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A Good Bake


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From the James Beard Award nominee who redefined American baking, a comprehensive baking bible for the twenty-first century, with 120 scientifically grounded recipes for sweet and savory baked goods anyone can master.

About the Author

MELISSA WELLER received a James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Baker in 2016. A French Culinary Institute graduate, she trained at Babbo and Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. She was chef-partner at High Street on Hudson; head baker at Per Se, Bouchon Bakery, and Roberta's; an owner and founder of Sadelle's; and the head baker at Walnut Street Cafe in Philadelphia. She lives in Brooklyn.


"A Good Bake is a very good combination: Baking science all of us can understand and a splendid collection of recipes. Weller, who is rightly famous for her breads, yeast pastries (the best kouign amman ever) and cookies, generously shares all her signature recipes with instructions that are clear, detailed and smart. There's something to learn and something to savor on each page. A baker's must!" -Dorie Greenspan, author of Dorie's Cookies and Everyday Dorie

"Melissa Weller worked as a chemical engineer for a decade. Now she is one of the country's most respected pastry chefs - and the ideal combination of scientist, professional baker and home cook to produce A Good Bake, a magnetic book written with Carolynn Carreno. She has worked out how to make the top of a sugar cookie extra-crackly (bake the dough when it's warm), how to make toppings stay on focaccia (spread whipped cream over the surface) and how to make whole-wheat sandwich bread with a soft, light crumb (it involves butter). The book has thoughtful recipes for basics like chocolate chunk cookies. But the point here is her detailed guidance on sourdough breads, lattice crusts and projects like stollen, danish and babka." -Julia Moskin, The New York Times ("The 14 Best Cookbooks of Fall 2020")

"Weller, a chemical engineer-cum-baker who worked at Babbo and Per Se before opening Sadelle's in New York City, takes a scientific approach in this tight collection of intriguing recipes. A clever format separates tips and instructions with various font colors in running subheads along the left margin, making recipes exceptionally accessible . . . Numerous master class and tutorial sections transform this from a cookbook with excellent recipes into a series of baking lessons . . . Each chapter includes recipes both traditional and experimental . . . This will thrill home bakers who want to bake like the pros." -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Rest assured that any recipe you try from A GOOD BAKE will be a smashing success, as Melissa Weller has provided the most detailed and clear steps to recreate her masterpieces. Her secret weapon: she was trained as a scientist -- a chemical engineer -- whose principal is perfection. Brilliant!" -Nancy Silverton, author of Chi Spacca

"For science-obsessed bakers, this comprehensive baking book written by chemical engineer-turned-James Beard-nominated baker Melissa Weller is the ultimate gift." -Lynn Andriani, MarthaStewart.com ("Holiday Gifts Home Bakers Will Love")

"The first time I had one of Melissa Weller's bagels at High Street on Hudson, I was absolutely floored. I'm not the most confident baker, which is why I'm especially thrilled to make my way through Weller's carefully constructed only-what-you-need-to-know recipes for pies, cakes, cookies, and more. It's a hefty volume-nearly 500 pages-which is good, because I'll have a lot of time on my hands this fall and winter." -Food & Wine Magazine

"Before she became an expert baker, Weller was a chemical engineer, and as such, she tackles recipes with a scientific approach, getting the fermentation, proofing, and pH balance of her dough down to, well, a science . . . If you're a quarantine baker who's mastered sourdough and is ready for the next challenge, consider Weller's takes on NYC classics like chocolate babka, spelt scones with raspberry jam, and even traditional hot dog buns." -Eater

"The former chemical engineer gets into the science of baking with extremely detailed recipes and technique tutorials. And fans of her chocolate babka and salted caramel sticky buns will be delighted to find the recipes for those treats within." -Stained Page News

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