This is Goldman’s first self-published book after decades of traditional publishing, so it is truly a labor of love. She does not believe that self-publishing is the equivalent of “going rogue,” though she had to scale a huge learning curve to bring this book to life. According to her, self-publishing is simply a reality based on a changing publishing landscape, given that nowadays traditional publishers are reluctant to take risks, book advances have dwindled and publishers provide limited support and inadequate publicity campaigns.
After decades of publishing successful baking books, publishers were not willing to gamble on her food—not dessert—book. Ultimately, Goldman believed that it is far better to publish than perish. So far, her book has sold well and was even named one of the best cookbooks of 2013 by the Washington Post. She has shared more insight about her indie publishing experience online.
Goldman wrote When Bakers Cook because fans of her Better Baking website have begged her for years to write a cookbook of savory dishes. One of the challenges of writing food, as opposed to dessert, recipes was the need to develop a personal style of writing savory recipes. Goldman says that baking comes with its own precise language while with cooking there is more leeway.
When Bakers Cook “salute[s] the global flavor table,” and Goldman’s view is that through food people can see a bit more of the world. The book includes international recipes such as empanadas, Irish beer stew and Cuban grilled chicken, featured here. She also captures several popular trends, which are reflected in her recipes for red velvet waffles and carrot coconut soup with fried kale. There are many recipes inspired by Jewish food traditions, but the book is not kosher.
The book is heavy with family favorites and comfort foods such as mushroom barley soup, chicken potpie and apple dumplings. Goldman’s own favorites are the Portuguese chicken, the August moon cauliflower soup and the Greek-yogurt cheesecake. There is definitely something for everyone.
When I first heard of the title of this book, I smiled to myself. Like Goldman, I am a baker at heart, but I love to cook as well. The title acknowledges that although she is known as an extraordinary baker, Goldman is inviting you on her journey into new territory. And When Bakers Cook is where you want to go. When Bakers Cook is available as a paperback and an e-book. Goldman also shares more free cooking and baking recipes on her website every month.