cookbook

Flour Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe
Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe

The 2nd time I went to the Flour Bakery + Cafe (read my review here) I saw that Joanne Chang (owner of Flour) put out a book that had both her Bobby Flay-defeating sticky buns recipe, but among others, her homemade Pop-Tart recipe.  Those two recipes alone would have made the book worth buying (yes, they’re that tasty)!

I browsed over the book while eating the Flour-made Pop-Tart and was impressed.  It is everything I think a modern cookbook should be, with lots and lots of photos, and well written descriptions and instructions.  I especially loved the stories behind each of the recipe that Joanne has in the book; it’s something I try to do here, rather than just throw the recipe on the blog.

As I do with any cookbook I get, as soon as I got home, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down the names and page numbers of all of the recipes that interested me.  It would have been easier to list the recipes I wasn’t interested in making.

Since I got the book, I’ve made the sticky buns three times, and the Pop-Tarts twice.  Now you might be asking yourself (or using the Search bar to the right) about  a post here about either one of them.  Truth be told, they never last long enough to get a photo of the finished product!

Every person who tried the sticky buns said they were the best sticky buns they’ve ever had in their life.  Each and every person said that.

Conclusion:

This book is on the C4B’s “highly recommend” list.  Plenty of high quality photos, easy to follow directions, and great stories behind the recipes should make this a ‘must have’ book for any home baker.

Amazon sells Joanne’s book for less than $20.

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Baking: From my home to yours

Baking: From My Home to Yours

Stop. Don’t read any further. Click on the photo above, go to Amazon.com, order the book and then come back (I’ll wait).

OK, got that done?  You’ll be glad you did; really really glad you did.  I mean, happy like a-kid-on-Christmas-morning happy when the book arrives.

Typically when I get a cookbook, I take a piece of paper, go through the book, and write down the recipes that I want to make at some point in the future.  That piece of paper gets left in the book, so I know what I’ve made/haven’t made yet.  With this cookbook, it would be easier to write down the recipes I’m not going to make and the ones I’m going to be making.  Yeah, it’s that good.

Dorie Greenspan introduces each recipe with a short story of how the recipe came about, and there is always a sidebar that discusses variations that can be used with each recipe.  Especially interesting is the cake that got her fired from her job (chocolate Armagnac cake).  Almost every recipe has a photo of what the finished product looks like, so very important in a modern cookbook.  Well, important at least to me, and I don’t think I’m alone.

The recipes call for the basics that most of us already have in our kitchen/pantry.  With those basics, Dorie covers the entire spectrum of desserts: cookies, cakes, pies, spoon desserts (puddings and ice cream), and she even takes the time and space to explain many of the basics, such as pastry cream.

Conclusion:

If I were to rate this on a 10 point scale, I would give a 9.5.  The only reason it doesn’t get a 10 is I’m picky about photos.  A perfect (10) cookbook would have a photo for each and every recipe.

Of course, should the day ever come where I sit down and write a cookbook, I would feel honored to have mine mentioned in the same breath as Baking: From my home to yours.

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I guess he wasn’t paying attention, or he’s gotten senile, because I got something other than a stocking full of coal this year.  Of course, with the price of heating fuel, I’m not sure a stocking full of coal would be so bad…

The big guy in red brought me 3 new additions to my cookbook collection:



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