République occupies the space on South La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles that was once home to Nancy Silverton's legendary La Brea bakery. And although Silverton has written a laudatory introduction for this book, it's clear that Margaret Manzke has her own vision of what makes for great baking.
Influenced by her training and work in savory kitchens, Manzke prefers clean, simple flavors: "If there's fruit in the pastry, I want to taste the fruit more than anything else," she notes. "I like to showcase one particular flavor or ingredient in a pastry, making sure that it's dominant and that whoever's eating it knows what it is, so they can identify it right away."
Eleven of the book's twelve chapters begin with a master recipe or technique (e.g. brioche, pain au lait, muffins, cookies) that provides a rigorous base for the imaginative creations that follow. Master pâte à choux and turn the dough into everything from raspberry-vanilla cream puffs to Parmesan churros and black sesame-kumquat eclairs. Or plunge right in to persimmon tea cakes, strawberry-white chocolate scones, or sweet potato-spice muffins. You won't have a hard time finding things you want to bake.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.