We all start somewhere

You can see that the cookbook is well used. It is falling apart and stained and it opens all on its own to the basic bread recipe and the Christmas Braid Bread recipe

The resources on this page have become the foundation of my baking practice. Most of them have been part of my baking practice since I was a teenager. Perhaps you will find them helpful as well. Of maybe you have special cookbooks that were passed down to you all marked up and stained. The Tassajara Bread Book

Tassajara is a Zen Buddhist retreat center in the hills above Big Sur, CA.  In 1967, they purchased a bakery in San Francisco and became one of the Bay Area’s first artisan style bread bakeries.  In 1970, they published their book of bread and related baked good recipes.  The bakery is no longer in business having closed it doors to bread baking.  The owner now sells desserts.  The San Francisco Chronicle writer Peter Sinton wrote in the 1999:   “Just Desserts acquired Tassajara Bakery seven years ago with the hope of turning something that started as a pastime for students at a Zen center into a profitable venture. But it finally concluded that there was simply not enough dough in the bread business.”  I just  learned about the closure a few years ago. I had only one opportunity to visit the bakery many years ago.  You can still purchase the bread book at various online vendors.  Here is one option.

I had already been doing a lot of baking when, at age 19, I was introduced to the Tassajara Bread Book while living in a Christian community in South Georgia called Koinonia Farm.  That was in 1975.  Since then, some variation on the basic Tassajara bread recipe has been my template for all my bread. I have made many recipes from the bread book but the two favorites are the basic bread and the braided Christmas bread.  And the pancakes. I can’t leave out the pancakes!

Beard on Bread

One of the catchiest of cookbook titles, I think.  This book by James Beard was perhaps my second baking bible.  I made his Irish soda bread the most of any recipes.  My name is Maggie, after all.  Originally published in the early 1970’s, the book has been updated and has sold over 250,000 copies since then.  It is still available in a newer version at Amazon.

King Arthur Flour

I live in New England so, of course, all my flour comes from King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont.  If you are a novice or aspiring baker, check out their selection of classes.  And their café and bakery, of course!

Inn at the Crossroads

I must include my own daughter’s blog.  Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and one of her housemates, Sariann Lehrer, started a blog which turned into a contract for a cookbook with Random House.  If you are really into The Game of Thrones and want to try out some recipes, have some fun with Feast of Ice and Fire available wherever books are sold or on Amazon. Since the publication of Feast of Ice and Fire, she has authored many other cookbooks based on best-loved fantasy/fiction including: World of Warcraft, The Hobbit, Overwatch, Firefly, Heathstone, Elderscrolls, Star Wars, and one more soon to be published. Stay tuned.

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