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It seems to me that Ratio meets your needs: Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking Paperback – Sep 7 2010 by Michael Ruhlman (Author) Ratios are the simple proportions of one ingredient to another. Biscuit dough is 3:1:2—or 3 parts flour, 1 part fat, and 2 parts liquid. This ratio is the beginning of many variations, and ...


There are many cookbooks that talk about basics of cooking, not just lists of recipes. "Salt Fat Acid Heat" and "Joy of Cooking" are popular two such books. If you're looking specifically for the science of cooking, "Cooking for Geeks" focuses on that aspect.

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