Cooking

Early Morning Required Reading

Six new books to help you build a better breakfast
Best Breakfast Cookbooks 2015

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (it's a cliché for a reason), and yet too many of us settle for the same tired oatmeal or toast day after day. These six new cookbooks will help reinvent your morning routine, offering spins on breakfast classics, dishes you'd never think to eat so early in the day and some much-appreciated guidance on brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, by Janet Fletcher (Ten Speed Press, April 14, $20)
We are a yogurt-loving culture (pun intended) that now enjoys yogurt throughout the day and in both sweet and savory iterations. In this small but comprehensive book, veteran cookbook author Janet Fletcher shares more than 50 yogurt-based recipes. The breakfast chapter is short but brimming with inspiration, and there's a section devoted to smoothies and yogurt drinks. You'll also want to flip through the desserts, as many are decidedly morning appropriate. All of the recipes can be made with store-bought brands, but Fletcher provides instructions for making your own yogurt, which isn't nearly as daunting as you might think.

Breakfast: Recipes to Wake Up For, by George Weld and Evan Hanczor (Rizzoli, March 31, $35)
Since opening 10 years ago in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Egg has drawn crowds of neighborhood regulars and destination diners. An all-day breakfast menu could be a tough sell, but owner George Weld's emphasis on simple ingredients and solid techniques—not to mention his reliance on Southern staples like biscuits and gravy—make it an easy one. In his debut cookbook, Weld shares his breakfast philosophy and a buffet of recipes that includes eggs, hashes, sweet and savory grains, simple pastries, and French toast. Dishes you don't expect to see so early in the morning, such as Duck Confit and Smoked Trout Salad, should help lure some of the lingering breakfast skeptics to the table.

The Perfect Egg: A Fresh Take on Recipes for Morning, Noon, and Night, by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park (Ten Speed Press, March 3, $19)
If your morning scramble simply isn't cutting it anymore, Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, the duo behind the popular Spoon Fork Bacon blog, are here to revive your morning egg ritual. Breakfast recipes include a handful of standards—quiche, frittata and huevos rancheros—but it's the international dishes that are the real draw. You'll find Khai Yat Sai, a filled omelet from Thailand; Egg Bhurji, India's take on scrambled eggs; and the Latin American-inspired Arepa de Huevo. They also share quick instructions for basic egg preparations like baking and poaching, giving you the foundation to make any number of egg breakfasts, plus chapters on eggs for lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts.

Rachel Khoo's Muesli & Granola: Delicious Breakfast and Snack Ideas from Our Favourite Parisian Cook, by Rachel Khoo (Orion Publishing, April 1, $25)
In this tightly focused cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen author Rachel Khoo offers a complete guide to breakfasts you eat out of a bowl: granola, muesli and porridge. After a quick overview of pantry essentials—you'll need to stock up on oats and buckwheat, honey and maple syrup, dried fruit, nuts and seeds-—Khoo gets right to the recipes, which range from hearty, wholesome selections like Super-Energy Muesli and Chicken Congee to more indulgent options like Rice Pudding and Triple Chocolate Gluten-Free Granola. There are also fruit compotes to enjoy with the various muesli, granolas and porridges; recipes for homemade soy, nut and coconut milks; and a guide to drying fruit at home. And if you just can't limit your oat intake to the morning, Khoo cooks up muffins, cookies, truffles, and bars made with muesli, too.

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Breakfast: Morning, Noon and Night, by Fern Green (Hardie Grant Books, March 24, $30)
UK-based food stylist and writer Fern Green wasn't always a fan of breakfast, but everything changed when she tried a British fry-up. Green now likes the morning meal so much that she thinks we should enjoy breakfast all day long. In this compact cookbook, she shares an eclectic collection of recipes that includes French toast, waffles and other classics, as well as more unconventional options like a Beef, Chard and Egg Casserole. There are healthy recipes, such as Porridge with Pine Nut Milk and a Chia Seed, Coconut and Date Breakfast Bowl, plus a chapter devoted to hangover food (think Banana Pancakes and Mexican Corn Hash) and a handful of breakfast beverages.

How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean, by Lani Kingston (Abrams Image, April 14, $19) 
Lani Kingston believes that understanding the art and science of coffee helps you brew a better cup. You may or may not care that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia or that the beans are packed with antioxidants, but if you're eager to improve your morning mug, you'll find much to learn in this mini reference guide. And when it comes to upping your coffee game, you have options. It could be as simple as investing in a burr grinder, or you could take the full DIY plunge and start roasting beans at home. Either way, Kingston has you covered. The final chapter offers step-by-step instructions for all the major coffee-brewing methods, including espresso. And if you're interested in taking a deeper dive, you can read about coffee's history, anatomy, nutrition and even how technology has shaped the way we caffeinate today.

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