Welcome to Bakers Dozen San Francisco

About Us

Red Velvet CupcakesWhat we do: Bakers Dozen typically hosts three luncheon meetings a year and a field trip, as well as occasional special interest workshops. Each meeting has a theme, such as comparing the results when we all bake the same recipe, a baking demonstration, a panel discussion of experts, or presentations from book authors. On our field trips, we typically go to a local farm or ingredient producer to learn about what goes into our baked goods. The group also hosts an active members-only internet discussion group, as well as periodic online baking demonstrations.

What have we accomplished: By 1995, Bakers Dozen had grown to 300 members and began working on a cookbook. Six years of testing and collaborative effort later,  The Bakers Dozen Cookbook was published in 2001. The group uses the profits to support local food-related charities and to provide college scholarships to baking students at seven Bay Area schools.   

The organization has garnered national and local press.  We have been featured in Gourmet and Cook’s Illustrated magazines.  Our success inspired the formation of chapters in Utah and New York. 

Where we are now: Bakers Dozen is actively recruiting new members and creating meetings as diverse as our field.

Bakers Dozen continues to be a vibrant and dynamic organization, inspiring bakers young and old, professional and enthusiast. A love of baking and learning are our only requirements for membership!

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Birthday CupcakesHistory

Bakers Dozen originated in California, where cookbook author Marion Cunningham and then-bakery-owner Amy Pressman often met after Marion had been teaching near Amy's bakery in Venice California. While the conversation often centered on the pleasures of baking, it also often turned to puzzlements, such as why ten people could prepare the same recipe and produce ten different textures, sizes and flavors, or how to bring back melted chocolate that turned solid when a few drops of moisture fell in. It occurred to Marion and Amy that they learned so much from each other's experiences that it would be great to share them and learn from others. Bakers Dozen grew from these thoughts.

The first meeting, in 1989 at San Francisco's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, was about that age-old problem: meringue that weeps or shrinks. Everyone brought a lemon meringue pie. The pies were examined and tasted, meringue proportions and quality discussed and solutions were offered. As the meeting progressed, more baking questions cropped up, many totally unrelated to meringue. It quickly became clear that participants saw a great opportunity to discuss baking problems with other bakers and they expressed a strong desire for further programs of this kind. From this beginning, a more cohesive organization formed. Everyone agreed that it was to be laid-back--no chairperson, committees or newsletter. There should be just four meetings a year, one of which would be a field trip. Bakers Dozen flourished!

Bakers Dozen CookbookIn 2001, The Baker's Dozen Cookbook was published, produced by some of the most respected bakers in the Bay Area: Flo Braker, John Phillip Carroll, Julia B. Cookenboo, Marion Cunningham, Carol Field, Fran Gage, David Lebovitz, Alice Medrich, Robert Morocco, Peter Reinhart, Lindsey Remolif Shere, Kathleen Stewart, and Carolyn Beth Weil. Further recipes and hours of testing time were also contributed by passionate and devoted home bakers, who are valued members of Bakers Dozen.

The group continues its initial focus of sharing information, still meeting four times a year, sometimes bringing baked goods around a theme to a meeting, other times welcoming traveling bakers with new cookbooks, and venturing into the community to visit a new bakery or orchard once a year. Many members of the group have stepped forward, joining the founding thirteen, to offer their expertise and enthusiasm. Bakers Dozen remains as fresh as it was at that first meeting many years ago.


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