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Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  4,871 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Every day 1,500 Bostonians can't resist buying sweet, simple treats such as Homemade Pop-Tarts, from an alumna of Harvard with a degree in economics. From Brioche au Chocolat and Lemon Raspberry Cake to perfect croissants, Flour Bakery-owner Joanne Chang's repertoire of baked goods is deep and satisfying. While at Harvard she discovered that nothing made her happier than b ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 6th 2010 by Chronicle Books (first published September 29th 2010)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,871 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Start your review of Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe
Yup, what do you do when in Boston for work and walk by an enchanting bakery on the way to the naturally go in, EVERY SINGLE DAY that you pass it. And naturally you come home and grab all of the cookbooks from the bakery. Yes, I have a cookbook addiction and I'm quite proud of it. So yeah, the bakery is awesome. The line out the door each day could have told me that alone. But the food was awesome. I almost cried the morning I showed up late and they were sold out of the vegan blue ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I own both this cookbook and the followup, Flour Too, and the recipes are reliably great. Joanne Chang's conversational writing style is also enjoyable. I live 3 blocks from the original Flour Bakery and so haven't bothered with the trickier items like croissants -- why should I, when I can enjoy their efforts a la carte? But the cookies, pies, and cakes are all winners. The cornmeal-lime cookies and almond macaroons with chocolate ganache filling are my go-to hostess gift recipes, people really ...more
Colleen Myers
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have never loved a cookbook the way I love Flour. Joanne Chang created a masterpiece here. The recipes are accessible and easy to follow; all the ingredients can be found in a typical grocery store and very few require specialized pans or kitchen equipment. The book itself is gorgeous; no messy dust jacket that traps flour and sugar (my cookbook pet peeve), well-made binding, gorgeous paper (hi my name is Colleen and I'm a publishing nerd...) Best of all, Chang includes personal stories for ea ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, 2011-reads
I received this cookbook as a birthday present. (Thanks MaryAnn!!!!)

I had only heard of this chef because she was on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Her winning sticky sticky buns will definitely be on my list of things to try.

The author is local and two of the recipes were featured in The Boston Globe this fall. (

I made the chocolate cupcakes with crispy magic frosting. They were just OK. The cupcakes were WAY overbaked at the recommended 30 minutes. The swiss meringue fro
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm trying my first recipe from the book, Flour's famous banana bread. It's it the oven now. If the taste of the batter (ok, I couldn't resist) is any indication, the bread is going to be amazing.

I've never seen a recipe for banana bread put together in such a way. Having looked it through, it seems like all the recipes in the book were very carefully considered and tested for the home baker.

Also, because of the beautiful photography and mouthwatering descriptions, even recipes that wouldn't n
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A great collection of bakery recipes. Not for the amateur baker, but the results reflect the years of expertise and talent of pastry chef Joanne Chang.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century, cooking
I am a huge fan of Flour, a cafe not far from my office, and these recipes look delicious. This copy is from the library (and the page for Sticky Buns is a bit sticky) but I plan to buy my own copy soon. It does not include my favorite item, a lamb sandwich with chutney, so perhaps Joanne Chang is saving that for the sequel...
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I quit buying recipes books years ago, because after spending about $20 I would never actually make anything because it was all too complex or needed things I never had. I came across this book because of a Pinterest post for homemade pop-tarts. I used to love pop-tarts but only the ones without the glaze and I can never find those anymore so I stopped buying them. Homemade seemed like my answer. When I saw how fabulous they looked and that they were out of a cookbook of bakery items I had to kn ...more
Jun 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My go to baking book when I'm trying to impress with relatively unfussy desserts. I've baked my way through probably 3/4 of the recipes, and except for a choux pastry disaster (which I feel may be the result of the different water content between European & American butter?), pretty much every recipe has been a winner. Most recipes have more steps and are more nuanced than you would expect from a typical "basic" dessert, and sometimes the child in me just wants the cookies now, but the extra wor ...more
Rhonda Jones
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved This Book

