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Coming to a bookstore near you in October/November 2004

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ALTON: Do we need another baking book?

ALTON: Well no.

ALTON: Then why write one?

ALTON: Well, I don't really think of "I'm Just Here For More Food" as a baking book, rather I think of it as an extension of "I'm Just Here For The Food." That book was really about the foods we cook rather than the foods we make. We may cook a steak but we don't mix it up… same for potatoes or fish or even popcorn for that matter. But cakes, breads, custards… these are all foods that we compose from a rather short list of ingredients… what I see as the molecular pantry. And when you really think about it, the difference between a biscuit and a cake is analogous to the difference between a chimpanzee and a human. We share over 99% of the same genetic material; it's just put together differently. Same with baked goods. As far as ingredients go, a biscuit and a cake could be 99% identical. The real difference is how they're put together. That difference is what IJHFMF is about. It's not so much a book about baking as a book about mixing, and about understanding the interplay between the 7 or 8 items that make up 99% of the baked goods prepared on this planet.

ALTON: That's terribly interesting. Are there recipes?

ALTON: Yes, around 80, though I prefer to think of them as applications.

ALTON: What's your favorite thing in the book?

ALTON: Probably the homemade pop tarts… Oh, I probably can't say that can I? Let's say toaster tarts. And I also think we've made substantial improvements on the Tollhouse cookie.

ALTON: I'm sure the Nobel Committee will take notice. So how is the book laid out?

ALTON: A lot like my first book. The front is about concepts and ingredients, then there are sections for each of the major mixing methods: the biscuit method, the muffin method, the creaming method, the egg foam method, and the custard method. And there's a section for hybrids and steam too.

ALTON: Steam?

ALTON: Hot air is a major factor in baking.

ALTON: And you seem to have no shortage of it. So, what did you learn while writing this book?

ALTON: That before I wrote this book I didn't know how to bake.

ALTON: And now?

ALTON: I'm getting the hang of it.

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Permission for media to reprint interview courtesy of Alton Brown.

I'm Just Here for More Food
By Alton Brown
Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang
November 2004
304 Pages; Hardcover; $32.50 [$50.00 Canada]
More than 80 recipes; 135 diagrams and illustrations

Corrections for "I’m Just Here For More Food" can be found below.

Alton’s first book is everything you would expect from Good Eats and then some. Recipes, science, history, tools. The stories behind Alton’s favorite ingredients and experiments. Detailed directions for finding the perfect cooking implements and honing knife-long relationships. Plus lots of handy diagrams that illustrate the essence of things … things like where pot roast comes from, how to turn your grill into a rocket burner, and thermodynamics as it relates to ice cream.

"I'm Just Here for the Food" is being published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

Alton Brown's Gear For Your Kitchen
Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang
September 2003

Corrections: "I’m Just Here For More Food," first printing

Page 120, Jalapeño Hush Puppies

The correct weight equivalent for 1 teaspoon of baking powder is 3 grams or 1/8 ounce. The correct weight equivalent for 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda is 1.5 grams or less than 1/8 ounce.

Page 139, Building a Better Biscuit

The correct weight equivalent for 1 cup of plain yogurt is 92 grams or 3.3 ounces.

Page 164, Basic Pie Dough

The instructions accompanying illustration No. 5 should read: Slide you hand under the baking sheet and flip the whole thing over. Peel back the remaining plastic covering the dough.

Page 184, Apple Cake

The correct weight equivalent for 2 teaspoons of baking soda is 12 grams or 1/2 ounce.

Page 188-189, this is the corrected version of the recipe for Plain Ole Brownies

Hardware: Digital scale, wet measuring cups, dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, food processor, 8-inch square aluminum cake pan, electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, medium saucepan, medium mixing bowl, balloon whisk, rubber or silicone spatula, parchment paper, toothpick, cooling rack, pizza cutter.

The Dry Goods:

Cocoa powder: 1 1/3 cups (113 grams/4 ounces)

All-purpose flour: 2/3 cup (99 grams/3-1/2 ounces), sifted

Kosher salt: 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams/less than 1/8 ounce)

The Wet Works:

Eggs: 4 large (200 grams/7 ounces)

Vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons (9 grams/1/3 ounce)

Sugar: 1 cup (198 grams/7 ounces), sifted

Brown sugar: 1 cup (227 grams/8 ounces), sifted

Unsalted butter: 2 sticks (1 cup/227 grams/8 ounces), melted

The Extras:

Walnuts: 1 cup (85 grams/3 ounces)

Baker’s Joy or AB’s Kustom Kitchen Lube for the pan

• Place an oven rack in position C and preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch aluminum baking pan (see pages 180-183).

• Sift together the dry ingredients in the food processor.

• In an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs at medium speed until light (both in texture and color). Add the vanilla.

• Mix the sugars together, reduce the mixer speed to 30-percent power, and add the sugars to the eggs, incorporating thoroughly.

• Add the butter and remaining dry ingredients in three alternating doses, starting with the wet and finishing with the dry. Fold in the nuts.

• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean.

• Remove the pan to a cooling rack and resist the temptation to cut until the brownies are completely cool. When ready, cut into squares with a pizza cutter.

Yield: Sixteen 2-inch square brownies

Page 196, Peanut Butter Cookies

The correct weight equivalent for 2 teaspoons of baking soda is 12 grams or 1/2 ounce.

Page 238, Pizza Dough

25 mg of vitamin C should be substituted for chewable children’s aspirin; the correct volume of all-purpose flour is 4 cups. The first sentence of the recipe instructions should read: Dissolve the vitamin C in the warm water, then add to the work bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Page 254, Pillow Bread

The correct measurement of water for this recipe is 1-2/3 cups or 13 ounces. Note that the water is used in two additions.

Page 260, Focaccia

The correct total measurement of water for this recipe is 1-2/3 cups or 13 ounces. Note that the water is used in two additions. The first two paragraphs of the recipe instructions should read: Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the remaining liquid to the saucepan, stir to combine, and heat to a temperature of 110 to 115 degrees F.

Page 281, Cheesy Soufflé

The sixth paragraph of the recipe instructions should read: Combine the heated milk, dry mustard, garlic powder, and salt in a tightly covered container and shake well to mix. Whisk the milk mixture into the roux and return the heat to high. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat.

Page 306, Zab Mousse

The recipe for Zabaglione referenced as the first ingredient can be found on page 304.

Some Reading Favs

CookWiseby Robert L Wolke
After reading "What Einstein Didn’t Know: Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions" and "What Einstein Told His Barber: More Scientific Answers to Everyday Questions", I became a serious Robert Wolke fan.  Imagine my glee when I found out he would be taking on Food Science.  I pre-ordered the thing six months ago and it arrived this week.  I’m just starting on it but I can already tell it’s a winner.  I wish I’d written this one too.


CookWiseby Mark Kurlansky
Mr. Kurlansky, who’s book "Cod" made a slimy ground fish seem not only exciting but meaningful, has dug down deep and come up with the goods on the only rock that man eats.  "Salt, A World History" is a very big picture woven from meticulously crafted details.  I wish I’d written the darned thing.


CookWiseHow Human Nature Shapes Our Choices
by Paul R. Lawrence & Nitin Nohria
A couple of Harvard Business School profs think they’ve cracked the mystery of human nature.  I don’t know if they’re right, but I’m not sure they’re wrong either.  A slow but fascinating read.

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