Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Flour, Too launch party at Flour Back Bay (aka Flour 4). Most of you know that Flour is near and dear to my heart -- I spent a little over a year working at the bakery. Throughout that time I worked at Flour 1, 2, and 3; learned a ton; and met amazing people, including Joanne Chang. I have so many wonderful memories of my time at the bakery.
The launch party was a great reminder of all of them, as well as an opportunity for me to catch up with old coworkers and get my hands on the newest Flour cookbook -- Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories.
I have the first cookbook -- Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe -- and bake from it often, so I was really looking forward to checking out the second one, which adds to the baked goods in the first and includes savory recipes as well. The launch party featured tons of goodies from the new cookbook, including House-Made Raspberry Seltzer, Flaky Parmesan Cheese Straws, Gougeres, and chef Aniceto's Buttermilk Fried Chicken. (I love that there are dishes contributed by the chefs, like Corey's Homemade Chicken Pot Pie and Jeff's Spicy Turkey Burgers with Tomato-Onion Jam.)
There were mini versions of Flour's much-loved sandwiches. I saw the Fresh Mozzarella with Pesto and Tomatoes (my all-time favorite), along with the Applewood-Smoked BLT; Chicken with Avocado and Jicama; Smoked Turkey with Sharp Cheddar and Cranberry Chutney; Roast Beef with Horseradish Mayo, Crispy Onions, and Tomato; and Roast Lamb with Tomato Chutney and Rosemary Goat Cheese. There were even mini versions of Flour's Famous Egg Sandwich being passed around, on perfectly miniature rolls.
From the Savories section of the Breakfast chapter were Smoked Salmon Sandwiches with Herbed Cream Cheese, Arugula, and Red Onion. I'm already envisioning making these for a brunch.
And of course there were baked goods too. There were Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffins and Classic Apple Turnovers from the Sweets section of the Breakfast chapter.
And finally, there were desserts: little wedges of Bittersweet Chocolate-Espresso Terrine, Croquembouche, and the Best Boston Cream Pie (I stand behind that; Flour's version is the best I've ever had).
I'm so excited to start cooking my way through the book! But while I love all the recipes and the beautiful photography, my favorite part of the new cookbook is the first two pages of the introduction. These detail a typical day at Flour, and they are spot on. I remember getting to work for 6 a.m., decorating cakes, filling the case, making tartlets, frosting cupcakes, filling orders, and suddenly looking at the clock and seeing that it was 9 a.m. -- the time I would normally be starting my old editing job (which I was juggling part time while working at Flour full time). It's an amazing feeling having accomplished so much in the early morning hours. The quiet, productive hours before the bakery opened were always my favorite.
After the introduction, there are sections on cooking vocabulary, pantry and refrigerator ingredients, and equipment. There's also a section called In Our Heads that offers tips that I remember from working at the bakery -- one of the most important being "Clean as you go."
The cookbook is beautiful but useful, approachable yet stunning. If you love the food at Flour or just love cooking and baking, you'll definitely want to add it to your collection.
Have you ever been to Flour? What's your favorite thing there?