The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America's Favorite Rural Bakery

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America's Favorite Rural Bakery

by Brian Noyes
The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America's Favorite Rural Bakery

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America's Favorite Rural Bakery

by Brian Noyes


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95+ recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert from the award-winning Red Truck Bakery near Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, bringing the comfort and charm of the farmhouse where the bakery started into your kitchen

“Original and highly personal, The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook is a joyful love story to many comfort foods.”—Jacques Pépin, chef and author
“If a cookbook could be a page-turner, this is the one! Brian not only knows how to create comfort in spades, but he writes both the sweet and savory recipes in such a way that you feel like you’re part of those five generations who inspired these vittles.”—Carla Hall, chef and author


Brian Noyes, founder of the beloved Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, and author of the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook, presents more than 95 all-new, comforting recipes celebrating ingredients and traditions from the bakery's home on the edge of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge mountains. With small-town charm, an emphasis on local, seasonal produce, and country comfort inspiration from the 170-year-old farmhouse where the bakery began, The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook features Brian’s favorite savory recipes and old-time classics from family, friends, and the bakery archives. This is the food that Brian cooks at home as well as for the bakery's thousands of customers nationwide—plus recipes for favorite Red Truck Bakery dishes that have not been shared before.

From delightful lunch and dinner options like Potato & Pesto Flatbread, Corn Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Mayonnaise, Mid-July Tomato Pie, Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary and Blueberries, and Sweet Potato and Poblano Enchiladas, to knockout desserts like Lexington Bourbon Cake, Virginia Peanut Pie, and Caramel Cake with Pecans (which Garden & Gun magazine called "the perfect Southern dessert"), the recipes in The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook are what we are all craving—unfussy, homey, Southern-leaning dishes that focus on local produce but don’t shy away from decadence. And for those who are eating vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of plant-based options, like a vegan and gluten-free Coffee Cake, Carrot & Leek Pot Pies, Mushroom-Ricotta Lasagne with Port Sauce, and the Bakery's beloved “Beetloaf” Sandwiches.

True to the spirit of the Red Truck Bakery, the recipes in the Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook deliver unfailingly delicious comfort all year round.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593234815
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 08/02/2022
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 156,921
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Brian Noyes is the founder of the Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia, and the author of the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook. Brian trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, at King Arthur Baking in Norwich, Vermont, and at L'Academie de Cuisine near Washington, D.C. While he was the art director at The Washington Post and Smithsonian magazines, Brian baked pies and breads on weekends in his Virginia Piedmont farmhouse and sold them out of an old red truck he bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger. The bakery now has two destination locations in historic buildings, ships thousands of baked goods nationwide, and has earned accolades from Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and many national publications. Brian is an advisor to the Jacques Pépin Foundation and a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the James Beard Foundation. He has written for The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Preservation, Taste of the South, The Local Palate, and Garden & Gun.

Read an Excerpt


The Comfort We Create

A beat-up oven with no exhaust fan and a well that pumped water the color of red clay unwittingly launched the Red Truck Bakery in our circa 1850 farmhouse near Orlean, Virginia. On Friday afternoons I’d leave my job in the nation’s capital as the art director of The Washington Post to bake all night at our weekend retreat fifty miles west. Even before the roosters raised a ruckus on Saturday mornings, the old red truck I bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger was piled high with warm pies, cakes, and breads. I drove the load to The Village Green, a country store “just over yonder,” as a neighbor once directed, where customers were waiting for me in the parking lot long before the store lights were cut on. Food writer Marian Burros happened upon my baked goods at a Rappahannock County picnic and wrote about them on the front page of The New York Times Food section in December 2008. Thanks to her, hits on my shipping website went from two dozen to 57,000 in one day, and the mailman scratched his head when he saw my porch piled with a hundred boxes awaiting pickup. I left publishing and eventually opened up two bustling rural bakery locations with four dozen employees, and we now ship thousands of items throughout the United States each year from our little farm town on the edge of the Shenandoah Valley. I first told my story in the Red Truck Bakery Cookbook, published by Clarkson Potter in 2018. Barack Obama wrote the back-cover blurb: “I like pie. That’s not a state secret, and I can confirm that the Red Truck Bakery makes some darn good pie.”

My family goes back five generations in our hometown of Pacific Grove, California. Nestled between Monterey and Carmel on the Monterey Peninsula, it was settled in the 1870s as a Methodist Chautauqua camp. A little ditty from my mom’s childhood nails it: “Carmel by the Sea, Monterey by the smell, Pacific Grove by God.” Growing up in California really did mean grabbing Meyer lemons, juicy oranges, and black walnuts right off the trees. We looked forward to local artichokes, avocados, and fresh greens from the nearby Salinas Valley, the salad bowl of the nation. Mom’s Aunt Helen put up crabapple jelly and apricot jam, made from fruit picked in her yard and sealed back in the day with a pool of paraffin wax (which fascinated me as a youngster). We enjoyed traditional Mexican dishes made by families who settled there even before we did, and we joined surfers drinking fruit smoothies at rustic juice shacks along the coast. I thought everyone ate like this. On Fisherman’s Wharf, as pelicans and gulls closed in, we wolfed down abalone sandwiches and chowder until the wharf got too touristy and abalone got too popular, and the delicacy disappeared from menus due to government protection. Cannery Row, made famous by author (and Pacific Grove resident) John Steinbeck, was still around—barely—occupied by the last of the dozens of sardine packing companies. The hulking structures were framed in wood and covered with tin, by then dented with age and streaked with rust, as rickety elevated walkways linked buildings on either side of the street. My older family members recalled the occasional boiler explosions that rocked the area, sending sardine cans flying for blocks and turning the historic wooden structures into smoldering pyres. Our family walks through Cannery Row continued back around Pacific Grove, and mom pointed out the woods near Carmel where she picked huckleberries with her mother.

