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Cookbooks: Pies, cheese and no-knead bread

Short Orders

The Complete Book of Pies: 200 Recipes from Sweet to Savory’

By Julie Hasson (Robert Rose, $24.95)

Nothing compares to the aroma of a pie fresh from the oven. Julie
Hasson, a chef who has written extensively for such publications as Bon
Appetit, Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times, shares 200 of her favorite
pie recipes in her latest cookbook. Baking a pie from scratch can be
surprisingly easy by following Julie’s step-by-step instructions and
fail-safe recipes. The collection is divided into 14 categories: Apple
Pies; Berry Pies & Tarts; Fruit, Pumpkin & Other Pies and
Tarts; Cream Pies; Hand Pies: Little Pies & Tarts; Chocolate &
Nut Pies and Tarts; Crisps, Crumbles, Cobblers & Toppings; Rustic
Pies & Tarts; Savory Pies & Tarts; Crusts; Fillings; Ice Cream
Pies & Toppings; and Sauces, Creams, Glazes & Toppings. In
addition to the recipes, there are chapters that list the tools and
equipment for making perfect pies, common ingredients and tricks and
tips for rolling dough.

‘American Cheeses’

By Clark Wolfe (Simon & Schuster, $25)

There was a time when the cheese section of the neighborhood
supermarket was limited to two or three selections by Kraft and,
perhaps, one or two other fairly standard choices. Those days are
definitively over as the tastes buds of Americans have become more
accustomed to such complex and exotic cheeses such as Mozzarella,
Camembert, Gouda and their thousands of creamy relatives. Clark Wolf,
the original cheese market manager of San Francisco’s legendary
Oakville Grocery, has compiled a fascinating region-by-region tour of
our country’s best cheese producers. By taking readers into the best
dairies, cheese plants, and small farmstead kitchens, he presents
nothing less than a mouth-watering road trip for those of us who aren’t
content to just merely slice and serve cheese alongside crackers and
fruit. His recipes include a Black Pepper Cheesecake, a superb Green
Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole, and a delicious Lemon-Goat Cheese Tart.

“Baking Unplugged”

By Nicole Rees (Wiley, $29.95)

Most cookbooks that feature baking recipes require expensive
equipment and call for complicated techniques and hard-to-find
ingredients. Not this one. Nicole Rees, a former pastry chef and
editorial assistant for Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design
Magazines, serves up a collection of 114 simple, back-to-basics recipes
that include everything from muffins to puddings. In addition to the
recipes, Rees offers a primer on ingredients, instructions on how to
properly read a recipe, and the best way to set up an “Unplugged
Kitchen” with minimal equipment. This is in addition to her personal
tips for baking success such as using the top third of the oven for
scones and biscuits since they tend to brown faster. The Anytime Bread
Pudding in this collection is a perfect comfort food with a sumptuous
custard-filling that is even better when consumed the second or third

“Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads”

By Nancy Baggett (Wiley, $24.95)q

Nancy Baggett is a baking expert, food journalist and bestselling
cookbook author who is a frequent contributor to Eating Well, The
Washington Post, and NPR’s All Things Considered Weekend Edition. In
her latest collection, Baggett presents bread recipes that incorporate
a no-knead, slow-rise approach that make it possible for even novice
bakers to create delicious bread reliably and easily in their family
kitchens. In addition to tips, basic know-how, common ingredients and
troubleshooting, the recipes are divided into six main categories:
Easiest Ever Yeast Breads; American Favorites; Old-World-Classics;
Healthful, Whole-Grain, Multigrain and Gluten-Free Breads; Sweet Breads
and Gift Breads; and Toppings, Sauces, Glazes, Drizzles, and Finishing
Touches. The recipe for San Francisco-Style Sourdough Bread is one of
the easiest I’ve found and one of my favorites in this excellent

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