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


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Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe + Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories + The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1 edition (October 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081186944X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811869447
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It's hard to believe that Flour is Joanne Chang's first book, because the level of mastery, precision and experience in it make it feel like the work of someone who's been showing new bakers the light and the way for a very long time. --NPR, Ten Best Books of 2010

Pop Tarts, anyone? Clearly written and beautifully photographed, Flour is a baker's treat. -- Dorie Greenspan

About the Author

Joanne Chang is the chef-owner of Flour Bakery in Boston. She has a degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University and was a pastry chef at Payard Patisserie and Mistral. She lives in Boston.

Christie Matheson is the author or co-author of several books, including Salty Sweets. She lives in Boston and San Francisco.

Keller + Keller are Boston-based food and lifestyle photographers.

More About the Author

An honors graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics, Joanne left a career as a management consultant to enter the world of professional cooking.

She started as garde-manger cook at Boston's renowned Biba restaurant, then worked as a pastry cook at Bentonwood Bakery in Newton, and in 1995 was hired as Pastry Chef at Rialto restaurant in Cambridge.

Joanne moved to New York City in 1997 to work in the cake department of the critically acclaimed Payard Patisserie and Bistro. Returning to Boston a year later with dreams of opening up her own pastry shop, she brought her French and American training to Mistral where she was the Pastry Chef until summer of 2000.

In 2000, she opened Flour, a bakery and café, in Boston's South End. Flour features breakfast pastries, breads, cakes, cookies, and tarts as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads. In 2007 she opened a second branch of Flour in the Fort Point Channel area and in 2010 a third branch in Cambridge near MIT and Central Square. A fourth Flour opens in Back Bay in December 2012.

Flour has been featured in Gourmet, Food&Wine, Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Lucky Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Boston Magazine and has received numerous Best of Boston awards. Flour was also featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in which Joanne's sticky buns won over Chef Flay's.

Joanne's energetic commitment to excellence extends beyond the kitchen. She writes pastry articles and reviews cookbooks for Fine Cooking magazine. She teaches classes and advises pastry cooks both within the bakery and at area cooking schools. She opened a Chinese restaurant called Myers + Chang with her husband Christopher Myers in the South End neighborhood in the fall of 2007. An avid runner, she has competed in every Boston Marathon from 1991 - 2006. She is the author of the cookbook "Flour", featuring the best pastries from Flour and her other experiences.

http://flourbakery.com/cookbook.php

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Customer Reviews

Beautiful photographs, great descriptions, and easy to follow instructions make this a very nice book.
L. Federer
As for the recipe that I did try, the Chunky Lola Cookies", they were some of the best cookies I've ever made!
C. Serrano
The author also has quite a few explanations on the science behind the tip or technique throughout the book.
k8inut

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

205 of 207 people found the following review helpful By k8inut on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book begins with a baking overview of sorts. It gives an explanation of techniques that will be used throughout the book. Then, it goes over baking equipment. Next, the book has a short discussion of ingredients. The section on ingredients offers quite a bit of information on things like the right temperature for the ingredients and reasons why unsalted butter is better than salter butter in the recipes. After that, the book has Joanne's Top 12 Baking Tips with explanations for each tip. The author also has quite a few explanations on the science behind the tip or technique throughout the book.

The book covers breakfast treats, cookies, cakes, pies & tarts, other sweets, and breads. Each chapter has popular treats (i.e. red velvet cake, sticky buns, and chocolate chunk cookies, which are wonderful) and also has more unique recipes, too (i.e. hazelnut-almond dacquoise, lemon marshmallow meringue pie, and rosemary shortbread). There are also recipes to make homemade versions of popular, American treats, such as oreos, pop tarts, and fig newtons.

One downside to this book is that there are few pictures. For example, only about four of the twenty-five recipes in the cookie section have a picture, which is a shame because the pictures in the book are beautiful. One note - the carrot cake recipe calls for baking the cupcakes for 50 minutes, but mine were done after 25 minutes. I'm not sure whether that was a typo or whether I just have a hot oven.

*Update 11/7/10* The chocolate chunk cookies were some of the best chocolate chip cookies that I've ever made. I also really liked the Chunky Lola cookies. The surprise hit so far, though, was the cornmeal lime cookies. They were surprisingly addictive and the perfect end to a Latin-flavored meal.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By tasha on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. I am a huge fan of the bakery and the book really captures what I love so much about Flour- everything is approachable, familiar, and simple, yet still manages to be so special and awe-inspiringly delicious. The book is very well-written and provides the perfect amount of background on each recipe. I also really liked Joanne's baking philosophy and her chapter of baking tips and essential equipment. She inspired me to be a little more careful about measurement and precision in baking!
Last weekend I successfully made the most delicious croissants I've ever had in my life. I couldn't believe I made them at home- it was all thanks to this book! Highly, highly recommended for beginners and passionate bakers alike!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bookie on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First of all, the positives. I really love Joanne's style of writing and her storytelling. Loved the little stories she'd tell about her childhood. Also, I think a lot of these recipes are very creative & they sound delicious & the photos make them look mouth-watering. O.K., so now the negatives. Granted, I only tried a few of her recipes, but from the ones I did try, I found the techniques to be unnecessarily complicated & time-consuming, and the results just o.k. I'm a somewhat experienced home baker, so I was a little skeptical about all the extra steps just to whip up a batch of cookies, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt & followed her instructions to the letter. The resulting cookies just turned out kind of meh. I could've produced better cookies by just throwing everything together in a big bowl & mixing it all together. I got similar "meh" results with the other cookie recipes I tried. The flavors just weren't that great. Also, the baking times & temps seemed way off to me, & I just have a regular old standard electric oven. Maybe I should try her other recipes before totally nixing this book, but for now, I wouldn't really recommend this book.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful By C. Serrano on October 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My five-star review of flour may be "putting the cart before the horse" since I've only made one recipe thus far, but I'm going to go ahead and go out on a limb and call it a five-star baking book! I'm going to do it because I have quite a large collection of baking cookbooks from which to compare, and can tell from reading the recipes that they all seem to have appropriately balanced ingredients and flavors. In addition, the book is beautiful (lovely photographs to dream over) and a joy to read through. As for the recipe that I did try, the Chunky Lola Cookies", they were some of the best cookies I've ever made! These chocolate chip cookies are a magnificent combination of oats, pecans, shredded coconut, and chocolate. They somehow manage to be chewy, crisp, and soft in all the right way. One would think that the ingredients in this cookie would compete with one another, but they don't; in fact, they all work together like a championship team bringing home a divine flavor trophy with each bite. My husband even made ice cream sandwiches out of them, which took them to a whole other awesome level. I plan on making these for friends and family as an affordable gift to give during the holidays. I look forward to trying the many other great looking recipes in Joanne Chang's book.

Update 11/1: I made the homemade fig newtons. They were pretty good, but a lot of work and very time consuming. I actually split this recipe up and made it in 2 days. On day one, I made the fig filling. The cook time on it takes about an hour, and you need to let it cool completely, so give or take another couple of hours. On the following day I made the dough, which is pretty simple. However, the completed dough is pretty difficult to work with to get into that rectangle shape and fold it over the filling. It then takes about 40 minutes to bake, and another hour to cool completely before you should cut into it.
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