During the COVID-19 quarantine many have taken the time home to challenge themselves in baking, particularly in bread.  It is a definitive theme from my friends on my Instagram feed. Trying to bake a loaf of bread, tackling how to creatively decorate a cupcake, can be intimidating.  While you are home, take the time and join the baking challenge! The reward is great: delicious carbs no matter what the end result may or may not look like. Hoopla titles are available to borrow for 21 days.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 12.30.07 PMBaking by Dorie Greenspan

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From My Home to Yours

Dorie Greenspan has written recipes for the most eminent chefs in the world: Pierre Hermé, Daniel Boulud, and arguably the greatest of them all, Julia Child, who once told Dorie, “You write recipes just the way I do.” Her recipe writing has won widespread praise for its literate curiosity and “patient but exuberant style.” (One hard-boiled critic called it “a joy forever.”) In Baking: From My Home to Yours, her masterwork, Dorie applies the lessons from three decades of experience to her first and real love: home baking.

Also a favorite Livingston Public Library Cookbook Club author!

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 12.30.14 PMBaking Artisan Bread with Natural Starters by Mark Friend

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For over twenty years, Kansas Citians have enjoyed the full-bodied, wholesome flavor of Farm to Market Bread. Now readers can learn to bake their own artisanal sourdough, levain, rye, and biga at home. In four clearly organized chapters, Farm to Market bread master Mark Friend guides aspiring bakers from starter to warm, aromatic finish. After you master the four core recipes, there are variations for each to add to your baking repertoire

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 12.30.21 PMBaking Sourdough Bread by Göran Söderin, George Strachal

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Dozens of Recipes for Artisan Loaves, Crackers, and Sweet Breads

Sourdough is magic. It’s healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s alive. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a magician to craft beautiful, tasty loaves from it. Baking sourdough bread is an art for everyone. Baking Sourdough Bread is the cookbook and guide into the delicious, healthy world of sourdough.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 12.30.31 PMThe Big Book of Easy Baking with Refrigerated Dough by Pillsbury Editors

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200 creative and delicious recipes, from main dishes to sweet treats, all made super easy with ready-to-use dough There’s a simple secret any home baker can tap to enjoy the aroma of fabulous fresh baking in the kitchen without spending a lot of time and effort. With Pillsbury refrigerated dough, the hard part of baking is already done for you, making it possible to whip up rave-worthy appetizers, entrees, snacks, and desserts with minimal fuss. The creative recipes in this bountiful collection use ready-made pizza dough, biscuits, and pie crusts.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 12.30.43 PMHello, Cupake! by Karen Tack, Alan Richardson

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Witty, one-of-a-kind, imaginative cupcake designs using candies from the local convenience store, no baking skills or fancy pastry equipment required. Spotting the familiar items in the hundreds of brilliant photos is at least half the fun. America’s favorite food photography team shows how to create funny, scary, and sophisticated masterpieces using a ziplock bag and common candies and snack items.

YouTube is a wealth of knowledge.  Some baking channels include:

  1. Joshua Weissman. His YouTube channel isn’t strictly dedicated to baking, but he has a lot of videos on the topic.
  2. Home Bakers rejoice every Thursday for tips and tricks on how to master bread baking.  Check out Baking with Jack
  3. Kawaii Sweet World   Great for kids, tweens and teens.  The channel has fun ideas for baking and decorating all things sweet, such as Pusheen Brownie Pops and How to Make a Rainbow Cereal Cake.

Recent article that baking may help alleviate some stress:  Baking during a pandemic can reduce stress and provide comfort*

Need a new show to binge?  Livingston Public Library’s hoopla service has 5 seasons of The Great British Baking Show available to stream with your library card.


*Rogers, Kristen. “Baking During a Pandemic Can Reduce Stress and Provide ComfortCNN, 09 April, 2020,

-Melissa, Associate Director

Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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