Most baking recipes start with the same handful of ingredients. The list includes flour, sugar, butter, eggs, leaveners and vanilla extract, as well as a couple of common spices. These ingredients are the building blocks of everything from chocolate chip cookies to coffee cakes and, when you do a lot of baking, these items become staples in your pantry. As you bake, you might even start to notice that you only need to add a couple of ingredients to these staples for each recipe and that is the premise for Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking. The book is divided into chapters by the number of ingredients – from two to five – added to these pantry staples allows you to quickly and easily make all kinds of different goodies.
The book is built around the assumption that you already have these baking staples in your kitchen, therefore you only need to pick up two or three extra ingredients at the store to make the recipe of your choice. When you first look through the book, you might be surprised by how many items are listed for each recipe – and then surprised again when you realize how many of them repeat. For instance, there are only three ingredients between Jam Hand Pies and Salted Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars! The chapters are broken up by the number of ingredients, not by flavor, so you can choose a recipe based on how well-stocked your pantry happens to be at any one moment.
The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, which makes these recipes a great choice for everyday baking. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful photo of the finished dish, so you know exactly what to look forward to when you start to bake. The only drawback is that, since the recipes are sorted by the number of ingredients and not by what those ingredients are, you might find yourself referencing the index more often than the table of contents to determine which recipes will help you put that bag of chocolate chips to good use. This isn’t a dealbreaker for the book, not by a long shot, but it is something to keep in mind because you’ll want to reference the book for ideas before you go to the store, rather than flip through it after you’ve picked out ingredients.