A New York Times Bestseller
It all started with a cheddar-scallion scone in a Santa Barbara coffeeshop. It looked so pretty that I grabbed a picture of it and posted it to Instagram. Minutes later, my friend Ann Mah texted: You should write a book about savory baking. I read the message, got that tingle that I get when I know something’s a good idea and began thinking about recipes.
And while everything I jotted down was savory at the start, a few months in, my notebook had a bunch of sweet recipes too.
When I turned in the manuscript for the book, my fourteenth (yes, even I’m surprised), it turned out to be the first I’d ever written with sweet and salty recipes that go all through the day, from breakfast to midnight snacks, with pies and tarts and cakes and plenty of cookies in between. I’ve even got some new gougères that are great for nibbling with a glass of wine. Actually, there are many things to pair with wine. With coffee, tea and a kid’s glass of milk, too.
There are recipes inspired by my travels, like the glossy-topped almond cake that a Swedish pastry chef taught me—she also taught me about the custom of fika, the daily breaks for coffee, conversation and something sweet that are cherished throughout her country. And the Lisbon Chocolate Cake, a dense, almost brownie-like layer topped with a whipped dark chocolate ganache (it’s the cake on the book’s cover). I had it at a café where the coffee-and-tea menu was long and the dessert menu short—it was just this cake. And of course there are recipes from Paris, my part-time home. Bonjour, brioche in many forms and flavors.
It made me happy to be able to tuck these souvenirs from my travels into the book, especially since soon after I began working on Baking with Dorie, the pandemic struck and the world got small.
I always find baking a pleasure – I have for decades – but baking for this book during difficult times proved more satisfying than I could ever have imagined. I worked on this book for three years, crafting the recipes, tinkering, tinkering and tinkering some more, and thinking about everyone who bakes at home.
These recipes were made for home bakers. Every day that I baked, I shared what I made with my little family and our friends. And every day I found it a joy to be in the kitchen. I was my hope from the start that whoever made these recipes, whoever baked and shared them, would find the same joy in their kitchens.