Born in Charleston, Kelly Fields make her mark as a professional baker in New Orleans. There, after working in several renowned restaurants, she opened Willa Jean, a bakery and cafe in the city's Central Business District famed for its contemporary approach to classic Southern baked goods.
Fields has been willing to re-examine every truisim of Southern home baking in her quest for the soul-satisfying versions of everything from biscuits and cornbread to bread pudding and pecan pie, as well as a few not-exactly Southern desserts that Fields knocks out of the ballpark.
That means her cornbread "is made with a mix of cornmeal, corn flour, and buttermilk that sits in the fridge overnight." Her chocolate chip cookies call for two types of flour. And she serves her pumpkin pie with a roasted white chocolate cream.
But please don't feel that everything in The Good Book of Southern Baking is fancified. Fields clearly loves fruit desserts, quick breads, at least 6 kinds of biscuits, and pies, pies, pies. This is wonderful 21st-century addition to the Southern baking repertoire.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.