New Book, My name on the Gold Medal Flour Bag (crazy) and the Ball Canning Contest Winner.

Gold Medal Flour zb 02

For the last week I have been fantasizing about this very moment. How great it would be to finally get the boys back on the bus and off to school. The luxury of an uninterrupted work day, my own music on the radio, no cleaning up after a gaggle of teens… But, the truth is, I miss them. The house is way too still, so quiet I can hear the clock ticking. We all know, by noon I will have found my rhythm and appreciate the silence. Their reentry will seem downright cacophonous.

Photo shoot zb

On Friday I had a photo shoot in my kitchen. It was all very exciting and fun. The photographer was here for 10 hours, shooting every inch of the space, including the inside of my not-so-organized drawers. My extremely talented and stylish friend, Stephanie Meyer, was here to help me make sense of the table settings.  These shoots really do take a village to create. The article will come out this holiday season in a magazine that I love, but am not allowed to mention, YET. To get ready for the shoot I baked a bunch of cakes, bread and cookies.

photo shoot cakes zb

In the process I ran out of flour, which is saying something in this house, and went to the store to replenish. I stocked up on Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, which, in and of itself, is unremarkable, because I always do this, but when I got home and emptied the bag into my flour bin, I finally noticed the bag…it had my name on it!

The NEW ABin5 Recipe on the Gold Medal Flour Bag | ZoeBakes

My jaw hit the counter, then I composed myself and screamed. There it was in full color, the ABin5 logo and recipe right on the bag. We’d been working with the folks at General Mills to share our recipe with their customers on the bag, but I was under the impression it wasn’t going to hit the stores until this fall. Completely surreal. Oh, yeah, I have a new book coming out this fall…

The NEW Artisan Bread in Five

Here is a sneak peek at the new cover with a gorgeous loaf shot by Stephen Scott Gross. With lots of help from our readers, we are putting out the seventh anniversary edition of ABin5. There are lots more pictures, recipes and techniques. We’ve added weights to all the recipes, for those who prefer to bake with a scale and have an index that is worthy of framing. For more details and all the information about pre-orders (since it doesn’t come out until Oct.) please visit

The lucky winner of the Ball Canning jam making kit contest is Anne Lynch – Happy jamming!

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Photo Shoot for a New Book!

Bread Book

For the past year Jeff and I have been busy working on a new bread book. The details of the project are all very hush, hush for the moment, (publisher’s orders), but I wanted to give you a glimpse into our recent photo shoot. It took a month of planning and a team of extraordinary people to pull off the week long extravaganza.  (more…)

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Plum Cupcakes with Sweet-Corn Ice Cream!

My husband brought home corn last weekend from the market that was so sweet it just begged to be made into a dessert. But, that was not quite what he had in mind for this batch so we grilled it, peeled it, a small squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. The lime brings out the sweetness even more. The following day I was back at the market and got more of the sweet corn and some early season plums that I suspected would be a bit tart. I figured the tart plums and the milky, honey like corn would be great companions.

Right away I knew that the corn would be turned to ice cream, with just a touch of vanilla and nothing more to distract from the delicate flavor. I baked the plums in a pound cake recipe that includes a touch of cornmeal. Not too much or it would be dense, but enough to give a hint of corn flavor and a nice texture. I left the skins on the plums because they were too gorgeous to remove and once they baked the skins were perfectly soft. We are weeks, if not months away from having these grow locally, but our neighbors to the south are kind enough to ship us their crops until then!


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Strawberries in Red Wine, keep it simple (but delicious) on Earth Day! (the last Le Creuset giveaway for Mother’s Day!)

Today is Earth Day and in an attempt to keep my “cookprint” to a minimum, I decided to make a simple, but crazy delicious dessert. Once again Lynne Rossetto Kasper is my inspiration. You see, my husband and I are planning a trip to Italy this summer with our boys. In an attempt to get ready for the journey we’ve been eating a lot of Italian food. I figure it is more important to understand the food than, let’s say, learn the language! 😉 So I whipped up a batch of Lynne’s lasagna and then followed it with this incredibly easy and yet divine bowl of strawberries.

I’ve been reading on other food blogs about the perfect spring crop of fresh strawberries. Well, here in Minneapolis we finally have buds on the trees, but we’re a good while off before we are plucking fruits from the vine. In fact today is the day that the Backyard Harvest folks deliver the dirt for my Urban Farm. By June I’ll have my own organic garden, but until then…to the market I go. The strawberries I bought at the store were decent, but not yet at their full potential. To maximize their flavor I macerated them in red wine and a touch of sugar. A little chiffonade of mint and they were bright and summery.

Keep reading to find out about the last Le Creuset giveaway!


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Springtime Flower Cake for Kathy (Le Creuset Giveaway)

This weekend was my neighbor’s birthday. Her husband asked me to bake her a decadent chocolate cake and decorate it with “Spring Flowers.” Here in MN it isn’t exactly bursting with flora yet. In fact, as I was working on the cake it started to snow. But Easter is right around the corner and the tulips and rhubarb are promising to come out of the ground soon. We hold our breath and hope for a greener time, soon. Her cake, like Kathy herself, had to be over the top and fantastic! I wanted it to be bright and full of life to compensate for the snow!

The chocolate layers were made up of Devil’s Food, Chocolate Pastry Cream, Bittersweet Ganache, White Chocolate Buttercream and the flowers were made from gum paste.

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Last week I was in such a rush to get my Daring Baker Challenge done in time that I forgot to give away another Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin with Cover, Red. This week I will give away 2 to make up for it. Just leave me a note below and tell me what you are making for Passover*, Easter** or whatever you are craving now that it is spring. I will pick 2 random winners next week.


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OMG this Lasagna is Good! (Homemade Spinach Pasta for the March Daring Baker Challenge)

I’m a few days late in posting this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge. Better late than never, especially if it tastes this freakin’ good. The very first meal I made for my husband, on our first date 23 years ago, was four cheese manicotti. It took me a day for each cheese to create it! He told me years later that he knew he’d marry me when he took a bite. We’ve made each other many meals since, but nothing as memorable. When I presented this lasagne to my family they all said it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked for them, including my husband (and my 8 year old who claims to hate spinach)!

This week’s Le Creuset winner is announced below.


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