots of delicious inspiration.