In the most comprehensive book of its kind, Mark Bittman offers the ultimate baker's resource. Finally, here is the simplest way to bake everything, from American favorites (Crunchy Toffee Cookies, Baked Alaska) to of-the-moment updates (Gingerbread Whoopie Pies). It explores global baking, too: Nordic ruis, New Orleans beignets, Afghan snowshoe naan. The recipes satisfy every flavor craving thanks to more than 2,000 recipes and variations: a pound cake can incorporate polenta, yogurt, ricotta, citrus, hazelnuts, ginger, and more. New bakers will appreciate Bittman's opinionated advice on essential equipment and ingredient substitutions, plus extensive technique illustrations. The pros will find their creativity unleashed with guidance on how to adapt recipes to become vegan, incorporate new grains, improvise tarts, or create customized icebox cakes using a mix-and-match chart. Demystified, deconstructed, and debunked--baking is simpler and more flexible than you ever imagined.