Cover image for A baker's year : twelve months of baking and living the simple life at the Smoke Signals bakery / Tara Jensen.
A baker's year : twelve months of baking and living the simple life at the Smoke Signals bakery / Tara Jensen.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2018]
Physical Description:
xi, 189 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
641.815 JEN Book Adult General Collection
641.815 JEN Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Why do so many people make pilgrimages to Tara Jensen's North Carolina Smoke Signals Bakery? Why do 100,000 people follow her Instagram feed @bakerhands? It's because Tara bakes the most exquisite bread in the US, using a wood-fired oven that she tends with her own two hands. It could also be to learn how she makes her bubbly, deep-dish fruit pies or to see the crisp pizzas that are sometimes covered with fresh flowers. It could be something deeper: Tara Jensen has learned to live a simple life, close to the land that feeds her oven. In her first book, she shares her philosophy of simple living and her trove of recipes with others. A Baker's Year takes readers month-by-month through the seasons at Smoke Signals for porridge and waffles in winter, crusty bread in spring, pies and pizza in the summer, and celebration cakes for end-of-the-year holidays. Along the way, Tara writes about how to live in a more peaceful world, shares stories from her own life, mourns romances lost, and celebrates the promise of a new relationship. Tara Jensen's A Baker's Year is destined to be a classic of cookbook shelves in the tradition of The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth and When French Women Cook. Illustrated throughout with Tara's photographs and drawings, A Baker's Year is a true American original. Think of it as The Tassajara Bread Book meets Eat Pray Love.

Author Notes

Tara Jensen is an artist and baker living a solitary life at Smoke Signals, a wood fired bakery deep in the mountains of North Carolina. Jensen baked her way through her twenties in professional settings, keeping handwritten journals as she went. Baking has now become her personal practice, which she shares with students from around the world. When not teaching she spends her days chopping wood, mixing dough, and studying the stars. Her Instagram feed, @bakerhands, has 100,000 followers.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jensen, who owns the Smoke Signals Bakery outside of Asheville, N.C., arranges this homey, down-to-earth book by month and intersperses her recipes with short essays that offer insight into her lifestyle and baking philosophy ("If bread making is a solitary, mindful self-expression, then pizza is a noisy journey into community and the mess of human relationships"). Recipe standouts include March's savory pancakes, brushed with a honey-balsamic glaze; June's individual party pizzas topped with flowers; July's Broken Down Berry Pie, which is made with apple chunks; and August's Bundt cake, flavored with thyme and served with fresh blueberries. There is a recipe for December moon pies that includes versions for each moon phase and a section titled "Hold a Pie Contest" that includes instructions for throwing a November pie contest with friends and suggests categories and prizes (such as handmade books or vintage kitchen gadgets). Photos, illustrations, and pictures of the author's handwritten baking journals evoke her comfortably solitary life. This cookbook will make even urban dwellers crave a night under the stars and a morning baking bread solo in a quiet, rustic kitchen. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.