Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

4.1 17
by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito

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As featured on The Martha Stewart Show and The Today Show and in People Magazine!

Hip. Cool. Fashion-forward. These aren’t adjectives you’d ordinarily think of applying to baked goods.

Think again. Not every baker wants to re-create Grandma’s pound cake or cherry pie. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito certainly didn’

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As featured on The Martha Stewart Show and The Today Show and in People Magazine!

Hip. Cool. Fashion-forward. These aren’t adjectives you’d ordinarily think of applying to baked goods.

Think again. Not every baker wants to re-create Grandma’s pound cake or cherry pie. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito certainly didn’t, when they left their advertising careers behind, pooled their life savings, and opened their dream bakery, Baked, in Brooklyn, New York, a few years back. The visions that danced in their heads were of other, brand-new kinds of confections . . .

Things like a Malt Ball Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting, which captures the flavor of their favorite Whoppers candies (and ups the ante with a malted milk ball garnish). Things like spicy Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits that really wake up your taste buds at breakfast time. Things like a Sweet and Salty Cake created expressly for adults who are as salt-craving ?as they are sweet-toothed.

Which is not to say that Lewis and Poliafito sidestep tradition absolutely. Their Chocolate Pie (whose filling uses Ovaltine) pays loving homage to the classic roadside-diner dessert. Their Baked Brownies will wow even the most discriminating brownie connoisseur. And their Chocolate Chip Cookies? Words cannot describe. Whether trendsetting or tried-and-true, every idea in this book is freshly Baked.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Lewis and Poliafito left their advertising careers to open Baked, a small bakery/cafA© in the Brooklyn, NY, Red Hook district, in 2005. After a slightly rocky beginning, their delicious treats began attracting national media attention-their brownies appeared in O magazine, and they baked their Sweet and Salty Cake on the Martha Stewart Show-and things haven't slowed down since. Their recipes, many of them traditional favorites with a twist, range from Milk Chocolate Malt Ball Cake to Butterscotch Pudding Tarts. The authors have a nice style, and whimsical drawings and full-page color photos add to the book's appeal. For all baking collections.

—Judith Sutton

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years


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Baked: New Frontiers in Baking 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Veggiechiliqueen More than 1 year ago
I first saw Baked: New Frontiers in Baking while on vacation. As I'd already purchased four (!) new cookbooks that week, I held off on even peeking between the covers, fearing a dreaded relapse into Cookbook Purchasitis. I Googled it after returning home, and found out that it was a Brooklyn bakery founded by two ex-ad agency (say that five times fast!) friends, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who shared a love for classic desserts with a twist.

My willpower lasted for exactly one week until I swooped into my local bookstore, drooled, purchased, raced home, and whipped up a killer batch of the Baked Brownie. I've baked my fair share of brownies over the last two years: caramel-filled, peppermint, lavender, raspberry truffle, you name it. My coworkers serve as my unofficial tasting panel, and I'm not exaggerating: people I hadn't even met came banging on my door saying that this was the best brownie they'd ever had. The balance of chocolate (11 ounces), butter (two sticks), a dash of espresso powder, a mix of granulated and brown sugar, and a hefty dose of eggs (five) give this brownie the ideal texture: the perfect marriage of fudgy and cakey without being runny or dense.

The next recipe I tried was the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf (the recipe makes two loaves). A seemingly straightforward blend of canned pumpkin puree, spices (allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg), and chocolate, the complex flavors of spice and pumpkin were complementary without overwhelming. In fact, the pumpkin flavor is so subtle that one person thought it was banana bread (orange bananas?? Go figure). Although the recipe calls for one cup of vegetable oil, you also dilute it with 2/3-cup tap water, so the bread is pleasantly moist without being greasy or oily (I've had that happen all too many times in many quick breads).

