Chat With Joanne Chang, TODAY on Radio Boston

Joanne Chang doing her sweet work. (Courtesy Photo)

Joanne Chang doing her sweet work. (Courtesy Photo)

You know you want to.

Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers + Chang fame will be on Radio Boston today discussing all things food and her new cookbook Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe. She’ll also walk us through one of her most popular recipes, cheddar scallion scones (see the actual recipe below).

We’ll be opening the phone lines this afternoon for your sweet (or savory) questions, and we hope you’ll take advantage! As always, you can dial in directly at: 1.800.423.TALK or tweet us @radioboston and @pubradiokitchen. Commenting below will also do the trick. We’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, read below Joanne’s interesting answers to some questions we put before her before she hits the air today.

PRK: Who was your first kitchen mentor?
JC: My first mentor was definitely my mom who was a working mom but managed to make dinner for me, my brother, and my dad seven days a week. She taught me that with proper planning you could do almost anything in the kitchen!

My first professional mentor was Rick Katz, my first pastry boss. He taught me the importance of taste, taste, taste, taste, and he was always fanatical about keeping organized, making me clean my station, making sure I worked efficiently and neatly. I still look up to him and think, ‘What would Rick do?”

PRK: What initially inspired you to publish a cookbook?
JC: Christie, my co-author, approached me a few years ago and suggested it.  I had always wanted to write a book but had no idea how to go about it. She assured me that I had enough material and experience to do it.

PRK: You emphasize that fundamental kitchen ingredients go a long way. What do you feel is the most common misconception about the art of baking?
JC: That it’s full of witchcraft. So many people think that either they can bake or they can’t and I completely disagree. I think *everyone* can bake with proper instruction and teaching…and that’s what I hope this book offers.

PRK: What do you want your readers to get after working with your cookbook?
JC: Baking is fun and you can eat your mistakes for the most part! How often can you say that about something that you might mess up on?

Cheddar Scallion Scones (PDF Here)

Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café
By Joanne Chang
1¾ cups (245 grams) unbleached all‐purpose f lour
½ cup (100 grams) medium‐coarse yellow cornmeal
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
3 ounces (84 grams) Cheddar cheese, cut into ¼‐inch dice (about ½ cup)
5 scallions, minced (about ½ cup/50 grams)
½ cup (1 stick/114 grams) coldunsalted butter, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
½ cup (120 grams) cold nonfat buttermilk
½ cup (120 grams) cold crème fraîche
1 cold egg
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

• Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

• Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cumin, cheese, and scallions on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Scatter the butter over the top and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is somewhat broken down and grape‐size pieces are still visible.

• In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, crème fraîche, and whole egg until thoroughly mixed. On low speed, pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour‐butter mixture and beat for 20 to 30 seconds, or just until the dough comes together. There will still be a little loose flour mixture at the bottom of the bowl.

• Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Gather and lift the dough with your hands and turn it over in the bowl, so that it starts to pick up the loose flour at the bottom.

• Turn the dough over several times until all of the loose flour is mixed in.

• Dump the dough onto a baking sheet and pat it into an 8‐inch circle about 1 inch thick. Brush the egg yolk evenly over the entire top of the dough circle. Cut the circle into 8 wedges, as if cutting a pizza. (At this point, the unbaked scones can be frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week. Proceed as directed, baking directly from the freezer and adding 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.)

• Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the entire circle is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes, then cut into the prescored wedges (the cuts will be visible but will have baked together) and serve.

• The scones taste best on the day they are baked, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300‐degree‐F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week; reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300‐degree‐F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

This entry was posted in Public Radio Kitchen on by .


Associate Producer, Here & Now Most recently, Jessica worked as an associate producer at WBUR's daily local program, Radio Boston. Jessica moved to Boston in 2008 and has lived many places since leaving her native Texas. After graduating from college, Jessica worked as a federal employee, documentary film festival producer, oral historian, university teaching assistant, traveling saleswoman and klezmer musician. Her work and projects have appeared in The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Bust, Barnard Magazine, National Public Radio, Public Radio International (PRI), and the BBC. Jessica's freelance radio work has received various awards including accolades from the Religion Newswriters Association and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. As a Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador, Jessica collected and studied oral histories from the Jewish Community based in San Salvador. Jessica received her B.A. in political science from Columbia University’s Barnard College and her M.A. in history from Indiana University. She learned how to make radio from the phenomenal folks at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Jessica lives in Somerville with her husband, twin son and daughter, and two cats. To learn more about Jessica’s projects, both current and past, please visit

3 thoughts on “Chat With Joanne Chang, TODAY on Radio Boston

  1. Pingback: Joanne Chang On The Sweet And The Savory | WBUR

  2. Pingback: Thursday Tidbits: Happy Halloween | Public Radio Kitchen | Blogs | WBUR