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Article

The Well-Conceived Details of a Baker's Kitchen

Fine Cooking Issue 51
Photos: Amy Albert
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Ask devoted bakers about Flo Braker and they’ll probably tell you she’s the author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking and Sweet Miniatures, a founding member of The Baker’s Dozen, and a co-­author of The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook. They might also mention that Flo has mentored countless professional and home bakers. (I once heard a pastry chef admiringly dub her “the patron saint of all pastry makers in this country.”)

Flo’s kitchen in her house in Palo Alto, California, is an extension of herself and her work—practical, hard-­working, and beautifully executed. Granite countertops for rolling buttery pastry are just the start of what makes “my laboratory,” as Flo calls her kitchen, such an inviting, efficient, and fun place to work. And as the sun streams in, you can’t help but notice that this highly functional kitchen feels pretty heavenly, too.

These eggs won’t roll away. Run your hand over this countertop and you’ll notice a channel carved out for eggs to nestle as they await entry into a cake batter, a custard, or a late-night omelet.
Storage that approaches art. A divided drawer that’s as intriguing as a shadowbox keeps artful order among small items like pastry tips, miniature biscuit cutters, and tiny cookie cutters.
A ladder of shallow shelves shows off Flo’s collection of rolling pins, and it stores them neatly, too.
No leaky bags or boxes. Flour and sugar are ready to be scooped and measured with just a yank of the drawer.
Adjustable plexiglass dividers keep cake and tart pans from clanging around and getting dinged.
This rolling cart does tripleduty as moveable work surface, cooling rack, and storage for molds, stencils, and sheet pans.

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