A few years ago back when I was actually food blogging on the regular and people cared about my opinion on matters relating to stuff you put in your face, I got to review Julian Day’s Classic Artisan Baking.
It’s a gorgeous book–hardcover and matte pages filled with stunning full-page shots of each item. And as classic and perfect as each recipe is, I can’t seem to stop myself from bastardizing them with vegan and gluten-free adaptations. It’s just what I do.
The book is built on the foundation of the recipes developed by Day’s late friend Meg Rivers who started a bakery that Julian would eventually take over.
“When Meg Rivers’ children were young and they clamored for a sweet treat in the afternoon, she was reluctant to give them the kind of commercial cakes so often made with artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. She started to bake her own wholesome cakes, traybakes, and cookies using good-quality, seasonal ingredients. Word spread about how delicious these treats were and her friends began to place orders.
When she got her first order for a cake to be sent to a friend in Africa, she decided to turn her hobby into a mailorder business and Meg Rivers Artisan Bakery was born.
After Meg’s untimely death in 2001, family friend Julian Day took over the running of the bakery. In this artisan cookbook, Julian has collected the bakery s most popular recipes inspired by English afternoon-tea classics, but with a sprinkling of influences from elsewhere in the world. This beautiful book features chapters on Family Cakes, Small Cakes, Traybakes, Cookies, Loaves and Tarts, and recipes for Ginger Cake, Wheat-free Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte, Flapjacks, Amaretti Cookies, Apricot & Nut Loaf, and Lemon Tart.”
I made the banana & walnut bread but did it gluten-free and used coconut oil instead of butter and shredded coconut instead of walnuts. Here is that adaptation.
Toasted Coconut Banana Breakfast Bars
adapted from Julian Day’s Classic Artisan Baking
- 1 large banana, mashed
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut, divided
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Mix together mashed banana, butter, flour, sugar and salt
- Add egg and 1/3 cup of the coconut and stir to combine
- Spoon mixture into a parchment paper-lined loaf dish and top with remaining coconut
- Bake for 35-40 minutes and then turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes to toast the coconut
- Cut into bars or slices
I’ve made the original version of this too and it is unreal. The coffee & walnut cake is also definitely worth your time. And the brownies. Just get the book.