Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Perfect Baguette Recipe, Now Published

eat. Several years ago I mentioned here that Marty Ginsburg, the wonderful, witty, tax professor/attorney husband of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, had divulged to me the recipe he had come up with for “the perfect baguette.” Based on two long phone conversations with him, I had written out—to his exacting instructions—a detailed recipe for his baguettes, which I sent to him, and which he subsequently approved (with some minor changes).

As I note at the beginning of the recipe, “I am not an experienced baker, but followed the recipe carefully and ended up with the best baguettes I have ever had outside of France.” And it’s true.

a batch of the "perfect baguettes," just out of the oven

The next year, I asked Marty if I could include the recipe in my memoir about the dinner I had cooked for him and his jurist wife, Cooking For Ruth. (You can read about the dinner here.) Apologetically, he requested that I not use it, explaining that so many folks were always asking to publish his recipes that he just found it easiest to say “I never let any of them be published.”

Marty and me at the dinner I cooked for the Ginsburgs

Sadly, Marty passed away in 2010. As a tribute to him, several of the Supreme Court spouses decided to put together a book of his recipes, entitled Chef Supreme. It’s published by the Supreme Court Historical Society, and is available on line, and at the Supreme Court gift shop.

When I heard about the book, I of course had to buy a copy. It arrived yesterday, and I immediately started flipping through the pages. The frontispiece is a charming photo of Ruth and Marty:

web photo, (c) Mariana Cook, 1998

And lo and behold, to my delight I saw that the third recipe in the book is entitled “The Perfect Baguette,” and is a word-for-word reproduction of the recipe I had written down and sent to Marty. (And yes, the book does give me credit.) I guess Ruth must have passed it along to the Supreme Court spouses for inclusion in the cookbook.

So the good news is that his terrific recipe is now available for all the world to use.

working, after my bike ride, on a batch of Marty’s baguettes

You can read about the cookbook, and about Marty and his famous baguettes, here. And if you’d like to buy a copy, go to this website (note that the book is $25, but there’s also a $10 shipping fee).


  1. Oh, I'm so glad the baguette recipe was included! And how cool (and appropriate) to give you credit in the book! The photo of Ruth and Marty is adorable.

  2. It would have been lost to history if not for you. You are a hero!

  3. What do you think of the other recipes?

  4. Haven't tried any yet, though some look enticing. I'm thinking of making his milk=braised pork roast this week. Oink, oink!