Way beyond the basics
You’ve got your frittata down pat. Egg poaching causes you no anxiety. You don’t even need to make that test pancake before you serve the perfect stack. You are a breakfast expert and you’d like to take things to the next level—but how? So many of the breakfast cookbooks out there are all about the basic, simple, and cozy staples, but you’re all about the new, now, and next. Maybe it’s a little tech wizardry that you’re after, or possibly a touch of the international. Perhaps it’s precision you seek (no broken sauces on your watch). Here are a few cookbooks that’ll take your breakfast cheffing to a higher plane.
The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook
Sliced, storebought bread is a dandy thing, indeed—a metric for innovation, even. But when you’re ready to get a little more global, Hot Bread Kitchen is just the ticket. The bakery—born out of the organization’s program that teaches economically at-risk women (especially immigrants) the skills to bake and the know-how to start businesses—celebrates cultures around the world via bread, and shares their recipes and stories in this comprehensive book.
The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and the bakers of Hot Bread Kitchen, $35, hotbreadkitchen.org
The Food Lab
You want perfect, you turn to J. Kenji López-Alt. He’s the culinary director of Serious Eats, the glorious genius behind The Food Lab, and the person Extra Crispy consults for toast, egg poaching, pancakes, and more. He roots his cooking techniques in serious science, exhaustive testing, and the pleasures of his exceptional palate. The Food Lab is the culmination of years of research (and recipient of every award under the sun) and even just cracking the cover will instantly make you a better cook.
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt, $49.95, kenjilopezalt.com
The Flavor Bible
Married couple and prolific authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg spent eight years working side-by-side with some of the greatest chefs in the world, learning the secrets and skills they’d developed to unlock the maximum flavor potential in every ingredient and make them work in harmony. While the title cites American chefs, it’s also thrillingly steeped in international flavors and techniques. Drink in this book and breakfast can easily become the most adventurous meal of the day.
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, $38, karenandandrew.com
A perfect poached egg—or fluffy pancake, or well-made grits—is a wonderful thing, but wouldn’t it be even better with a killer sauce drizzled on top? Martha Holmberg developed some serious chops throughout her cooking and food writing career, and they’re distilled here into recipes and techniques for making classic sauces like béarnaise, hollandaise, and marinara as well as modern takes such as maple-rum sabayon, caramelized onion coulis, and coconut-curry spiked chocolate sauce. Master a few, and suddenly every un-sauced food will seem sorta naked.
Modern Sauces: More than 150 Recipes for Every Cook, Every Day by Martha Holmberg, $35, marthaholmberg.com
Sous Vide at Home
Do you need to sous vide to get a great breakfast at home? Of course not, but it’s hella fun to do, and has some pretty marvelous results. Fetterman is the brains behind Nomiku, a sous vide machine maker and cooking community that was originally funded by Kickstarter. She’s on a mission to make the technique—which involves cooking sealed food in a fixed temperature water bath—accessible to home cooks, rather than just the restaurant chefs who can afford to work with pricey technology. Try a few recipes at your next brunch party and you’re guaranteed a full serving of “Ooooooohhhhhhhs!” from even your food-snobbiest guests.
Sous Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals by Lisa Q. Fetterman with Meesha Halm and Scott Peabody, $35, nomiku.com