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My baking cookbook faves

A couple of you have asked for cookbook recommendations (ha! I just spelled that word right, which is an accomplishment. Double letters are my one spelling downfall.), so I thought for today’s baking post, I’d share my favorite baking cookbooks.

Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cookbook

My very first bread baking cookbook is this one, published in 1973. I baked recipe after recipe from my mom’s copy of this book when I lived at home, so it’s like an old friend to me! It’s obviously not in publication anymore, but I got my copy on Ebay, and I know I’ve seen them on as well, so you might be able to snag one for yourself.

better homes and gardens bread cookbook.

The whole wheat roll recipe I posted recently is from this book and so is my buttermilk biscuit recipe.

Fleischmann’s Bread Cookbooks

I dearly love my two Fleischmann’s cookbooks. They’re both freebies…my mom got one when she was a new homemaker, and I sent in for mine when I was a teenager. I’m quite sure neither of these books is available anymore, but given that I love both of them, I think I can recommend any bread cookbook from Fleischmann’s…those people know bread!

The list of recipes I’ve shared from these two books is pretty long…Apricot Coffeecake, Overnight Cinnamon Twists, Hamburger Buns, Braided Cheese Bread, and Challah all are from these books.

Baking Illustrated

My most recent baking acquisition is this enormous book from Cook’s Illustrated. My husband got it for me as a birthday present a few years back, and unlike my other baking books, this one is definitely still available for purchase.

This book is comprehensive in scope and in detail (the authors tell you exactly how they came up with each recipe and why they tweaked this or that), and though I’ve only scratched its surface, I’ve found several winners. The Deep Dish Pizza recipe came from this book and so did my Whole Wheat Bread recipe. In addition to bread recipes, this book also covers cakes, pies, tarts, and cookies, among other things (I made the Key Lime Pie recently, and it was delicious).

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Though it’s not specifically a baking book, I do often use baking recipes from my basic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. The recipes contained in this series of books are not gourmet and cutting edge, but in my experience, they’re reliable and uncomplicated. My basic dinner roll recipe and my cornbread recipe are both from the baking section in this book.

For the most part, I’ve found the recipes in most bread baking books to be fairly good, so I don’t really have an “Avoid This Cookbook” list. I did own a really big James Beard book on bread, but I found it to be overwhelming in length, and the fact that it had exactly zero pictures didn’t help either. I eventually got rid of it and haven’t missed it all. I know some people swear by his books, though, so this is probably a personal preference kind of thing.


Do you have a favorite baking book? If you do, please share. And if you happen to love James Beard’s bread book, please don’t hate me. 😉

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Trudy Whitfield

Tuesday 25th of February 2014

You mentioned that you have made the sunshine harvest bread: a recipe I am trying to find for my sister-in-law and was wondering if you would share this recipe with us. She is also looking for Jim's Rolls which is suppose to come from the same cookbook. Thank you very much


Tuesday 25th of February 2014

Hmm...I don't think I actually mentioned making that. Maybe you're thinking of another blogger?

Heather B

Saturday 31st of December 2011

I'm super late to this conversation, but I just have to add one or two of my favorites. You're not going to believe this - I didn't want to believe it - but both of my favorites are from Trisha Yearwood. The country super star! I saw her first one in the bookstore and thought to myself, "Good GRIEF why does every celebrity think they can come up with a cookbook and can pawn it off on us and we'll just buy it simply because"? But my curiosity got the better of me, because quite honestly, I do love Trisha Yearwood. And I can always use some picture perusing of her and how nice her house must look. Just a peek is all I told myself. I bought it. I ran to the counter. The book is filled with family recipes, good tried and true recipes, and I have made at least half of the foods in there and couldn't be happier. I was thrilled to find she just came out with a second one, with more recipes! It's really my favorite find EVER.


Tuesday 5th of July 2011

My favorites are my 1996 BHG, More-With-Less-Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre, and Cooking for your Dragon which has the cutest art done by Randal Spangler ...all the recipes have chocolate :)

Sarah D

Wednesday 16th of March 2011

Thanks for the baking cookbook recommendations. I had two credits at and, lo and behold, they had the Better Home's and Garden's Bread book you have pictured above. I ordered it. If you've never checked out paperbackswap, its another really great frugal resource.


Saturday 27th of March 2010

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions---I've already put several on hold at my library. My newest favorite baking book is "Vegan Brunch" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. There's a coffee cake recipe which is easy, adaptable, and DELICIOUS. My son calls it "magical crumb cake". Vegan cooking uses no eggs (or butter or other animal products of course) so it can be quite inexpensive.

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