Post # 14
Quote for the Day: "When it's February in Detroit its been winter forever."
Loren Estleman, Lady Yesterday. 1987.
by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo
And on the eighth day, God created Zingerman's deli so the faithful and the doubting Thomases alike could make pilgrimages to Ann Arbor where they beheld and consumed marvelous gastronomical wonders reverently layered between slices of artisanal bread. And in good time, Zingerman's Bakehouse took form and shape from a pinch of flour and a bit of yeast so that the Zingerman's afflicted could take home a crusty loaf of bread, a dozen divine cookies, or any number of heavenly confections. It is no exaggeration to say that over the last 25-years the Bakehouse has attracted fans who look upon the bakery with as much reverence as those who fill Ann Arbor's Big House each fall to worship at the feet of Wolverine football.
In the beginning, there was the deli, then the Roadhouse and the Bakehouse, and now behold the cookbook. Yes, supplicants' prayers have been answered. One doesn't have to journey to Ann Arbor to bring home a Bakehouse Pecan Blondie, a loaf of Roadhouse or Farm Bread, Bakehouse Brownies, a Hot Cocoa Cake, Big O Cookies, Chocolate Coconut Macaroons or dozens of other Zingerman's signature baked goods. The book is chock-a-block full of Zingerman's classic recipes for favorite loaves of bread and I've-died-and-gone-to-heaven cakes, cookies, pies, and brownies.
The authors are master bakers and co-owners of the bakehouse. They discuss the bakery's mission, the creation and evolution of most of the Bakehouse's recipes, and even credit present and past employees who first came up with the recipe. Each author talks about their cooking background, how they got the Bakehouse started, and their favorite can't-pass-up bakery item.
The authors also discuss and recommend certain ingredients, give plenty of basic baking tips, and methods, and describe how some of the Bakehouse's iconic products were developed. The recipes are clearly written and much easier to follow than I would have expected, and each of them, even the sweets in which I substituted gluten-free flour, came out of the oven mouth-watering perfect.
A word of warning: You should only browse through this heavily illustrated book containing photo after photo of scrumptious looking cakes, loaves of bread, pies, cookies, and scones only after placing it under a sneeze guard. If you don't, like me, you're going to get drool all over the book's pages.
Zingerman's Bakehouse by Emy Emberling & Frank Carollo. Chronicle Books, 2017, $29.95
If you are moved to buy one of the above books, the easiest method is to hover over the book cover and click your mouse. It will take you directly to a listing of the book on Amazon.