In Boston, Joanne Chang’s sticky buns are legendary. The James Beard Award-winner owns Flour Bakery in Beantown, and her breakfast confection counts celeb-chef Ming Tsai among her admirers. “I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but Flour makes the best sticky buns ever. She’s great,” he says. Now, with Sessions by MasterClass, she’s walking viewers through how to make them in painstaking detail, along with other recipes home bakers will want to master.
The class may sound the same as other MasterClasses, but this is a little different tact for the streaming edutainment service. Yes, it has had plenty of culinary talent in the past grace its platform to share tips, techniques and recipes. Sometimes, the advice is a little basic (Gordon Ramsay standing around describing vegetables in his first class, for one), but there has been a fair amount of quality instruction. However, since MasterClass was founded, food YouTube has exploded, where instead of little 5-minute videos, people like Claire Saffitz will spend 20 minutes going through her apple pie recipe so you can really make it at home and not just aspire to. Hence, MasterClass had to step its game up and differentiate itself from free, streaming cooking tutorials.
That’s what it’s doing with Chang’s class. She’s not only teaching you the basics of baking like cookies, pie, brioche and cake, she’s making them in real time, so you really find out how long you have to cream that butter and sugar for your cookies and see the transformation the whole way through. Chang is also showing how to create your own custom recipes once she imparts the basics. And finally, you can share your results, with MasterClass teaching assistants there to give feedback and offer advice. There’s also opportunity to engage with other people taking the class and share feedback with them too.
The class itself unfurls over 30 days, unlocking as you go and giving you assignments to help you build your skills along with eight core recipes for better baking. So there’s still time to perfect some technique before the holidays are over.
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