Many of us have been spending more time in the kitchen lately, either through budgetary necessity or because we’ve apparently uncovered a subconscious desire to open our own bakeries. While the book-publishing world often sets its release schedule years ahead, somehow this spring’s batch of new cookbooks seems especially timely. Whether you’re trying to stretch your once-a-week grocery shop or hone a new-found skill, here are five picks worth the space on your bookshelf.
New World Sourdough
by Bryan Ford
Quarto Group, $37.99, released June 16
If you’ve been working on your bread game, New World Sourdough from New Orleans-based baker Bryan Ford will help you level up with clear explanations of sourdough starters, instructions for building a levain and kneading techniques, along with plenty of recipes for classic loaves. But drawing on his Honduran roots as well as his non-traditional approach, the recipes reach well beyond the expected sourdough fare to include pan de coco, beignets, bagels, muffaletta rolls full of olive salad and a Bananas Foster Sourdough – a step up from all those banana breads clogging your Instagram feed.
Blooms and Baking
by Amy Ho
Page Street Publishing, $32.95
Amy Ho’s book sets out in the same floral-adorned direction as her baking blog, ConstellationInspiration.com, where she regularly employs flowers – both real and buttercream – to decorate and flavour her towering layer cakes and delicate cookies. You might not have enough mouths in the house to justify baking an elaborate gateau such as the White Chocolate Cake with Rose Mascarpone or the Cherry Blossom Almond Layer Cake. But if you’ve got the time, this could be your chance to master decorating with those fiddly buttercream flowers – there’s a whole section in the back of the book dedicated to making them.
The New Homemade Kitchen
by Joseph Shuldiner
Chronicle Books, $50, released June 2
Perhaps baking and fermenting things has awakened your inner homesteader, and you’re looking for new skills to add to your culinary arsenal. Presented by the Los Angeles-based Institute of Domestic Technology, The New Homemade Kitchen is divided into “departments” covering topics including dairy, spirits, pickles and preserves, complete with “faculty spotlights” and lots of helpful sidebars. The book includes everything from home butchery to making your own dry vermouth, sriracha and kosher dill pickles, along with recipes to use up your creations, such as Overnight Sourdough Kefir Waffles and Brown Butter Miso Tarts.
The Tinned Fish Cookbook
by Bart van Olphen
The Experiment Publishing, $24.95, released May 26
Limiting the number of trips you make to the grocery store means leaning heavily on pantry staples such as canned fish, especially for protein. But for those sick of tuna sandwiches, Dutch chef and sustainable-seafood champion Bart van Olphen gets creative with those tins of fish, offering easy and practical recipes such as Tuna Salad Rolls, Salmon Cakes with Chimichurri, and a Sardine and Leek Tart with Tarragon. As a bonus, there’s food for thought, as van Olphen makes a strong case for the sustainability of canning fish.
The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook
by Linda Ly
Quarto Group, $35.99
We’ve heard the argument for nose-to-tail eating from the carnivorous crowd for years. Now the same concept is being applied to our fruit and veg in order to spare anything we can from the compost heap. Ly’s book aims to make use of the leaves, seeds, shoots, fruits and roots of your farmer’s market haul or backyard bounty with recipes like Tomato Leaf Pesto (yes, you can eat tomato leaves!), Chard Stalk Hummus and Watermelon Rind and Jalapeño Pickles. The handy pesto matrix will help you turn almost anything into a condiment.
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