Who says you can't enjoy a cookbook like a novel? I've found Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + CafÃ© to be a compelling read both in and out of the kitchen.
The protagonist and author, Joanne Chang, recounts her career shift from applied mathematics to pastry chef extraordinaire and Boston bakery impresario. I'd remembered her and her winning sticky bun recipe from an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" on the Food Network, and had made a mental note to find that recipe online. Now I don't have to!
While I consider Chang a compelling main character, it's the supporting cast that really moves the narrative along for me. Characters like Sugar + Spice Brioche Buns, Rosemary Shortbread, Midnight Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream, Milky Way Tart, Brown Sugar Popovers. . .the list goes on. Along with the recipes are included many flavor variations, tips on technique, and personal stories from Chang's personal life and professional experience.
I'm a bit of a baking weekend warrior myself, and am really looking forward to tackling the recipes within these pages. Up first? Perfecting her Basic Brioche dough (p. 73) and using that dough to bake the sticky buns that beat Bobby Flay. I can't wait for the sequel!
Submitted by Mandy @ YCOS