Many of you saw the November 21st New York Times article that Zoë mentioned below, which put our bread method and our book in front of a broad national audience. Zoë and I are good business people, we love the exposure, and we’re grateful for the exceptional writing and the positive review. But as often happens, the writer just couldn’t fit everything into the short format. So there’s something that the article missed:
It missed Zoë.
Years ago, I had a cool idea about storing plain yeast dough long-term in the refrigerator. But there wasn’t a prayer of turning that idea into a book until Zoë and I met by chance. Zoë’s a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America, so she was actually qualified to make this thing happen. I’d been leaving out teeny tiny little steps, like, oh, maybe measuring the flour, and writing down the results. Things a scientist might do. But for me, baking was an escape from science. I was no cookbook author (until Zoë taught me how it’s done).
So together, Zoë and I turned the basic idea into a book, one that would actually be useful to very busy people juggling a million responsibilities. And she added in all the dessert breads and brioches, recipes that I had pretty much no role in at all (what is it with women and sugar?). That’s half the book! The article in the Times did a great job capturing how our basic method works, and why it works so well for busy people who don’t have the time for traditionally made yeast bread. It’s also true that the article seems to have parked our book as the #1 bread book on Amazon.com. But it missed the book’s heart and soul: the partnership between Zoë and me, and in particular, the spark that Zoë brings to cooking and to life. A few people have told us that the fun we had writing the book comes across on the pages. It can be hard to capture that in a short newspaper article, so it’s a good thing there’s blog space to make it crystal clear: Zoë was not a ghost writer or a pastry advisor– she was the reason this whole book ever happened.