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Bake Your Own Sourdough and Breads


In our All Henrico Reads featured novel Sourdough, the gift of a sourdough starter jump starts Lois’s foray into baking, giving her a new outlook on life. Rejuvenate your relationship with food by baking your own bread! Baking can be a fount of creativity, as well as a delicious form of stress-relief. Our baking collection will help you put that oven to good use!

You can learn how to "Make Your Own Sourdough Starter" at Fairfield Library on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm. Registration is required, so sign up today. There are also book discussions for Sourdough happening at all of our libraries. Visit our All Henrico Reads page for more information. Don’t forget to join us on Thursday, April 2, 7pm at Glen Allen High School for the twelfth annual All Henrico Reads event with Robin Sloan.

Check out these baking books for expert instruction and mouth-watering inspiration.


Baking at République: Masterful Techniques and Recipes by Margarita Manzke and Betty Hallock – Manzke is co-owner of République, a restaurant, café, and bakery in Los Angeles. This book provides 100 of the most popular recipes from their restaurant for those of us who want a taste of the west coast. For a savory beginning to your baking journey, bake Manzke’s Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Kale Quiche. This dish is so popular at République that the patrons are upset when they run out! You can also get inventive with this recipe, as it is a good way to use any leftover vegetables you may have.

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson – The bread made at Tartine Bakery sells out within an hour every day, and this book teaches you how to make it at home. Robertson not only gives detailed instructions for every recipe, but there are hundreds of step-by-step photos to guide you, the next expert baker, along the way! Tartine Bread provides the reader with lots of information on the history of the bakery, along with the history of bread. It is hard to pick just one recipe to recommend, but try the croissants!


Great Food, All Day Long by Maya Angelou – Maya Angelou was not just a gifted writer and activist, she was also a marvel in the kitchen. One charming aspect of this book is the chapter on leftovers. It gives additional recipes for what to do when you have more of Angelou's Crown Roast of Pork, Prime Rib, and Roasted Chicken than you can eat. To impress a large crowd, go for Angelou’s Puchero and Corn Bread dish! Ebook only.

Every Day is Saturday by Sarah Copeland – Copeland wants to get you into a perpetual weekend mindset and she’s prepared to do it with food! This book includes tips on eliminating old stock from the kitchen, a full grocery list, and instructions for creating a list of your go-to ingredients which you can reinvent every week. Check out the Baked Fish with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, and Herbs dish, which has a total prep time of 10 minutes! Also available on Hoopla.

Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson – Food enthusiasts know Marcus Samuelsson’s face from a wide variety of Food Network shows. Even if you don’t watch TV, you should check out his book Marcus Off Duty, which contains over 150 dishes of casual and vivacious flavors he likes to enjoy while at home and not in a hectic professional kitchen environment. Samuelsson offers tips on stove and oven use, such as his preference for using the front right burner for the hottest stuff as well as pantry shots – food photos of what you’ll likely find in his home. Try Samuelsson's Sometimes I’m a Vegetarian Potato-Spinach Pie!


Modern Sourdough by Michelle Eshkeri – Eshkeri’s experience living in Manchester and Australia has helped her create the bold, yet comforting recipes in Modern Sourdough. While the entire book is filled with sweet and savory delights, check out the Margot Specialties chapter with unique recipes fresh from Eshkeri’s London bakery. While winter has been fickle this year, the warmth of Eskheri's Cheese and Onion Pie, which she says connects her to her birthplace in northern England, is delicious regardless of the temperature. Afterwards, try the Edible Flower Shortbreads, which are a gorgeous creation devised as a natural alternative to colorful icing! Ebook only.

Incredible Plant-Based Desserts by Anthea Cheng – Checking out Cheng’s sweet book on plant-based desserts is worth it for the food photography alone! Cheng’s desserts are not only meant to satisfy your taste buds, but they are also eye candy. The recipes in this book also offer flexibility based on the reader’s preferred diet, so you can indulge with or without gluten, refined sugar, etc. As Cheng puts it, the book is a “pick your own adventure!” baking guide. For a quick and delicious pick, make yourself the Easy Banana and Passionfruit Bread! Ebook only.

Sweet Middle East by Anissa Helou – Helou charmingly points out in Sweet Middle East that her name “Helou” means “sweet” in Arabic, and she remarks that this must be where her sweet tooth comes from. As Helou notes in her book, sugary treats are commonplace in Middle Eastern and North African hospitality, so don’t overlook this collection to give your guests a sweet welcome! Try the Arabian sponge cake recipe, which includes the well-rounded flavorings of cardamom and floral saffron. Not to worry, there are also recipes for Arabian coffee and tea! Also available on Hoopla.

Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake by Odette Williams – The cover and title are self-explanatory – this is a lovely book all about cakes! Williams has a variety of recipes for cakes and cake toppings (try the Silky Marshmallow Icing!), but a major selling point to this baking title is the fact that Williams includes a flavor chart. This way, you’ll be able to know which toppings pair well with which cakes. Try Williams's Cake for the Working Week, which is a simple poppy seed yogurt cake covered in citrus syrup.

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