Baking in the American South

200 Recipes and Their Untold Stories (A Definitive Guide to Southern Baking)

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Pub Date Sep 03 2024 | Archive Date Not set

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Experience mouthwatering Southern baking—from humble home kitchens to innovative new Southern chefs. One of the world's richest culinary traditions comes to life through this essential cookbook from bestselling author Anne Byrn. With 200 recipes from 14 states and more than 150 photos, Baking in the American South has the biscuits, cornbread, cakes, and rolls that will help you bake like a Southerner, even if you aren't.

Recipes can tell you volumes if you pay attention—the crops raised, languages spoken, family customs, old world flavors, and, often, religion. Did you know that where a mill was located affected the recipes handed down from that area? Or that baking and selling pound cakes directly impacted the Civil Rights Movement? These stories and recipes, developed from good times and bad, have been collected and perfected over years and are now accessible to us all. Anne's expertise in assessing, modernizing, and developing well-written recipes makes this the definitive guide for bakers of all levels.

From-scratch, Southern classic recipes include:

  • Thomasville Cheese Biscuits
  • Ouita Michel's Sweet Potato Streusel Muffins
  • Nina Cain's Batty Cakes with Lacy Edges
  • The Best Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Georgia Gilmore's Pound Cake


This fascinating dive into the history of 14 Southern states—Texas, Florida, Kentucky, and more—features stories and beautifully photographed recipes from pre-Civil War times to today's Southern kitchens. It's about the places, the people, the products and the culture of the moment that influenced what people baked. It's about African-American women and the monumental contributions they have made to the art of Southern baking, about home cooks and how they've kept traditions alive wherever they settle by baking family recipes each year for holidays and celebrations, and about the pastry chefs who have thoughtfully reimagined how the South bakes.

Experience the recipes and the stories behind them that showcase the substantial contributions Southern baking has made to American baking at large. Food historians, bakers, foodies, and cookbook collectors from every corner of the country will want this cookbook in their collections.

Experience mouthwatering Southern baking—from humble home kitchens to innovative new Southern chefs. One of the world's richest culinary traditions comes to life through this essential cookbook from...

Advance Praise

“You won’t need encouragement to bake like mad from this book–the collection of recipes is truly stunning . . .. Bake, bake, bake, but be sure to give yourself the pleasure of reading this book. There’s as much to savor in Anne’s words as there is in her glorious recipes.”

—Dorie Greenspan, New York Times bestselling cookbook author

“Anne Byrn makes you feel like she's at your side, soothing any baking anxiety you may have by helping you through these comprehensive and classic recipes. This is a ‘must have’ cookbook for any baker interested in regional American baking specialties.”

—Adrian Miller, James Beard award-winning author of Soul Food and Black Smoke

“You won’t need encouragement to bake like mad from this book–the collection of recipes is truly stunning . . .. Bake, bake, bake, but be sure to give yourself the pleasure of reading this book...

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ISBN 9780785291336
PRICE $44.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 32 members

Featured Reviews

I cannot wait to own the physical copy. I am a southern city girl who has always said my family culture is southern since we’re not entirely sure of our heritage. This collaboration of recipes is just wonderful and I can’t wait to try them!

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What sets this cookbook apart from others is the deep history that is etched into each one of the standout recipes.
Each recipe sounds as delicious as the last, they all feature a small blurb explaining the history of the recipe or the creator and are followed by delightful looking photos.
I am from the UK and I doubt I’ll ever get to try real southern food but with this cookbook I can bring some of the south to me.
Thank you NetGalley and Harper Celebrate for the opportunity to review this book.

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Baking in the American South by Anne Byrn is a delicious journey into the heart of Southern baking, tracing its evolution from simple, resourceful recipes to a rich culinary tradition. Through 200 recipes and over 150 photos, this cookbook captures the essence of Southern baking that embody the region's flavors and history. What sets this cookbook apart is its storytelling. The author weaves tales of the past with each recipe, revealing how geography, culture, and even politics have influenced Southern baking.

