HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World


An around-the-world of baking, by the award-winning team that brought us Seductions of Rice and Hot Sour Salty Sweet.

HomeBaking is Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s tribute to the worldwide art of home baking. Already consummate breadmakers, they’ve collected here recipes for any type of bread you can imagine — soda bread, stollen, naan, bannock, ciabatta — but they also delve into the sweeter side of things. Join them in their travels and learn how to make Beirut Tahini ...

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An around-the-world of baking, by the award-winning team that brought us Seductions of Rice and Hot Sour Salty Sweet.

HomeBaking is Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid’s tribute to the worldwide art of home baking. Already consummate breadmakers, they’ve collected here recipes for any type of bread you can imagine — soda bread, stollen, naan, bannock, ciabatta — but they also delve into the sweeter side of things. Join them in their travels and learn how to make Beirut Tahini Swirls, authentic Welsh Cakes or a Fruit Custard Tart, or stop in for Truckstop Cinnamon Rolls, Olive Panini or Walnut Torte.

As they were beginning work on HomeBaking, Jeffrey and Naomi bought a rundown farm outside the city. As time went on, they came to realize that the farm was influencing how they thought about baking. The more they travelled the world, learning how to make slagbrot from a Swedish grandmother or seeking out their favourite mini pancakes from a street vendor in Bangkok, the more the farm felt like a link to food traditions that are anchored in a sense of place, that evoke time past and still speak meanfully to us all.

The book is lavishly illustrated, not only with stunning images of food, but also with Naomi and Jeffrey’s travel stories and photographs. The recipes, designed for the home baker, come to life on the page as foods filled with family history, foods that resonate with meaning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This latest tome is as visually stunning and rich in text as their earlier books…. HomeBaking is also a travel book about people and the bread they eat — all around the world.”
The Gazette (Montreal); Times-Colonist (Victoria)

HomeBaking represents visits to households on every continent on Earth except Antarctica. Indeed, their book is the product of decades of organized wanderlust…. Like [their] earlier books, HomeBaking is a tribute…. HomeBaking pays homage to flour as used by non-professional bakers around the world…. To the average non-baking North American, this book may actually seem more like a museum catalogue than a cookbook. HomeBaking is as gorgeous as any fine-art monograph, and, just like a museum door, open its enormous covers and we see the sort of rich cultural life many North Americans have surrendered to ‘progress’”
Quill & Quire

“A good cookbook should give you a physical sense of the food, either through the writing or the photos. Smell what’s cooking (and encourage your other four senses) by reading award-winning Canucks Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.”
Saturday Night

“Your ticket to a trip around the world through the art of home baking. Known for their insightful photographs and wonderful anecdotes about the people and places they discovered in their travels, it is indeed a trip to read one of Alford and Duguid’s award-winning books.”
—Bonnie Stern, National Post

“This is more than just a big, beautiful book about baking. It’s a discussion of culture and the ties that connect people around the world, people who turn flour into food and make local specialties of the ingredients they have at hand. It’s a statement on urban living and the loss of home baking traditions in favour of commercially bought. It’s also a well written guide to the art of baking…. Baking is a work of love, from the heart, and it shines through in the stories, recipes and photos in this book.”
The Hamilton Spectator

“Utterly magnificent…. It’s a book tremendous in both size and scope that — like their preceeding volumes on flatbreads, rice, and spices — mixes recipes, anecdotes, and photography to transport you inside kitchens around the world…. Think Saveur meets National Geographic. From Montreal bagels to tahini swirls — flaky and flattened — from Beirut, this is an absolute feast, intriguing, enthralling, the perfect gift for greedy armchair travellers. It deserves to be first on anyone’s list.”
The Georgia Straight

“I would pay three times for this award-worthy book that makes one homesick for countries one never even dreamed of visiting.”
The Toronto Sun

“One of the best baking books of the season is from the calm and knowing hands of Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford…. For Duguid and her husband, the spur to their innovative cookbook style is their innnate curiosity…. The end result is a book that presents recipes within their cultural contexts, and reflects ‘the labour and the landscape, the time and the care’ that are the essential, but often invisible components of all cooking.”
Calgary Herald

“[A] treasure of recipes, anecdotes and gorgeous colour photographs….With camera, notebook and children, they’ve slipped into the most fascinating and exotic countries through the kitchen door — always the best route to that elusive authenticity we all look for on the road. To call this a cookbook is not enough.”
The Edmonton Journal

HomeBaking offers a wonderful combination of travel and great tastes.”
The Ottawa Citizen

“The travel shots … are exquisite, finding earthy beauty in everything from a tray of New York street pretzels to a Tibetan Herder’s tan and wrinkled face.”
Quill and Quire

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679312741
  • Publisher: Random House of Canada, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/29/2003
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 9.82 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid have written three award-winning cookbooks. Seductions of Rice won the Cuisine Canada Gold Cookbook Award for 1998, and Flatbreads & Flavors and Hot Sour Salty Sweet were both named James Beard Awards Cookbook of the Year, in 1996 and 2001 respectively. They write a biweekly column called “Tastes of Travel” for the National Post and their work also appears in magazines such as Food & Wine and Gourmet. They live in Toronto with their two sons.

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Read an Excerpt

Olive Panini

Makes 12 attractive low round rolls, 5 to 6 inches across, studded with olives

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups course semolina (not semolina flour)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Generous 1 cup pitted Mediterranean olives — green or black or a mixture, coarsely chopped if large
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached

Make the biga at least 1 day before you wish to bake: Stir the yeast into the water until well dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour until smooth, then add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and knead briefly in the bowl or on a work surface until smooth. Cover with plastic and let rise overnight, or for up to 36 hours; refrigerate after 12 hours.

When ready to proceed, place the 2 1/2 cups water in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir in the yeast to dissolve it. Cut the biga into 5 or 6 pieces, add to the bowl, and use your fingers to break it up into the water.

By hand: Stir the semolina into the biga mixture to make a batter. Sprinkle on the salt and stir in. Add the olive oil and olives and stir. Add 2 1/2 to 3 cups of all-purpose flour, a cup at a time, turning and stirring. Flour your work surface with about 1/2 cup flour and turn the dough out. Knead, incorporating the flour, until you have a soft dough about 5 minutes.

Using a stand mixer: Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Add the semolina to the biga mixture and mix for 2 minutes or so on low speed, until the biga has dissolved into the dough. Add the salt, olive oil, olives, and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and mix, still on low speed, for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and knead for 3 to 4 minutes on low speed.

Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with plastic, and let ferment for 3 hours. The dough will not double in volume, because it’s so loaded down with olives and oil, but it will rise a little in the bowl to a dome shape.

About 30 minutes before the dough is ready, place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, on a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.

On a floured surface, divide dough in half. Return half to the bowl; keep covered. Divide the other piece of dough into 6 pieces; loosely cover 5 of them with plastic. Shape the remaining piece of dough into a loose mound and place it on the preheated stone or tiles, toward the back and to one side. (We find it easiest to place the breads directly on the stone or tiles, but you can use a semolina-dusted peel to transfer the breads onto the hot surface.) Repeat with the other 5 pieces of dough. If you can’t fit all the breads from this first batch onto your stone or tiles at once, you’ll just be baking the dough in three batches rather than two.

Leave the remaining piece(s) of dough covered until ready to bake the next batch. Bake the breads for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly spotted with brown but still rather pale. Repeat shaping and baking with the remaining dough. They will each bake into a low dome about 5 to 6 inches across. Let cool on a rack.

Eat plain or split in half for sandwiches.

Note: If you have a 1- or 2-day-old biga already, use about 1 cup of it in the recipe.

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