I feel that I am a fairly good cook, having said that, I'm not the greatest baker. My wife considers me a pizza master and I found that the use of a scale for making dough was the best way to get consistency in the crust. Do any of you know of a baking cook book that utilizes weights in recipes?
I'm relatively new to the world of baking also. Among the collection of books I've acquired, Shirley O. Corriher's "Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking" has been invaluable. I highly recommend you check it out.
Not only does she provide weighted measurements for ingredients, she explains -- in lay terms -- the scientific/chemical basis for why recipes and their ingredients work (or don't work) as they ought to. Thanks to this book, I'm actually able to improve recipes I find elsewhere.
Her recipes range from easy to challenging.
I'm so glad to hear that there is somebody out there who "gets" this book. It got bashed fairly badly on Amazon (as well as on a few posts here on CH) but I think it's a great book. I didn't buy it for the recipes - I bought it for the knowledge I hoped it would bring to do as you said - improve on existing recipes. I also wanted to have help in spotting recipes that wouldn't work and to help me create my own recipes. I haven't finished the book yet (I have lots of books going at the same time so it often takes me a long time to finish one) but I already feel like I've learned so much that it was already worth buying.
Lenox637, I like Maggie Glezer's " Artisan Baking " which has step by step directions with all ingredients listed by volume and weight (both English and Metric). It has an invaluable "Baking Basics" section at the front that covers ingredients, techniques and special equipment used in baking. The rest of the book is a basic baking journey, including how to make your own sourdough starter, etc.and also teaching some sweet treats.
The recipes are identified for Basic or Advanced users, another plus. A "Sources" section at the back helps you find specialty items used while making one of the breads/pastries.
I think the book is about fifteen bucks on Amazon.com! Happy Baking!
I'd recommend the King Arthur Flour website. They have scores of recipes, and the ingredients are given by weight.
Also check out their blog -- it has step-by-step photos and is confidence-inspiring:
And best of all, if you have any problems or questions, just email KAF, and they'll help you.