The professional chef who wrote the book gives a lot of hints about professional techniques to take an average cake recipe and make it light, fluffy, awesome. And she makes everything from scratch. Even a basic pineapple upside down cake is made using a whole pineapple and cutting it into thick slices, and making a homemade caramel sauce. These techniques are not for someone looking for quick and easy, but rather someone looking for a wonderful tasty treat. The book is called Flou
Emily Monroe
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great baking resource for most of the basic “elevated” baking recipes I would want to work with. Her explanations on technique are helpful. Each recipe I’ve made has been delicious, when I follow the recipe directions and don’t try to do something else at the same time (ex. Eclairs need to have their own dedicated time in the oven so they can truly poof up). I wish there was a bit more explanation about how to make substitutions to create dairy free versions of the recipes, but otherwi ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my go-to book for making great desserts, partially because of the recipes and partly because of the stories that go with the recipes. J. Chang shares many personal stories regarding her start as a baker, the hopes and dreams of her parents, as well as her struggles and success as a cafe owner.
Carol Johnson
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cook-books
This is a beautiful cookbook. All of the recipes were appealing. I made the delicious oatmeal-maple scones, the new-old fashioned coffeecake (didn't come out great), and the chocolate chunk cookies, which came out thin and crispy, even though I chilled the dough. I plan to try the Homemade Fig Newtons next. ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
A famous bakery I've never been to shares their recipes and favorite desserts. I'd make something from this book, but I didn't. Chock-ful of tons of varied dessert recipes, but alas, no photo for every recipe. I'm a firm believer in having a photo for every recipe - it just makes good sense to show the reader what a thing should look like if baked properly. ...more
Dec 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’ve been slowly ( years) baking my way through Flour.

Most cookie Recipes need more salt. Kosher also isn’t always the best to use. Chang is also extremely light on the vanilla extract.

Watch out for baking times. A lot of cakes say to bake for much longer than needed.

Added an extra star for her technique information and scientific info. Ex. pointing out that sugar cooks yolks. 👍
Kate Brousseau
Nov 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book's tips & techniques is worth buying it on its own. I like her style of writing, photos.
People actually ask me to make the raspberry crumb bars for my doctor too!! I think the
crispy magic frosting on any chocolate item is a winner and I was surprised that I could carry that off!
I will always keep this cookbook...and I bought "Flour, too"...
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulously Decadent

I will read anything this chef writes. She is interesting, informative and gives detailed instructions. I have now read Flour, and Flour Too. Both are marvelous and I can't wait to get started with baking these recipes for the holidays. Bravo!
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this cook book. I have read all of her "teaching" items that are in the first part of the book. Then, I have cooked just about every recipe in the book. I don't think there is a single recipe that wasn't liked by anyone that ate any of the food. ...more
Kelly M W Morman
What a wonderful book.

As she wrote I could almost see and smell what she was writing about. Can't wait to get baking! I can see this book becoming one of my favourite go to cookbooks .
Kellyann Ring
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My all-time favorite price cookbook, Joanne Chang does not only provide recipes she provides a full education on baking and the science behind it. And the cherry on top? Her recipes are the greatest you'll ever taste! ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve made so many different things from her first bake cookbook... have also dabbled with recipes from Flour Too and Myers and Chang. Still, keep coming back to this one.
Her banana bread and lemon lust bars (ricks shortbread and using Meyer are the key), as well as her blueberry pie—-

Oh my!
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
5 stars

- Ms. Jenn
Pam G
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book with great recipes. A go to book for me.
Jill  M Caldwell
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun collection of real life recipes for all tastes.
Judith Page
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative with well written recipes.

Some delicious looking recipes to explore. I appreciate the ingredient weights provided in this book. The recipes are very well written.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good recipes!
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Chocolate Chip Chunk cookies from this book are the BEST. EVER!!! The entire books is filled with deliciousness and beauty and simple, brief explanations of why/how to do things.
Beth Kellum
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I personally do not like the layout of this book. Because of this reason it makes me not want to use this book.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a lot of surprises here, but solid recipes from a working bakery that has a devoted following. Joanne has mastered the mainstream.
Debra Wilkin
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Besides having great recipes , her tips are very helpful. Plus she shares her passion, very interesting story. I would love to visit her bakery and try one of everything
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Joanne Chang is the chef-owner of Flour Bakery in Boston. She has a degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University and was a pastry chef at Payard Patisserie and Mistral. She lives in Boston. Christie Matheson is the author and co-author of several books, including Salty Sweets. She lives in San Francisco. Keller + Keller are Boston-based food and lifestyle photographers." ...more

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It’s hard to believe the year 2022 is already coming to an end. That went fast, didn’t it? Still, there’s just enough time to wedge in a...
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“That's why I named my bakery Flour. It's a reminder that in baking, as in life, simple things are best.” 2 likes
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