Published by Sourcebooks Explore
Summary: Over 100 recipes were tested by more than 4,000 kids, whose reviews are scattered throughout the text. The first 20 pages offer a pretty thorough introduction to baking, including tools, ingredients, and basic processes like melting butter and chopping herbs. The education continues throughout the next five chapters, which offer recipes for quick breads, yeast breads, pizza and other flatbreads, cookies, cakes, and fruit desserts. Each recipe has symbols at the beginning to show the level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) and the equipment needed. There are interesting sidebars with additional tips, like how to line a cake pan with parchment paper or how to roll dough. Nutrition information for each recipe is given at the end, along with an index. 224 pages; grades 4-8.
Pros: In the interest of giving a fair review, I tried a couple of recipes for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bread with chocolate chips (I like chocolate chips, okay?). Both were fairly straightforward and turned out well (although I’m not quite ready to give up my toll house cookie recipe). I learned a thing or two–who knew you should cook pumpkin before adding it to pumpkin bread? There are enough tempting recipes offered to keep upper elementary and middle school chefs busy for a long time.
Cons: Younger bakers may need some help. For the pumpkin bread, rated intermediate, I had two bowls and a pan on the stove going at the same time, which made it the most complicated quick bread recipe I had ever used. Granted, I may not always use the approved baking methods, and the bread was truly delicious.