Welcome to the voting round of our selection for first quarter 2019 BCOTM, covering January through March of this year. A spirited nomination thread saw many books mentioned, but ultimately our choices come down to a three-way tie for most nominated, and they offer three distinct cuisines and points of view.
HOW TO VOTE: Click the heart in the corner of the post below with the title of the book you’re voting for. Vote for only one selection. (Should you want to change or undo your vote, just click the heart again to unselect it.)
All interested are welcome to vote, but please vote only with the intention of participating should your choice win (making at least one recipe and reporting on your experience).
VOTING WILL CLOSE on FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST. A reporting thread will go up immediately following.
And now on to our choices!
THE CARDAMOM TRAIL: CHETNA BAKES WITH FLAVORS OF THE EAST by Chetna Makan:
“Chetna Makan is known for her unique recipes, which introduce colorful spices, aromatic herbs and other Indian ingredients into traditional Western baked favorites.
Whether it's a sponge cake with a cardamom and coffee filling; puff pastry bites filled with fenugreek paneer; a swirly bread rolled with citrusy coriander, mint and green mango chutney; or a steamed strawberry pudding flavoured with cinnamon, Chetna's Indian influences will transform your baking from the familiar to the exotic, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Discover rare but precious traditional bakes from India, as well as new spice-infused recipes. Delve into the history of Indian herbs and spices and learn how to match foods and flavors.”
BRAVETART: ICONIC AMERICAN DESSERTS by Stella Parks:
“From One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to a flawless Cherry Pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom, BraveTart is a celebration of classic American desserts. Whether down-home delights like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies or supermarket mainstays such as Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, your favorites are all here. These meticulously tested recipes bring an award-winning pastry chef’s expertise into your kitchen, along with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations—in short, exactly what you’d expect from a cookbook penned by a senior editor at Serious Eats. Yet BraveTart is much more than a cookbook, as Stella Parks delves into the surprising stories of how our favorite desserts came to be, from chocolate chip cookies that predate the Tollhouse Inn to the prohibition-era origins of ice cream sodas and floats”
THE ITALIAN BAKER, REVISED: THE CLASSIC TASTES OF THE ITALIAN COUNTRYSIDE—ITS BREADS, PIZZA, FOCACCIA, CAKES, PASTRIES, AND COOKIES by Carol Field:
“The only comprehensive book, in English or Italian, to cover the entire range of Italian baking, from breadsticks and cornetti to focaccia, tarts, cakes, and pastries. This latest edition, updated for a new generation of home bakers, has added four-color photography throughout, plus new recipes, ingredients and equipment sections, source guides, and weights. Carol Field introduces artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers. Every city and hill town has its own unique baking traditions, and Field spent more than two years traversing Italy to capture the regional and local specialties, adapting them through rigorous testing in her own kitchen. Field’s authentic recipes are a revelation for anyone seeking the true Italian experience. Here’s a chance to make golden Altamura bread from Puglia, chewy porous loaves from Como, rosemary bread sprinkled with coarse sea salt, dark ryes from the north, simple breads studded with toasted walnuts, succulent fig bread, and Sicilian loaves topped with sesame seeds.”