Bake the Book: The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

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[Photograph: Ed Anderson]

Every now and then, you come across a cookbook that's more than just a collection of recipes. That's exactly the case with The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle. Chef Tom Douglas of Seattle's Dahlia Bakery has amassed a devoted following, and for good reason; as a four-time James Beard award winner, and now with a fourth cookbook under his belt, the man clearly knows what he's doing.

That doesn't mean he's leaving newcomers out of the loop. With a warm introduction and multiple photos of Tom and his staff, you're instantly inducted into the Dahlia Bakery experience. What follows is a mini-tour of a baker's Seattle, a smattering of baking knowledge, and you're off to the races with recipe after recipe. Starting with breakfast biscuits and ending 300 pages later with jams and jellies, the two ends tie up nicely.

Like any cookbook worth its salt (or, in this case, sugar), measurements are precise and provided in multiple units, and there are copious photos detailing steps that are often not pictured, such as assembling pie dough or pastry cream.

A hefty tome featuring both savory and sweet recipes makes selecting several to feature a daunting task. Nevertheless, we've chosen wisely, inspired by earthy, hearty flavors and images. First up is an olive oil cake, flavored with notes of orange and soaked in honey syrup. Next are carrot cupcakes with brown-butter cream cheese frosting. Plus, a first for this feature—"Ruby's Bones", which are a treat for both humans and pups to enjoy. Finally, there's a double-crusted pine nut marzipan tart, utterly splendid and perfect for the coming chill.

It's not hard to figure out why Chef Douglas has such a broad fan base—one look through the book and you'll be converted, too.


Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at HarperCollins, we are giving away five (5) copies of The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook this week.

All you have to do is tell us what your favorite regional dessert is, and where it's from in the comments section below.

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