Mooncakes and Milk Bread takes you on a culinary adventure through the world of Chinese bakeries, as architect-turned-food blogger Kristina Cho introduces everyone to her unique twists on traditional Chinese baked goods. Food blogger Kristina Cho ( introduces readers to Chinese bakery cooking with fresh, uncomplicated interpretations of classic recipes for the modern baker.

Inside you’ll find sweet and savory baked buns, steamed buns, Chinese breads, unique cookies, whimsical cakes, juicy dumplings, Chinese breakfast dishes, and drinks. Recipes for steamed BBQ pork buns, pineapple buns with a thick slice of butter, silky smooth milk tea, and chocolate Swiss rolls all make an appearance–because a book about Chinese bakeries wouldn’t be complete without them!

Kristina teaches you to whip up these delicacies like a pro, including how to

  • Knead dough without a stand mixer
  • Avoid collapsed steamed buns
  • Infuse creams and custards with aromatic tea flavors
  • Mix the most workable dumpling dough
  • Pleat dumplings like an Asian grandma

This is the first book to exclusively focus on Chinese bakeries and cafés, but it isn’t just for those nostalgic for Chinese bakeshop foods–it’s for all home bakers who want exciting new recipes to add to their repertoires.

Kristina Cho grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where family and cooking were a huge part of her life. Before becoming a food blogger, Kristina studied and worked in architecture and interior design. Architecture introduced her to the work of Charles and Ray Eames, Mies van der Rohe, and Eero Saarinen. But she spent all her time outside of the architecture studios discovering the flavors of Skyline Chili, Goetta, and Graeter’s Ice Cream–all southern Ohio culinary classics.

Today she has dedicated her professional career to making, teaching, writing about, and photographing Chinese baked goods and café food. She runs a regular dumpling-making workshop and also has been an instructor at Dragers Cooking School in San Francisco.

Kristina’s website, EatChoFood, receives tens of thousands of visitors each month

‘Readers will relish Cho’s sentimental introductions, which focus on family (‘My goong goong always wanted to be a baker,’ she writes before sharing her late grandfather’s almond cookie recipe) and fusing Chinese and Western cultures (‘It cracks me up that Bisquick has been Pau Pau’s secret ingredient,’ she confesses in an intro to her grandmother’s steamed cupcakes). Some other recipes–such as deep-dish pepperoni bread and chocolate Nutella loaf–are a bit of a departure from the Chinese fare, but will appeal to those more familiar with Western baking, as will her thorough instructions, including Chinese cooking basics such as how to set up a steamer. This is a terrific introduction to a seldom explored baking niche.’

Mooncakes and Milk Bread overflows with useful information for the nascent cook, from ingredients to shopping advice to a list of essential equipment. ‘A lot of these recipes were inspired by my family’s classic Cantonese cooking,’ Cho writes in the introduction. ‘Others are completely unique twists on my favorite foods.’

‘Cho grew up in Cleveland, where her family had to travel to purchase the breadth of Chinese baked goods that now appear in so many urban areas. After architectural training, she returned to her roots and perfected a host of steamed and baked breads and buns that she adored as a child. After explaining the science of creating tender milk bread dough, Cho shows the sometimes-intricate steps to transform doughs into an amazing variety of steamed, baked, fried, and stuffed creations with color photographs. Pork buns are familiar, but Cho introduces buns stuffed with corn or hot dogs. There’s even a sort of Chinese tuna melt. Cho’s grandfather’s almond cookies are delightfully easy for first-time bakers. Access to a Chinese grocery goes a long way to making Cho’s baked goods at home less daunting, but online sources can be nearly as helpful. Cho’s documentation of the astonishing array of Chinese baking illustrates how much it equals any Parisian or Viennese rivals.’

‘Cho, a Chinese American recipe developer, highlights many recipes for those familiar bakery items, most revolving around one of two main dough recipes (for milk bread and steamed bun dough; each comes with several variations). But the cookbook also harkens to the broader traditions surrounding bakeries and cafes, with recipes for dim sum classics like har gow and turnip cakes. There are recipes for jianbing, congee, and Hong Kong’s famous pork cutlet sandwich. There are sweets and celebration cakes and mooncakes and milk teas. But the book never feels overwhelming or scattered — Cho roots the chapters around a specific immigrant experience I know well, one of seeking out a highly specific food to fill a specific fleeting craving.’

‘In Mooncakes and Milk Bread, food blogger Kristina Cho re-creates the staples of Chinese bakeries and cafand eacute;s. With detailed instructions and step-by-step photos, Cho shows us how to make luscious pineapple buns, crisp almond cookies, steam pork buns, milk tea, and more.’

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