SONO BAKING COMPANY COOKBOOK
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook - The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion
(Clarkson Potter) ISBN 978-0307449450 0307449459
The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook is a baking and pastry school in a cookbook. John Barricelli teaches amateur and experienced home bakers how to bake bread, pastries and other bakery items that look and taste as good as those made by professional bakers.
With nearly 150 recipes from the SoNo Baking Company & Café, in South Norwalk, Connecticut, this baking cookbook features savory recipes and baked desserts for everyday meals and house guests.
The 288-page baking book is divided into eight chapters, based on types of baked goods. John Barricelli introduces each chapter and recipe with advice on baking ingredients, equipment and storage of baked goods. For example, in his multigrain bread recipe, he recommends using a mister to spray water on bread dough so seeds stick to the loaf.
Just as in a baking school, The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook features recipes with clear step-by-step instructions and baking tips, e.g., bake until the bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
A few recipes feature variations. The grissini (breadstick) recipe, for example, gives you alternative ingredients to make tomato grissini, herb grissini and black pepper grissini.
Photos of baked goods
Mouthwatering images by Ben Fink illustrate delicious baked goods, like chocolate Bavarian torte and SoNo cheesecake, with a fresh raspberry topping and a ground pistachio crust.
Other images depict baking techniques, such as how to shape croissants.
The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook also includes photos of John Barricelli and his staff working in the bakery.
Like a pastry school instructor, John Barricelli provides baking techniques and cooking tips for each recipe. To make light meringues, for example, he recommends gently warming the egg whites and sugar to increase volume when you beat them with a whisk.
One glossary explains baking ingredients, such as the differences between vanilla beans, vanilla extract and vanilla paste. Another glossary describes baking equipment, from standing mixers to nonstick silicone baking mats.
A Sources chapter in The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook provides phone numbers and websites for companies where you can buy kitchen tools and baking ingredients, like orange blossom water and praline paste.
Sample recipes for baked goods
Sour cherry chocolate scones. Cheese Danish. Hazelnut chocolate spirals. Double chocolate chunk cookies. Traditional anise biscotti. Macadamia butterscotch bars. Triple chocolate ganache brownies. The best lemon squares. Maple pecan tart. Chocolate truffle tart. Plum crisp. Raspberry coconut trifle. Date nut pudding. Flourless chocolate cake. Cinnamon swirl bread. Sausage, peppers and feta focaccia. Corn, crab and chive tart. Pulled pork empanadas. Cheese straws.
- Chapter one: Muffins, scones, pastries and breakfast cakes
- Chapter two: Cookies, brownies and bars
- Chapter three: Pies and tarts
- Chapter four: Cobblers, crisps and buckles
- Chapter five: Trifles, mousses and puddings
- Chapter six: Cakes
- Chapter seven: Breads and focaccias
- Chapter eight: Savories: Tarts, quiches, pies and bites
John Barricelli is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, host of the Everyday Baking show and owner of the SoNo Baking Company & Café.