I have never been to Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I am a long time reader of the Zingerman’s catalog. I’ve even ordered bread from the Bakehouse, back before I was a more confident baker. I have very warm feelings for Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Zingerman’s Bakehouse: Celebrate Every Day lives up to those warm feelings. It’s so friendly. In the introduction, Bakehouse Managing Partner Amy Emberling talked about how the cookbook came to be, both the inspiration and the process. I love that it is a pandemic baby born from a need to bolster and nourish community and it’s creation is an act of collaboration.
Under normal circumstances I would have tried a whole bunch of these recipes before writing a review. But this summer was deadly hot and there was constant fear that the Texas electrical grid would fail. So soup and baking weren’t terribly appealing. On top of that my oven wasn’t working and we decided to put off repair until late September. As soon as I had a working oven I immediately started making the Bakehouse White Bread. Naturally I screwed up the first batch by adding too much milk, but the bread was still delicious. The second attempt, with a more careful follow of directions, yield a lovely loaf of bread that would be perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches. It was so perfect for sandwiches in general that it didn’t last long enough for a grilled cheese experiment.
The book is divided by season and celebration. My Summer started in May and is still going (it’s 94 degrees Fahrenheit non the 4th of October), so seasons are a state of mind. My birthday happened recently, and I love gingerbread more than anything, so I made the Gingerbread Coffee Cake suggested for the first day of winter. I loved it. I confess that I added more ginger powder, I am a ginger fiend. I loved the dimensions of flavor that the orange juice and coffee added. I didn’t have a chance to get a hold of long pepper, so I added fresh ground black pepper instead.
Celebrate Every Day is a perfect cookbook for gift giving. Do be aware that it doesn’t have many gluten free or vegan recipes if that is a dietary concern.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Chronicle Books and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.