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This is one of those books that as soon as I received the approval, I sat down and read it cover to cover. This has everything I like in a cookbook; historical information and context, recipes, and great photography. Who knew there were so many different ways with cornbread? Fascinating! This southern loving northerner will definitely be purchasing a copy.

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A delicious look at baking in 14 of the Southern states. With stories, recipes and lovely photographs, this was a joy to read.

Being someone from two of those states, I can say these are the best the south has to offer.

From before the Civil War to today’s Southern cooks, this book brings up so many good memories of food, family and friends.

Whether a family reunion, Sunday dinner, or a funeral, you will find something yummy in the pages of this book.

This one is definitely a keeper.

NetGalley/ Harper Celebrate September 03, 2024

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Baking in the American South is an amazing Southern cookbook. There are beautiful pictures and recipes that are easy to follow. Most of the recipes are pretty concise. Following each recipe is a little history snippet.

The cookbooks sections are:
Sizzling cornbread
Hot biscuits
Quick loaves, griddle cakes, waffles, and fritters
Rolls, breads, and Yeast-Raised Cakes
Comforting Puddings
Pies Plain and Fancy
Bake Me a Cake
Cookies and Bars by the Dozen
Frostings and Flourishes

The cookbook is an incredible book filled with southern cooking and the rich history behind it. I can't wait to make the recipes in this cookbook!

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Baking. What is there not to like about baking and better still eating a wonderful sweet treat. But this is not just cakes as there are some many great baking treats in this book you will want to try them all. And not only that but the history and stories add so much intrigue and interest that you don't necessarily get in other cookbooks.

All the recipes sound wonderful and I plan to work my way through them all. With great photography as well you will be salivating and running for the kitchen to get started so you can try them all. I'm off to try my first recipe so wish me luck!

Thank you NetGalley and Harper Celebrate for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Things I learned from this cookbook: the term high on the hog is about premium cuts of meat being higher on the animal, unlike things like pig's feet, which were less desirable, sweet milk is just whole milk that hasn't soured and buttermilk is the leftover liquid from churning butter, and the Choctaw natives who lived on this land cooked a corn mush into leaves over fire, making their own version of cornbread long before settlers arrived. These facts about history made this cookbook such a delight. They aren't just relegated to a small introductory chapter full of words followed by dozens of recipes like so many other cookbooks. Each recipe tells a story. I learned so much about the South reading this book. I also learned the best cake release is a thin layer of vegetable shortening and a dusting of flour. I didn't expect an absolute metric ton of cornbread recipes included, but loved reading the small details for each one, learning about the culture surrounding this staple of the south. The book doesn't shy away from the dark truth of the south, much of the cooking was done by enslaved folks who were forced into kitchens and might not associate cooking and baking with the joy that we all derive from this sort of nostalgia. It explores the comfort and struggle foods of the south, discussing the harvest and the time of the year for killing hogs and why foods emerged during certain times in a period without refrigerators. The cookbook also includes helpful hints like bringing eggs and butter to room temperature and other staples of best practices in baking. Food is so much more than nutrition and sustenance. It's culture, and this cookbook does a great job snapshotting the stories of the south woven into every bite.

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I can not tell you enough how much I love this book!!

Im Australian and my husband is Dutch Irish. He goes on and on about a Pecan Pie that is Oma used to make and in Australian we don't really do dessert pies so I've struggled to either buy one or find a good recipe to make one.
Until now!

Zephyr Writes Pecan Pie made him so happy!!! It's definitely going to be making a regular appearance in our home from now on so thank you for that! The stories are such a beautiful touch that really give this book something special.

I personally loved the Chocolate Chess Pie and Cheesey biscuits. I need this cook book in hard copy so please hurry up and let me know where in Australia I can buy it!

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What I like the most about this book is the history part. I am not from the US, so I am not familiar with the history of cooking or with the recipes. I choose a few recipes I want to try and I can't wait to see the results. I find the recipes simple and well described.

