How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman
Determined to help home cooks feel comfortable in the kitchen, food journalist and author Mark Bittman returns with a baking encyclopedia filled with quick breads, cakes, crisps, cookies, and more (lots more). Not only is the book bursting with basic recipes, Bittman also provides countless variations (how to add grated vegetables to quick breads; 15+ doughnut toppings) as well as vegan and gluten-free substitutions along the way.
To buy: $21, amazon.com.
Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft
From the man behind the legendary chocolate babka at New York City’s Breads Bakery comes a groundbreaking new cookbook packed with sweet and savory baked goods. From focaccia and pita to rugelach and challah, you’ll have trouble deciding where to begin. The recipes are Scheft’s take on European, Israeli, and Middle Eastern classics, and each one is complete with detailed step-by-step instructions.
To buy: $27, amazon.com.
Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
This comprehensive cookie book will have you running to the kitchen, thanks to the mouthwatering recipes and bold, colorful photography. Whether you’re headed to a holiday cookie swap or you’re craving sweets for breakfast, there’s a recipe in here that’s sure to satisfy. Best-selling author Greenspan (she’s written 11 prior books) stretches the definition of cookie, too, so brownie and blondie lovers will be just as pleased.
To buy: $20, amazon.com.
The 100 tantalizing Middle Eastern recipes in this cookbook come from Boston-based Sofra Bakery and Café. Just in time for the holidays, the book is filled with exciting twists on baked goods and dinner rolls—think Morning Buns with Orange Blossom Glaze and Feta and Herb-Filled Flower Rolls. If nothing else, promise us you’ll make the pillow-y tahini brioche.
To buy: $26, amazon.com.
The Vanilla Bean Baking Book
This comforting cookbook encourages you to bake all day, from peanut butter granola and almond coffee cake in the morning to skillet pies and no-churn ice cream in the evenings. The recipes are accessible and dependable, and will quickly become go-to’s in your kitchen. Plus, you likely already have the ingredients in your kitchen.
To buy: $16, amazon.com.