A Baker’s Year: Twelve Months of Baking and Living the Simple Life at the Smoke Signals Bakery

Tara Jensen. Griffin, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-12738-9
Jensen, who owns the Smoke Signals Bakery outside of Asheville, N.C., arranges this homey, down-to-earth book by month and intersperses her recipes with short essays that offer insight into her lifestyle and baking philosophy (“If bread making is a solitary, mindful self-expression, then pizza is a noisy journey into community and the mess of human relationships”). Recipe standouts include March’s savory pancakes, brushed with a honey-balsamic glaze; June’s individual party pizzas topped with flowers; July’s Broken Down Berry Pie, which is made with apple chunks; and August’s Bundt cake, flavored with thyme and served with fresh blueberries. There is a recipe for December moon pies that includes versions for each moon phase and a section titled “Hold a Pie Contest” that includes instructions for throwing a November pie contest with friends and suggests categories and prizes (such as handmade books or vintage kitchen gadgets). Photos, illustrations, and pictures of the author’s handwritten baking journals evoke her comfortably solitary life. This cookbook will make even urban dwellers crave a night under the stars and a morning baking bread solo in a quiet, rustic kitchen. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/18/2017
Release date: 02/13/2018
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