Guess what I have in my hot little hands? A copy of Joanne Chang’s recently released, much-anticipated cookbook, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café. I think I can speak for all of Boston when I say, yahoooooooo!!!! Or whatever the hip, young people are saying these days. W00t?
I have a soft spot for Flour Bakery having worked in the vicinity of the South End for several years. I had a friend from culinary school who was employed there when it first opened and so I was treated to a mini-tour. The space was not large—the tour took about two minutes, but it was just as charming as you might expect: heavy-duty mixers running at full throttle, neat, young apprentices painting things with chocolate, the smell of fresh baked bread warming the morning air. Joanne was always as sweet as could be, odd given that new bakery businesses require early mornings and long hours. Must have been all the sugar coursing through her veins. Since then, two other Flour outposts have been opened in the Fort Point Channel (well, not actually in the channel) and Central Square. Chang’s talents are also on display at Myers + Chang, the Asian diner she opened in the South End with her husband Christopher Myers.
This cookbook is substantial, heavy with the calories of nearly 150 of Chang’s favorite recipes. Much has been made of her sticky buns, which emerged victorious when pitted against Bobby Flay’s version on the Food Network’s Throwdown! Don’t worry—her secrets are well documented here. So are scrumptious recipes for éclairs, cream-filled doughnuts, focaccia, croissants, brioche, tarts, muffins, cakes, and cookies galore. I hope you like butter!
Chronicle Books was kind enough to send me two copies of this cookbook. However, I’m keeping one for myself since the library says I need to give their copy back. So, I’m raffling off one copy to a lucky reader. Actually, we’re doing the raffle thing differently this time. I’m going to pick the winner based on my favorite comment instead of leaving it up to random chance. This blog is the only power I have and I’m going to wield it like a despot. If I can’t decide between several excellent comments, I’ll randomly select a name from within that group with my iron fist briefly unclenched. But only briefly. To be considered, please leave a comment about a memorable experience you had at Flour or a story that revolves around something delicious you ate from Flour or, failing that, a story about flour. I realize this gives local people an edge, but I figure those of you who know the bakery well will enjoy this book the most. As a consolation prize for the rest of you losers, I’ll post a recipe from the book when I post the winner later this week.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Go!