Joanne Chang traded in her career as a management consultant to open Flour bakery – a fact that Bostonians are grateful for every day. Chang is known to be a meticulous baker, so her Top 12 Baking Tips (measure flour carefully, weigh your ingredients, use salt…) are well worth following. There are recipes for savory breads, but it’s the sweet stuff – pastries, cakes, and cookies – that really shine.
Every day 1,500 Bostonians can't resist buying sweet, simple treats such as Homemade Pop-Tarts, from an alumna of Harvard with a degree in economics. From Brioche au Chocolat and Lemon Raspberry Cake to perfect croissants, Flour Bakery-owner Joanne Chang's repertoire of baked goods is deep and satisfying. While at Harvard she discovered that nothing made her happier than baking cookies leading her on a path that eventually resulted in a sticky bun triumph over Bobby Flay on the Food Network's Throwdown . Almost 150 Flour recipes such as Milky Way Tart and Dried Fruit Focaccia are included, plus Joanne's essential baking tips, making this mouthwatering collection an accessible, instant classic cookbook for the home baker.
A confession: I am not one of nature’s great bakers. If you are like me, you need this book. Chang’s recipes are immensely detailed - she holds your hand for every tiny step. With her help, I made a three-layer sponge cake filled with homemade lemon curd and Swiss buttercream for my husband’s birthday, which seemed ambitious but worked beautifully. Of course this wouldn’t matter if the results weren’t delicious, but they absolutely are!
Food and wine writer
I've yet to make it to her famed Boston bakery, but I'm able to "eat" vicariously through her recipes for these perfect homespun treats.
Cofounder and CEO of Nomiku