Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred French Laundry restaurant is famous world wide. I have been told that Bouchon Bakery originally started as a place to bake the breads served at The French Laundry and at neighboring Bouchon, after their demand for bread started to exceed the capacity of local suppliers. It opened as a boulangerie in its own right because customers loved the breads so much that they convinced Keller to spin the bakery off into its own entity. This story may or may not be entirely true, but one bite of just about anything at the bakery is enough to convince you that it easily could be! The breads there are top notch, and the cookies and other baked goods are not only good, but bring back memories of childhood favorites. Bouchon Bakery is a cookbook that Keller fans have been waiting for. It is authored by the TKRG’s executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel and certified master baker Matthew McDonald, and features recipes for some of the most popular baked goods that Bouchon Bakery serves.
Bouchon Bakery is about baking traditions, from the process of making puff pastry dough from scratch to deconstructing come commercially popular cookie recipes to turn them in to even more delicious from-scratch versions. At the bakery, there is no place for shortcuts, and the same standards apply to the recipes in the book. The recipes are extremely detailed and really aim to walk you through the entire every single detail so that you can turn out perfect version in your own kitchen, whether you’re making a straightfoward cookie or a more complex yeast bread. All of the recipes are accompanied by stories about what inspired them, too.
This cookbook is gorgeous, packed with mouthwatering photos of all of the recipes – including plenty of step-by-step photos that show how the recipes are put together, as well as photos of the finished products. There are more than a few behind the scenes photos from the bakery, as well, and its nice to see the faces of the chefs behind the book. You’ll definitely be inspired to start baking as you turn the pages, but even non-bakers can enjoy this as a coffee table book if they have a sweet tooth.
For an inside look at the Yountville bakery while you’re waiting for your copy of the Bouchon Bakery cookbook to arrive in the mail (or appear under the tree), take a peek at my post from last year where I got a behind-the-scenes tour of Bouchon Bakery while visiting Yountville.