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Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe Hardcover – October 20, 2010
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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.
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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.
*Update 12/13/10* I took this cookbook home for the holidays. We made a huge batch of the sticky sticky buns, and they were incredibly rich and so yummy. They taste like a cross between a honey bun and a traditional sticky bun. A couple notes - One, you may want to put a cookie sheet under the rolls as they cook. We had quite a mess to clean up when the goo from one of the rolls bubbled over. Second, baking the rolls in a glass pan seemed to help them cook more evenly than baking them in a metal pan.
*Update 1/27/11* After reading reviews of other cookbooks on here, I felt that I should note that this book has the ingredients listed by weight and by volume (i.e. grams and cups). I know that a lack of weight measurements can be a make or break issue for some people with a cookbook, so I wanted to make it clear that this book does have measurements listed both ways.
(And most definitely not for a beginner or a disinterested, lazy cook.) My husband bought this for me after he ate a wonderful double chocolate cookie at the Flour bakery. The oatmeal raisin are the best I've ever made; I did follow her instructions to rest the dough overnight in the refrigerator. The cookies stayed fresh for over a week!
I like it because the measurements are in grams as I use kitchen scale for baking in general. It also provides, volume and ounces.
Ingredients are usually easy to find in any grocery store and the directions are very clear,
I love to bake and I would recommend this book to any avid baker.