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HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
I don't think you can go wrong with Dorie Greenspan's Baking or David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Peter Reihart's "The Breakbaker's Apprentice" covers the basics in clear language.
I completely agree with the Dorie Greenspan recommendation. I would also add the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. It has clear methods and instructions, equipment recommendations, and tips for improving and perfecting your technique. It covers all realms of baking and every recipe I've ever tried from that book has come out perfectly thanks to their detailed instructions.
For someone who is gairly new to baking but shows great interest, try Williams Sanoma's "Kids Baking." http://www.amazon.com/Williams... .
(D%&n keyboard doesn't know how to speel!) The word if "fairly." (PS: it would be great to be able to edit our posts)
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