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Baking in the American South: 200 Recipes and Their Untold Stories
Anne Byrn, Rinne Allen (Photographer
The south is well known for their delicious food including their baking. I couldn’t help but think of my mother as I read/reviewed this cookbook. She was/is a great southern cook. Few can surpass her talent in the kitchen. This book is filled with recipes for breads, biscuits, rolls and cornbread. Often people had to cook with what they had available. Lard was a staple in most southern kitchens. In today’s kitchen you will rarely find lard. Recipes share much about the past. Recipes can tell you customs of a family, where their family originated from, and what crops they depended on. Recipes were handed down from family to family. In the past recipes were made from scratch; there wasn’t frozen biscuits and rolls or box mix brownies and cake.
The history of 14 southern states is discussed in this beautifully photographed book. Many of the recipes are pre-Civil War. This book is much more than recipes, it is the history of the people of the south, it testifies to the stories of culture. Each recipe presents a story, and history.

There are 200 recipes in this book and over 150 photos.
thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for review.

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As a Southerner I loved this book. These absolutely the kind of recipes my grandmothers made growing up. Except this ladies never wrote anything down. I feel like I have found a tressure trove of these recipes!
The book had beautiful color photos and gives credit to certain bakers in the recipes. They are easy to follow (and healthier. Shh! Don't tell granny!). I loved the culture included behind recipes, people and places. Food is something good about the American South. And this cook book proves it,

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Anne Byrn’s cookbooks are always excellent, but she has outdone herself in Baking in the American South: 200 Recipes and Their Untold Stories (A Definitive Guide to Southern Baking). Not only does she include mouthwatering recipes, but also stories about how the classic baked goods originated. This is one to curl up in the corner to read. It is a fascinating read, and for those not from the south, introduces baked goods that are iconic and have been passed down from generation to generation.

Besides being an excellent cook and recipe developer, Anne Byrne is also an excellent writer. She makes the stories and recipes come alive. Having owned several of her previous cookbooks, I expected this to be a good one, but I am blown away. I want to make almost every recipe in the book.

The recipes are written in the traditional manner with the ingredients listed first, followed by step-by-step instructions. Byrn makes them simple, so that anyone who wants to bake, from beginners to advanced bakers, can easily make these recipes turn out picture perfect and delicious. She has also included beautiful, professional (Rinne Allen) photographs that will make anyone salivate.

My husband is from the south (Kentucky), and his mother was a wonderful country cook; many of the recipes Byrm has included are those that he grew up on, and making them has brought back good memories for him.

All told, this is an excellent baking book that belongs on every cookbook shelf. Highly recommended.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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This cookbook is absolutely darling! I love all of the explanations before the main chapters and throughout. I also was not expecting this to have so many savory recipes, so that tickled my fancy! I love good southern food and this really seems to allow me to bring authentic southern food up north. All the recipes seem very approachable, use everyday ingredients, but may require a little bit of knowledge to create. This is by no means a beginners cookbook.

I had no idea the variations of cornbreads or buscuits. I also loved that there was a popover recipe!

The history that has been poured into this book, along side the well researched recipes and beautiful photos really make this cookbook a knockout! I can't wait to dig in more!!

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Great recipes from the American South. Everything looks and sounds absolutely delicious. Can't wait to try some recipes.

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This book is more than a cookbook. Its history, traditions and all the other complex parts rolled up into a sweet, honey topped cornbread slice, that teaches us food history.
This cookbook was a joy to read and to use the recipes. She tells everything she uses all the way down to the type of pots and pans. It’s good to know because most people don’t know that what you cook in matters just as much in how you cook it.
The recipes for me were easy to follow and I love the story of how they came to be.
Every thing tasted great! I didn’t just feed my body but also my mind and soul.

Everyone needs to try these recipes and taste history

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If you think this is only a cookbook you would be wrong. This book is filled with so much history about southern recipes. I learned a lot! While I thought I might just get different kinds of cornbread and amazing biscuits, I was so wrong. There are so many spectacular recipes in this book and I can't wait to bake them. I can't help but think that if it weren't for many of these bakers from the 1800's that we might not even know what some of these delicious items were. A fantastic cook book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the copy of the ARC.

