Every professional has tools in their back pockets. For Jennifer Haffner, owner of Warehouse Bakery & Donuts, she’s got five. Although she’s received no formal training, Haffner is no stranger to the kitchen — she’s been cooking for friends and family since childhood.
Through reading, research and experiences, not the least of which includes climbing her way from hostess to head pastry chef at Jesse’s Restaurant in Magnolia Springs, Haffner is able to take the tired and ordinary to over-the-top, made-from-scratch extraordinary. But when she needs a little extra oomph, she goes back to the cutting board, using the following books as inspiration.
“Flour” by Joanne Chang
Fun recipes abound — think tarts, cookies and eclairs — in this compendium. “I got the ‘goo’ recipe for my sticky buns from this book,” Haffner says.
“The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook” by Sara Roahen & John T. Edge
Of this book, full of history and stories, Haffner says, “It reminds me of the Junior League cookbooks I grew up cooking with.”
“Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure” by Lorna J. Sass
Although Haffner is no longer vegetarian, this book still tops her list. “The recipes are quick and healthy and easily dressed up with a few spices,” she says.
“The Foster’s Market Cookbook” by Sara Foster
For modern takes on classic dishes, Haffner turns here. “I’ve never made anything from this book that I did not like,” she says.
“Tartine Bread” by Chad Robertson
“Bread is my favorite,” Haffner concedes. This photo-heavy book includes in-depth explanations of the science behind sourdough baking.