Saturday, December 18, 2010
Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe
Joanne Chang is an industry all by herself. This young woman has multiple Flour bakery locations (two in Boston, one in Cambridge) plus Asian restaurant Myers + Chang - co-owned with well-respected chef Chris Myers. Joanne's new "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe" cookbook is flying off the shelves of bookstores (we snagged the last one at Borders in Dedham) and on a recent Saturday morning my husband drove to Flour in the South End to catch up with Joanne and have her sign the book. Meanwhile, the place was mobbed with people clamoring for their Flour breakfast pastry and coffee.
"Flour" is a delightful and creative read - hardcover - co-authored by Christie Matheson with amazing photography by Keller + Keller. Joanne introduces the name "Flour" and her rationale behind that choice, which harkens back to a theoretical math class she took in college (she has a degree in applied math and economics from Harvard). It all makes sense, really. Even the most complex things begin with basic building blocks - if you bake (or even eat), you know that flour is a basic ingredient in many foods, especially baked goods.
Joanne provides us with helpful how-to's on techniques like applying a crumb coat, or whipping egg whites. She also gives the reader a list of necessary kitchen equipment, baking ingredients and why each is important, and her "Joanne's Top 12 Baking Tips". All of this is valuable; then the meat of the book contains recipes for many of the delectable treats you'll find in the Flour Bakery: brioche to banana bread, candied oranges and chocolate sorbet - these are some of the delights for which you'll find very complete instruction. And on page 134, my personal Flour favorite: Homemade Oreos! Can't wait to fire up my Kitchen Aid for this one.
You can find the book on Amazon here. It's also available in the Flour Bakeries.
All told, this "Flour" cookbook is a terrific resource for any baker and I look forward to getting started....
Click here for more about Flour Bakery + Cafe