cover image The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World

Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez. Clarkson Potter, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8041-8617-9

Rodriguez had the idea for a bakery that celebrated regional specialties and gave women a leg up in the male-dominated baking industry right after she graduated college. The only catch was that she didn’t have professional baking expertise. That was solved with a stint at Boulud, giving Rodriguez the experience she needed to open Hot Bread Kitchen, a bakery that gives low-income minority women the skills they need to enter the food-service industry and start their own food business. In this collection of recipes, Rodriguez first instructs readers on how to make classic breads such as pita, batard, challah, and hot cross buns. Then she explains how to get the most out of those breads, with recipes such as the ultimate Reuben sandwich with sriracha special sauce, and banh mi on DIY baguettes. Even leftovers are put to work: day-old challah shows up in tres leches bread pudding, in grilled-cheese French toast with caramelized peaches, and as salad croutons. In each case, Rodriguez walks bakers through key steps for each recipe, managing expectations and telling them what to look for in order to achieve the desired result. Would-be bakers may be intimidated by the book’s lengthy steps, but they’ll find Rodriguez’s instructions to be practical and useful, giving them the confidence to stick with a recipe until the bread is out of the oven. (Oct.)