BAKING WITH DORIE: Sweet, Salty & Simple
Dorie Greenspan
October 19, 2021
Mariner Books
Hardcover, 400 pages
Say “Dorie Greenspan” and think baking. The renowned author of thirteen cookbooks and winner of five James Beard and two IACP awards offers a collection that celebrates the sweet, the savory, and the simple. Every recipe is signature Dorie: easy—beginners can ace every technique in this book—and accessible, made with everyday ingredients. Are there surprises? Of course! You’ll find ingenious twists like Berry Biscuits. Footlong cheese sticks made with cream puff dough. Apple pie with browned butter spiced like warm mulled cider. A s’mores ice cream cake with velvety chocolate sauce, salty peanuts, and toasted marshmallows. It’s a book of simple yet sophisticated baking. Like all of Dorie’s recipes, they lend themselves to being remade, refashioned, and riffed on.

...a tantalizing medley of bakes, ranging from familiar favorites to inventive twists on classics."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Really, the biggest difficulty here, especially given the unrelentingly gorgeous photography, is deciding what to make first."
Dear Reader:

The idea for this book was born on a family trip to Santa Barbara. The first morning I was there, I got up early, drove to a nearby café, and got a cappuccino and a wedge-shaped cheddar scone, studded with bits of scallion and fragrant from butter and warm cheese. That was more than three years and 150 recipes ago, the first of which was my version of that scone, followed by a band of breads and muffins, biscuits, more scones and some morning cakes to keep it company. 

Over those years, I worked on the kinds of recipes I love most, recipes that are simple, rely on basic techniques and have deep flavors and complex textures. I created recipes that are flexible, that allow you to play with them, swap ingredients, fancy them up with icing or leave them bare, their natural color their own decoration. And, since I love surprises, I built them into lots of the recipes. I’m happiest when a recipe that looks familiar harbors something unexpected, which is why, for example, I tucked the sassy brightness of fresh cranberries into spice bars reminiscent of gingerbread. And if almost everything about a recipe is surprising, so much the better. That’s the story with the S’mores Ice Cream Cake. It’s big, tall, ready for a crowd and birthday candles; it has three flavors of ice cream and the usual graham crackers, but it also has frozen hot fudge sauce and peanut butter and marshmallow fluff that would steal the show if the rest of the cake weren’t so spectacular.

It wasn’t until I was deep into baking for this book, putting hearts next to the recipes I was sure I’d include, that I realized that I was playing favorites. Within almost every chapter, there was a kind of recipe or a family of recipes, that was getting extra attention. I hadn’t done it knowingly, but there they were, clustered together, small collections of my pet recipes. When I saw them, I knew immediately how right they were, and I dubbed them my “Sweethearts.” I was glad to make a special place for those recipes that use brioche dough and those based on cream puff dough, to highlight chocolate chip cookies, meringues, layer cakes for celebrations big and small and pies, pandowdies, crisps and pastries made with apples, including a splendid tarte Tatin that’s foolproof, even for first-timers.

It may have taken me longer than it should have to see the mini-collections, but one thing I never lost sight of was the pleasure of being in the kitchen every day, of baking every day. This is my fourteenth cookbook, and it arrives exactly thirty years after my first. A lot has changed over those decades, but not the joy I get from baking. That’s constant and unfailing.

If you’re a baker, you know exactly how I feel. If you’re not, the sweetest thing I can wish you is that you become one. Bake something and share it. It might change your life. It changed mine.

xoxo Dorie
Featured Recipe: Miso-Maple Loaf
If I owned a bed and breakfast, I’d make this my signature treat. Sturdy, coarse-crumbed (I say this with admiration), and on the brink of savory, the loaf is reminiscent of many crowd-pleasers. It may make you think of honey cake, but in the end, it will never be anything other than itself—it’s an original.

The miso and maple are less stand-out individual players than they are a team working together to create flavors that are robust, warm, and mysterious. And, along with the recipe’s buttermilk, their moistness contributes to the cake’s lovely crumb.

-Dorie Greenspan
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