Sugar & spice & everything nice

Because I enjoy asking for trouble, I thought I'd share a question which arose in my mind the other day, when a new book dropped out its manila envelope and I caught the title: Stacie Bakes, it declared.

I was suddenly struck by déjà vu. Why did this sound so familiar?  My thoughts went instantly to Joy the Baker and One Girl Cookies, not to mention the Busy Girl's Guide to Cake Decorating.  A roster of preeminent female bakers flashed before my eyes: Dorie Greenspan, Emily Luchetti, Lauren Chattman, Joanne Chang, Judy Rosenberg, Nancy Baggett, Sherry Yard, Christina Tosi.

"That's ridiculous," I said, as an idea began to take form.  "There are lots of guys who make terrific baked treats.  Look at that Brooklyn bakery, Baked.  Look at that Dahlia Bakery guy..."  I trailed off.  And I started thinking of all of the bakeries that bake only bread - nothing sweet - and are run by guys.

Quick, think of some famous bread people - no cheating - off the top of your head.  OK?

Who'd you get?  I got Peter Reinhart, of course.  Jim Lahey.  Chad Robertson, Ken Forkish.  The great Bernard Clayton.  And - how could I have left him out? - Daniel Leader.  "Don't even go there!" pleaded the voice of reason.  "In the name of Amy Scherber and Rose Levy Beranbaum, do not go making gender stereotypes about sweet versus savory baking!"

So I won't.  None of us wish to be pigeonholed, or to have it suggested that our avocations are limited or prescribed by gender.  I'll just put it out there, looking at the numbers.  Is there any reason why there should be so many sweet, desserty baking books written by women and so many yeasty, savory bread books written by men?

"No" is a perfectly acceptable answer, by the way.

1 Comment

  • bookpoet  on  7/13/2013 at 7:01 PM

    Nick Malgieri. And his recipes work, always.

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