Flying across the country to my paternal grandmother’s house, in the western North Carolina mountain town of Hendersonville, taught me that not everyone ate like we did. Get me talking about my grandmother and I speak of her foreign cooking, heirloom Southern staples unknown to this California kid. I ate what I was served, but Willmana Seeley Noyes, a former teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, knew she had a challenge ahead. During one summer’s visit, she met me at the Asheville airport in her black Cadillac and headed directly to a meat-and-three diner aside the French Broad River. We scooched into a booth with a sticky plastic tablecloth. I didn’t know what to make of the menu, so she ordered for me, and soon a waitress delivered a heaping tray that sent new smells swirling past my nose. Our tall red plastic tumblers of sweet tea were moved aside to make room for collard greens with country ham, grits, and stuffed pork chops. Fried okra rolled into the stewed tomatoes. My grandmother nudged my elbow off the table as a skillet of silver-dollar cornbread took its place. I ate everything in front of me, although the okra got pushed around a bit. The table was cleared and two slices of buttermilk chess pie arrived. I was surprised that the whole meal was under ten bucks, and I told my grandmother how good I thought it was. She beamed.

I loved her. Her letters arrived weekly, crafted in her beautiful florid handwriting, always mentioning the weather, the birds outside her window, and what she was making for supper. In addition to fueling my appetite for Southern food, she inspired my appreciation of family history. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, tracing our family tree through two Revolutionary soldiers to ancestors landing in Massachusetts in 1635, and all the way back to my twelfth great-grandfather Robert Noyes (also my dad’s name), born in Kimpton, England, in 1465. She typed up the genealogy of her side of the family and that of my grandfather Hiland Batcheller Noyes. She added notes about family highlights and hijinks and mailed it to me while I was in my teens. It took me many years to pick it up and appreciate it. It hurts me to admit that I never thanked her for her hard work.

I always looked for the cardinals in the hedges when she swung the big Caddy into her driveway, and my first chore was refilling her bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds. Those bright red birds, unfamiliar to me in California, still remind me of my grandmother. After settling into the house, I plopped on her sofa to thumb through issues of Southern Living, a new magazine we didn’t see on the West Coast that covered regional cooking, architecture, and shopping (those issues inspired me; fifty years later, that magazine would include my bakery in their story “The South’s Best Bakeries”). My grandmother’s Southern cuisine appreciation project continued in her kitchen the next afternoon. She reminded me that cooking was about creating comfort, not just feeding people. “Grab that bowl and let’s make some biscuits,” she’d say, as she reached for the White Lily flour and a quart of buttermilk that had showed up on her doorstep that morning. She taught me that the softer the touch, the lighter the biscuits—and her layering of the dough created pockets of butter that sent those flaky rolls soaring. With my hands floured, I kneaded the ingredients in her white-and-green mixing bowl, its porcelain enamel chipped and dented with scrapes and worn metal spots. “Keep folding the dough until it’s as soft as a baby’s behind,” she advised. That mixing bowl was used for nearly every dish we made: I whisked eggs in it for a breakfast pie, beat a cornbread batter just until the lumps vanished, and sliced veggies as we prepped my grandmother’s summer squash casserole, long prized at church potlucks. When that casserole was pulled from the oven, hot and bubbling, she would reach above the stove for her homemade dinner bell. It had a wooden ball for a head and a face drawn in ink and was dressed in a yellowed apron with the name “Isabell” written in my grandmother’s printing. “Wash your hands,” she said as she rang the bell. “We’re fixin’ to eat.”

It was during those visits that I grew to love the South: its tobacco barns, the bottle trees, pottery shacks and kilns in the woods, primitive country stores at rural crossroads, and rows of unfurling collards tumbling down from old farmhouses. Warm, cheery greetings (“Hey, y’all!”) welcomed us at storefronts surrounding the courthouse square. In 1984, the South beckoned and I moved to Washington, D.C., and later just across the Potomac to Arlington, Virginia. For twenty-five years I was the art director of, and an occasional writer for, The Washington Post, as well as Smithsonian, Preservation, and Architecture magazines. I joined my partner (and now spouse) Dwight McNeill, a residential architect, on weekend explorations of historic homes and tourist sites. Shoved in the glove compartment was a dog-eared copy of Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood. That book fueled my fantasies of owning a rural food business one day.

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