Dolci!: American Baking with an Italian Accent

Knopf. Jun. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593537183. $38. COOKING
.oliafito is a two-time James Beard nominee and the current owner of the Brooklyn bakery Ciao, Gloria. Rather than choose between Italian and American sweet treats, Poliafito (who has authored four prior cookbooks with Baked cofounder Matt Lewis, including Baked: New Frontiers in Baking) picks both as the culinary source material for his latest cookbook, which was written with Elsass, a recipe developer and the coauthor of Second Generation: Hungarian and Jewish Classics Reimagined for the Modern Table. Containing almost 100 recipes, this volume offers everything from sweet morning treats like tricolore bomboloni and American cinnamon rolls to savory snacks like mozzarella in carrozza and polenta crackers. Tried-and-true Italian favorites like cantucci and stuffoli make welcome appearances, and Poliafito also includes some of his own ingenious takes on classic sweets, like an Aperol spritz cake and Bacioni, in which he pays homage to Italy’s beloved Baci chocolates. Introductory notes to each recipe help set the stage and provide fun context, while the easily digestible formatting of the recipes encourages even novice bakers to give this fabulous cookbook a whirl.
VERDICT This inventive, inspiring, and sweetly indulgent cookbook will earn its own well-deserved spot in bakers’ kitchens, alongside Nick Malgieri’s Great Italian Desserts, Silver Spoon Kitchen’s The Italian Bakery, and Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano.
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