Sunday, April 19, 2020

Modern Scandinavian Baking: A Cookbook of Sweet Treats and Savory Bakes

Modern Scandinavian Baking is a well researched and curated collection of tips and recipes from the Scandinavian culture countries by Daytona Strong. Released 14th April 2020 by Callisto on their Rockridge Press imprint, it's 150 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

The introduction includes a very good overview over the integral links between Scandinavian culture & hygge and their food traditions, and what those traditions include (and don't). I liked that the author (an American) doesn't just lump Denmark, Norway, and Sweden together in a ScandiPile. She also includes a good introduction to basic cooking equipment and ingredients.

The recipes are grouped by category: breads & savory bakes, coffee breads & pastries, cakes, and cookies, .

The recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. The headers include a description, a national flag for locality. Measurements are given in US standard only. Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and cooking directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store. Nutritional information is not included.  Tips and variations on each recipe are included in a text box at the end. Special dietary comments (egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, etc) are included in the headers.

The book also includes a short author bio, and a metric conversion chart, but lacks any index or general ingredients index. The author includes a holiday recipe list with basic meny for snacks and drinks as well as some interesting web resource links for further reading.

My main quibble with the book is that the recipes are mostly not photographed. There are some photos, and they're clear and attractive, but they only represent about 5% of the recipes included in the book. It is, however, a very well written book for anyone who is looking for a good specialist baking book. The Scandinavians *love* their baked goods and since moving to Norway, I've become very spoiled by the quality of readily available baked goods and breads here.

Four stars. This would make a superlative selection for cooks wanting a good traditional but very accessible introduction to Scandinavian baking with lots of good cozy recipes.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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