The Model Bakery has been a Napa Valley favorite for more than 80 years. The bakery produces all kinds of artisan breads, as well as pastries, pies and other baked goods, but their signature item is the english muffin featured on the front of the cookbook and that simple bread is one of the things that keeps people coming back again and again. The Model Bakery Cookbook features 75 recipes from the popular bakery, including those signature english muffins, so that you can learn to make their products at home without traveling to Napa to pick some up.
The introduction to the book covers the basic back story of the bakery, how it was founded and how it rose to iconic status in the valley. It also covers the basics of baking, from ingredients to techniques to equipment, so you will know exactly what to use and why as you work through the book’s many recipes. The book covers Breads, Yeasted Sweets, Breakfast Favorites (including muffins and granola), Cakes, Pies and Tarts, and Cookies. This selection of recipes covers a nice blend of both complex and simple recipes, so there is something for everyone and just about every time frame. Their basic recipes for a sourdough/wild yeast starter, croissant dough, pie dough and tart dough are staples that you can use in these recipes and in others. The recipes are detailed, but easy to follow along with, even if you find yourself trying English muffins for the first time.
All of the photographs in the book are beautiful, and they are so crisp that you can almost smell the freshly baked bread as you flip through the pages. The stories about the bakery and where all the recipes came from will also help to transport you to Napa – as if you needed a reason besides great food and wine to want to travel there in the first place.