Baking Club

We Baked Like Germans for a Month with Author Luisa Weiss

June 29, 2017

Luisa Weiss is no doubt, a baker’s beste Freudin. On the very first day her book, Classic German Baking, was to take its turn as the book of the month in the Food52 Baking Club, Luisa introduced herself, welcoming members to reach out with questions and reassuring us she would check in regularly on our progress.

Like a loyal friend, Luisa has been with us day after day, encouraging members, advising us in times of need, and congratulating us on a hard day’s work in the kitchen. Here are just a few examples of her guidance throughout the month:

Appel(Nektarine)-Marzipan-Kuchen; Kranzkuchen Photo by Shirl Gard, Luisa Weiss

Shirl Gard was one of the first to reach out to Luisa, saying of her cake (above left):

I took one look at the apples in my supermarket (June is not exactly apple season) and decided to make a summer version of Appel-Marzipan-Kuchen. So here is Nektarine-Marzipan-Kuchen (is this a correct translation, Luisa Weiss?)

Luisa was quick to reply and compliment, exclaiming:

That is correct and you are brilliant! What a fantastic idea!

This month, Luisa has not only encouraged others, she's invited members of the club to form a deeper connection—not just with her recipes and her writing, but with herself. By posting her own photos (above right) on the club page and sharing the story of her dear friend Joanie who influenced her recipes and writing, Luisa reinforces her love for her craft and treats us as a friend would—providing insights to her daily life:

It's my friend Joanie's 80th birthday today. She's the source of several recipes in Classic German Baking and she's also the person who first taught me how to bake as a child. I love her so much! She celebrates her birthday with a potluck picnic in the park every year and this year she requested I make the Kranzkuchen in CGB to bring along. So here it is!

Kranzkuchen; Schokoladen-Gugelhupf Photo by Danielle Traina Avery , Lisa Cummings Edwards‎

Throughout her book and her interactions with members, Luisa seems genuinely honored to guide us through the world of German baking. The results from our members in this month’s photos prove that our members are grateful to learn from her, and it seems she might have picked up a trick or two herself:

Shop the Story

Danielle Traina Avery wanted to serve Kranzkuchen (above left) for breakfast, and even though she wasn't sure how it would work out, she made the dough the evening before and refrigerated it overnight. It worked just fine, and in fact, her kids were so impatient to eat it, she didn't even have time to let it cool properly before adding the drizzle, explaining:

My little one got herself into her booster seat as soon as the oven timer went off.

Luisa called the finished product "Gorgeous!" and was happy to hear that making it ahead of time worked out well.

Some of us have vowed that we would NOT buy any new equipment for this Club. But, we were tempted by Luisa's recipes, and knowing she wouldn't steer us wrong, we caved, just like Lisa Cummings Edwards did (above right):

When I joined this club, I promised myself I'd only purchase books and ingredients. I'd skip recipes that used equipment I didn't already own because my kitchen is rather compact. Well, Luisa Weiss quickly made a liar out of me because I really wanted to try Gugelhupf in a traditional pan instead of my trusty old bundt. I have no idea where I'll store the new pan, but I'm sure it will get used again very soon.

Wrapping up this month, it's safe to say members explored new ingredients (like quark), learned a touch of German (Franzbrötchen, anyone?), bought that new pan (because yes, every baker does need a Gugelhupf pan), and most of all, felt like we gained a new friend in Luisa Weiss.

If you have yet to join in on the fun and are looking for some guidance from a trusting, enthusiastic, and fun new group of friends, join us on Facebook at the Food52 Baking Club. You can also check out our photos on Instagram under our hashtag #f52bakingclub.

While the month is coming to an end, you can still revisit Luisa Weiss’ Classic German Baking with our club for our Throwback Thursdays (#TBT), where members are welcome to cook and share from ANY of our previously covered books. July’s selection is Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, so get a hold of a copy as soon as possible, and join in—we can’t wait to bake with you!

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