That more fully realized vision comes into focus this month, as Hardcastle has unveiledthe Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe Cookbook, a 224-page cookbook via Rizzoli Books available at both Flour Craft locations (129 Miller Ave. at the Mill Valley Lumber Yard and 702 San Anselmo Avenue in San Anselmo), on Flour Craft’s website and via the usual online channels (Amazon, Barnes & Noble).
The cookbook marks the latest evolution of a brand that began when Hardcastle was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2000. Then a partner with Perko in the landscape design and construction firm Breaking Ground Landscape Designs they ran for 15 years, Hardcastle did not simply eliminate her favorite foods that included gluten. She made a massive career change instead, entering the pastry program at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena and learning how to cook all of the pastries and dishes she loved gluten-free from scratch.
“I went on this whole culinary journey – it really wasn’t a thing yet,” Hardcastle says.
In early 2013, after a few years of selling their popular granola at farmer’s markets in Marin, Hardcastle and Perko realized the fruits of that transformation, opening Flour Craft Bakery, one of the first gluten-free bakeries in Marin, to much acclaim. The business has grown every year since.
Across more than 75 recipes, The Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe Cookbook empowers readers with simple and approachable recipes for mouthwatering cakes and cookies, pastry and savory bakes, everyday treats and holiday centerpieces, plus fresh salads and soups – all naturally gluten free. The recipes span breakfast, brunch, lunch, teatime, and dessert, from coffee cakes to focaccia, scones to tartines.
With photos by Etin Scott and food styling by Lillian King, Hardcastle combines alternative flours including rice, millet, nut flours, and starches to achieve a perfect crumb and oven-fresh texture. Flour Craft breaks down the process in an approachable way, teaching readers how to combine a few key flours in the correct proportions to yield excellent results every time. The cornerstones of the book are the “Master Recipes,” classics of baking to be practiced and adapted, enhanced by a glossary of ingredients and terms curated to build confidence for bakers of all skill levels.
How does a small business owner running two bakeries and cafes write a gorgeous cook in the midst of a pandemic? Well, first off, Hardcastle says, you come up with the idea to do so pre-pandemic, and when faced with your commitment to a massive new project, “you just break it down into really small pieces and do it one day at a time,” she says. “Actually, it was great. I knew I had this deadline. I knew I had to get it done. It gave me something to focus on. And it gave me a bit of hope for the future.”
The 411: The Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe Cookbook, a 224-page cookbook via Rizzoli Books available at both Flour Craft locations (129 Miller Ave. at the Mill Valley Lumber Yard and 702 San Anselmo Avenue in San Anselmo), on Flour Craft’s website and via the usual online channels (Amazon, Barnes & Noble). MORE INFO.