Next on my list is the Brewer's Blondie, a hopped-up blend of of malt powder, malt balls, semisweet chocolate, and walnuts. Bars are one of Baked's strengths, including a decadent grown-up Rice Krispy bar, the elegant Honeycomb Bar (sweet tart dough topped with dried fruit, honey, and a shot of booze), S'more nut bars, and the Baked bar. There are also more complicated layer cakes (chocolate malt, chocolate/caramel/sea salt, Whiteout, Red Velvet), cookies, and breakfast treats such as scones, granola (yay, finally a low-oil granola full of fruit!), and quick breads. Pies and tarts? Feast on Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie, Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust and Easy Fudge Sauce, and Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie.

Baked has been featured on Martha Stewart, Oprah (their Baked Brownie had a centerfold spread in O), and on several high-profile shows, but does Baked live up to its claims of being revolutionary? That's a more difficult cookie to crumble. Sure, there are gourmet additions such as matcha, chipotle, and fleur de sel, but most of the Baked repertoire is firmly descended from comfort cooking, such as the Root Beer Cake, a modern update on the Southern staple Coca-Cola (or Dr. Pepper) cake, or the red velvet spiced up with Red Hots. Ditto on the divine Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. It's still amazing, whether or not it's smashing any new culinary boundaries.

Even if you never cook a single recipe from Baked, the clever graphics (garden gnomes, plastic deer perched on a mound of fluffy coconut snow), useful sidebars (including variations), and notes make this a great investment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I tried 4 recipes the first week I had this cookbook and they were all wonderful. The Baked brownie recipe alone is worth the price of the book! I have already bought 3 more copies of this cookbook for friends. Fantastic!
Christine_Emming More than 1 year ago
From spying the cover on presale at Barnes and Noble's site, I've waited months to nab my copy of this book, partly hoping the content was as delectable as the photography and partly wishing the pictures were the best part so I wouldn't have to add to my abundant bakery book collection. (To ruin the surprise for you, the recipes and the pictures are pretty equal. Darn it.) I do wish there were photos for all of the recipes, even small ones. Aside from recipe notes, the writing here seems forced and a bit dull. Which is fine - the point of a cookbook is great recipes, right? Done and done. Lewis crammed this book with mouthwatering recipes, tweaked just enough from the standby brownies and myriad frosted goods to inspire a new level of creative baking. He and I seem to be on par with our obsessions as well - peanut butter and chocolate receive excellent coverage here as a lickable partnership. Added to the orgy of butter-sugar couplings, Baked introduces fab new pairings malt and chocolate, lemon and almond. The recipe newcomers in this book steal the show. If the cover's Lemon and Almond Meringue Tartlets doesn't lure you in, flip forward to the Malt Ball Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting, Sweet and Salty Cake, Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits, and the requisite Baked Brownie. Also in residence are many updated classics, like diner-worthy chocolate pie, butter-laden scones with a twist, and a variety of inspired cookies. Even if your shelf boasts 20+ baking-centric tomes, as mine does, I guarantee you have nothing like Baked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cookbook is wonderful! Saw it on the Today show and had to at least "go take a look". Tried the monster cookies: They are wonderful and are gone in a matter of days with us. Had to order thru internet Malted milk powder and espresso powder. Not too many unique or hard to find items so it is something you can pull off your shelf and try out (assuming you bake more than the average person). My family can't wait for the next item for me to try : the brownie!! A must buy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks delicous and i really enjyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thnx lee:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My dad is a HUGE fan of brownies. When I saw that their recipe had received so many accolades I knew I had to try them. Best brownies I have ever had! The Tollhouse pie has also helped me win my family's Thanksgiving pie competition for 2 years running! Great recipes. Great food. Highly recommended!
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CampRN More than 1 year ago
What an appealing batch of recipes! Presented on nice sturdy stock, it is a good looking book as well.
There are recipes for everything from breakfast to dessert, with a wide range of tastes, textures and flavors, none too difficult for the average baker.
Although I have not yet tried any of the recipes, I have read through many of them, and the techniques are sound, and the instructions clear and thorough.
I would recommend this book as a keeper.
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