Editor-in-Chief Dishes on Bake From Scratch: Volume Three

Brian Hart Hoffman baking Milk Bread, one of his favorite recipes from our newest cookbook

Our third annual cookbook, Bake from Scratch: Volume Three, is here! It’s packed with every recipe from our 2018 magazine issues. With step-by-step technique tutorials and test kitchen tips, this is the ultimate resource for artisan baking at home. We sat down with our editor-in-chief, Brian Hart Hoffman, to get the inside scoop on Bake from Scratch: Volume Three as well as his favorite recipes from the book.

Bake from Scratch: Volume Three launches March 15, but you can preorder now! The first 500 copies will be signed by Brian!

You now have three annual cookbooks based on a magazine you created! When you created Bake from Scratch in 2015, did you think you’d have three cookbooks come out?
Brian Hart Hoffman: 
Absolutely. When we created the magazine, I knew immediately that we needed an annual cookbook that was a compilation of last year’s resources. I wanted our bakers to have a total resource available to them instead of them having to keep stacks of magazines around. It makes it so much easier for bakers to find a recipe they love or discover a new one. I envisioned these books as a collection of kitchen companions that build up over time.

What does it mean to you to have your third Bake from Scratch cookbook published?
There’s nothing like the pride of seeing a new cookbook come back from the printer; I don’t care if it’s your first cookbook or your 10th. You want to hold it, feel it, touch it, flip through the pages as many times as you can! I think with our first two cookbooks, you have just two, but when you see the third one added to the stack, it really feels like a collection. There’s an excitement to that. It’s also meaningful as a team to be able to look back at the previous year—it shows us how many amazing recipes we’ve created together.

Bake from Scratch Volume 3

What are you most excited for readers to see?
The way we organize the content by chapters based on baking subject matter. Bakers will discover so much more than they might have seen in the magazine. When you’re reading the magazine, you’re reading the articles or flipping through a story about ingredients you may not have been in the mood for at that moment. But when you’re looking through the cookbook, you may see something from that story that will jump out at you in a way it didn’t in the magazine. If you’re a magazine buyer, you’re rediscovering things under a new light, and if you’re just a cookbook buyer, you’re discovering 250-plus recipes that cover all ranges of artisan baking, from cookies to breads to pastry. It’s a very different experience from our magazine.

Several recipes in the book are by contributors. What does it mean to you to be able to collaborate with other professional bakers/bloggers to make this book come to life?
That’s the icing on the cake! Bake from Scratch was created to be a global baking community. I never wanted it to be purely Bake from Scratch and Hoffman Media test kitchen recipes. It is our mission to work with amazing bakers all over the world and to feature them in Bake from Scratch. When you translate that into the cookbook, you have a list of all-star baking names as contributors to our cookbook. The book is a mix of everything, from our time in the UK with Edd Kimber and John Whaite to our Holiday Cookies 2018 special issue filled with the biggest baking bloggers in the world. When you flip through the cookbook, you see names you recognize, or maybe names you may have never heard of before, but it’s an introduction to the people we love and respect in the baking community.

Cranberry-Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Favorite quick recipe from the book?
I love coffee cakes and one-layer rustic cakes, so our Cranberry-Hazelnut Coffee Cake from our November/December 2018 issue is one of my top choices. It’s an easy go-to for a last-minute dinner party, a brunch, or if family’s in town and I want something baked for the morning. It’s a little black dress of baking for me.

Favorite weekend baking project recipe?
The Milk Bread from our July/August 2018 issue. It’s something that hasn’t had a huge moment in American baking, but this traditional Japanese recipe is starting to gain in popularity. The texture is so soft and pillowy. There’s just something about this recipe with the swirls that make it visually pretty and also delicious. You can quickly make it into French toast, sandwich bread, or even bread pudding. I usually end up eating it as is, toasted with some butter, or make it into a tomato sandwich—that’s a very Southern thing to do!

Favorite recipe to take to a party?
The Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream from our March/April 2018 issue. This is one of my favorite cakes; it’s completely addicting. The combination is just obsessive. I discovered it through my sister-in-law, who made it for every occasion. I asked her for the recipe, but she keeps it secret, so I knew we needed to create one of our own for the magazine. It’s perfect for any party, and it looks so festive decorated with candles and sprinkles.

Milk Chocolate Easter Egg Cookies
Milk Chocolate Egg Cookies

Top comfort food recipe?
Definitely the Milk Chocolate Egg Cookies from our March/April 2018 issue. The milk chocolate is so decadent, and I love that they’re stuffed with milk chocolate eggs. I’ve been eating chocolate eggs since I was little, so these cookies definitely have that nostalgic feel.

Favorite weeknight baking recipe?
Hands down, that’s cookies. Especially our Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from the September/October 2018 issue. They’re easy and come together really quickly. The only prep you have to do it is let the butter soften, which doesn’t take long. The combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and chewy oats is everything I love in one cookie bar.

Is there a recipe you didn’t expect to like from the book?
You’ll be surprised about this one: the Matcha Battenberg Cake from the January/February 2018 issue. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like baking with matcha. I’m usually not a fan of the flavor, but the combination of almond extract, apricot jam, and homemade Marzipan all work together with the subtle flavor of matcha to make this cake absolutely amazing.

Find all of these recipes and more in Bake from Scratch: Volume Three, available for preorder now!

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  1. I am new to Bake from Scratch. I thought I was purchasing a cookbook. When I received the magazine, I was disappointed & annoyed with myself for not reading the advertisement carefully. After looking through the magazine, I was relieved that the content was excellent. I have joined Bob Mill’s Baking Academy & entered the contest to win bakeware. I still would have enjoyed another cookbook, which I understand is available, but see many good possibilities to enrich my baking with each month’s edition. Thank you for giving me a valuable addition to my library.

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