Sunday, January 22, 2012

Flour by JoAnne Chang

JoAnne Chang’s new cookbook Flour titled after her renowned bakery in Boston is by far one of the best, most reliable books I’ve ever used. I received it as a Christmas present last year from my mom, who knows how much I love to bake. The recipes are all challenging and time consuming, but so worth it. Chang uses techniques that I had never tried before and I have learned so much through working with her recipes.
I started out with her recipes and as I began to read them I realized how she does two major things differently from most other cookbooks I’ve used one being, she weighs everything instead of using volume and two, almost every recipe has a waiting period before it’s baked. These two things add a noticeable improvement to the flavors and textures of the cookies, cakes, and pastries. Weighing makes a very big difference to the texture because especially with flour, which is often a main ingredient, it is important to weigh because it allows you to more accurately measure. Volume, on the other hand, is more temperamental and can easily be thrown off resulting in a less than perfect measurement.
When I first paged through the book last Christmas after receiving it as a gift my first thought was that all of the recipes seemed really time consuming and complicated. I must say I was wrong, well mostly wrong. The recipes are so decadent and probably the best things that I have ever made. Granted they aren't without their work, but they are so easy to prepare ahead of time and then bake fresh the day they're needed. Chang talks about having a freezer filled with dough for breads and pastries and I don't blame her because it is so easy and it allows you to wake up in the morning and say 'hmm I could really go for some homemade poptarts right now', which by the way are absolutely divine! The recipes all need some time to sit to let the flavors come together, I must say you really can taste the difference when you wait for the dough or batter to sit and allow the flavors to meet and become more vibrant. Some planning is involved for sure with this baking and I would recommend reading through the whole recipe as always before starting so that you aren't thrown off if your dough has to rise for 2 hours or your scones need to be refrigerated before baking.
Overall I cannot speak highly enough of JoAnne Chang's Flour it is my new favorite baking book and it is tried, true and absolutely trustworthy!
5 Cupcakes!
Buy Flour by JoAnne Chang on Amazon

1 comment: