Recipe Detail – How Much is Enough?


I was making my buttermilk waffles the other day and I started thinking about how different recipes are written. Some lay out absolutely every step, down to getting out bowls and utensils. Others assume you know how to do everything and just give you bare bone instructions. And most are somewhere in between.


I like to write detailed recipes, without talking down to the reader, but I wonder how much is too much? Or how much is enough? For instance, in my recipe for waffles I call for melted butter in the ingredients, as well as separated eggs. I assume you know how to do both of those things and you will do them as you are gathering your ingredients.


I go into greater detail with some recipes, especially ones where doing certain prep steps in a certain order makes things easier, or helps with timing. I include more steps and hints with things that everyone might not be familiar with, like yeast dough or pie crust.

Which do you prefer – details galore, or just the basics?