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Who knew there were so many southern cornbread recipes? This was an interesting read not just for the various recipes included. I loved reading the background on the recipes and the people behind them. I had no idea that Cemetery Cookies were a thing. This is an excellent book for those looking for classic southern baking recipes and the stories behind them!

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Anne Byrn has compiled an outstanding amount of Southern baking staples. There are classics familiar (Hummingbird Cake, Bill Smith’s Atlantic Pie, to name a few), gems from Southern icons (Zora Neale Hurston), and wonderful recipes that I’ve never seen before, too. Clear instructions and beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to purchase a copy for my personal library.

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This cookbook is fascinating! The southern recipes are accompanied by the history of the variations. The background and additional information makes it that much more enjoyable to try new recipes. The one downside, albeit a small one in this case, is that not all of the recipes have a photograph. Given all of the extra text, though, it would have been an enormous book with extra photos!

Thank you to #NetGalley and #HarperCelebrate for a free copy of #BakingintheAmericanSouth by Anne Byrn. All opinions are my own.

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There were so many good recipes in this book! I really liked that different variants on recipes were provided with background as to why and how they differ. You don't just get biscuits and cornbread and then move on to cakes. It was so interesting seeing the variations based on location and time.

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A lovely cookbook that details many Southern recipes. I am from Mississippi and loved the recipes that were shared. The caramel cake looks absolutely divine!

It is evident that the author put lots of time, research and care into this book.

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My.stomach is growling! A delicious collection of notable southern cooks and chefs for every kind of baking imagined.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

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My mom and I love finding the perfect new cookbook and this was it! As a family from the southern Appalachian mountains this book about recipes and history from the south was perfect for us. I absolutely loved the history in the book. From things I grew up with and love even now, like learning about Minnie Pear and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The wonderful recipes go hand-in-hand with the history and love of the South. The recipes show how life and history shape them and evolve them through the years. The book has 200 recipes and you will want to taste and try all of them. I sure found some new favorites like Peach Pound Cake and Thomasville Cheese Biscuits. You're sure to find your own new family favorites too. A book worth sharing to anyone who loves cooking and history. We are so thankful to have received the ebook ARC and will be rushing to add it to our home library. It makes a great gift too.
Worth a thousand stars to me.

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I have loved all the cookbooks by Anne Byrn but now living in the south, I really appreciate this book even more. I love all the recipes and stories with pictures. Highly recommend.

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Beautiful photography of an immense array of mouthwatering deliciousness. Combining history of the ingredients, Southern baking techniques with so many recipes. This book should be on the shelf of any serious baker. A whole chapter on various cornbreads and another just on biscuits. But, oh my, the cake and pie recipes are to die for!

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Anne Byrn is one of my favorite cookbook author and I love her cookbooks. Of course, this became one of my favorites quickly and this is why.

This book features recipes from the south and every recipe comes with history and tells us how life and history evolve them throughout the years. Stories behind each and every recipes are truly fascinating and worth a read. Not to mention this book brings an outstanding amount of true Southern baked goods that will make you want to start baking from cornbread, biscuits to pies and many more! The only thing I wish this book had was more photographs of the recipes, however, this would've been a ginormous cookbook if it contained more pics since it already is a huge book.

I'm not from Southern area, but I love their foods and the joy they bring. I learned a lot from Baking in the American South and can't recommend enough to anyone who loves baking and would like to bake Southern baked gems!

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Great southern cookbook! I love the south! I used to live in NJ and I fell in love with southern food when I met my husband in NC. This cookbook doesn’t only have one recipe for each dish, it has more and also have the stories behind them and notes. You’ll find recipes for cornbread, biscuits, loaves, cakes, rolls, breads, pies, and cookies and more from 14 Southern states—TX, LA, AR, MS, AL, NC, SC, GA, FL, KY, TN, WV, DL, VA. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review #BakingintheAmericanSouth #NetGalley

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