Beautiful Day, and a Pizza Recipe, at the 3rd Annual Minneapolis Bread Festival, Sponsored by Gold Medal

The pie

1-Beautiful pie

2-Zucchini, thinly sliced
Mill City Cooks
This past Saturday, we had another opportunity to demo our pizzas and flatbreads at the 3rd-annual Minneapolis Bread Festival and Baking Contest, sponsored by General Mills at the historic Mill City Market in downtown Minneapolis. It was a beautiful day, and the pizzas came out great. And yes, everything was baked with Gold Medal Flour. Our request for the organizers: just get whatever’s fresh and beautiful. Here’s the result (most of these beautiful photographs are courtesy of the Mill City Times). Read on for a pizza recipe, pizza tips, and some beautiful shots from a beautiful day, or check out our entire book on pizza, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. Continue reading

Keep baking bread all summer long–outside!

cover-on-the-grill.jpg

Below, one of my posts from years back, on baking loaf breads on the gas grill in my backyard.  Some folks were having trouble with the bottom scorching and one solution is to crumple a bunch of aluminum foil and put it under the loaf so it insulates under the parchment.  And here, click on the video for a TV appearance where I had a chance to show how to handle the dough for flatbreads on the grill (didn’t actually go outside).

Other summer posts:

Grilled pizza

Grilled flatbread

Baguette on the grill

Pumpernickel done on the grill

Rustic fruit tart on the gas grill

Brioche on a grill

Bread on a Coleman stove while camping

Kohlrabi Greens Pizza right on the grates

Fruit pizza on the grill baked with the stone

Pumpernickel done on the grill

Fourth Of July berry pizza

Even in Minnesota it’s 83 degrees today, so out to the gas grill I went.  Last summer, we did pizzas, and other breads on the gas grill (I like the Weber gas grills for this), but I never tried baking on a gas grill with a closed cast iron pot.  The results are terrific– the crust is much better than last summer’s projects because the Dutch Oven traps steam next to the bread–you don’t have to add any other steam to the baking environment.  But you also need to use a pizza stone under the pot, or it can scorch. Continue reading

Thanks Michael Pollan, for telling MN Public Radio that you can live on bread alone…

Michael Pollan on MPR

… at least if it’s got some whole grain.  Michael Pollan was on MPR May 2, 2013, with Kerri Miller.  Charming guy, you can listen to the interview (click here).  He was in town to promote his new book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.

To our ever-lasting joy, he really focused on bread; that’s where the conversation started.  Long-fermented (like ours), and home-baked. We have lots of whole-grain loaves in Healthy Bread In Five Minutes a Day, while most of our white-flour based breads are in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Michael, by the way, talked about the value of a little white bread now and then.  Everything in moderation, including moderation.

TV spot on Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate, making “Pain du Football” for Super Bowl Sunday (and eating raw bread dough with host Jon Burnett!)

 

on-kdka-pittsburgh.jpgIn 2009 I was in Pittsburgh just before SuperBowl (go Steelers!) and mixed up a batch of Master Recipe dough with host Jon Burnett on KDKA-TV Channel 2 (the CBS affiliate).  Pittsburgh was awash in Steelers mania, and I couldn’t resist cutting a loaf of Pain d’Epi (wheat stalk bread) but calling it Pain du Football (page 41 in our book).  I’m bringing this bread to a Super Bowl party because each individual roll is shaped like a football– well, something like a football.  Perfect for dipping into chili in front of the game.  Jon was disappointed that my baked bread was a bit stale (I’d had to bake it in Minneapolis and it was two days stale!) so he insisted on eating the RAW bread dough instead (he made me eat it too).  Click here or on the video screen above to view the TV segment, this was great fun.

Have a look at Zoe’s post on Pain d’Epi (wheat stalk bread) for some nice shots of the cutting technique.  Remember to cut at a very shallow angle with long-bladed shears, almost all the way through the baguette you form.

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How & When to Swap Bread Flour for All-Purpose: Testing w/Gold Medal “Better for Bread,” and Announcing a Winner of the Books

People often ask us why we only used all-purpose flour (where we called for white flour) in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Why not “bread” flour, which is higher in protein and is often considered traditional in bread?  Well, not in all traditions!  French baguettes, for example, are typically made with lower-protein flour for a more tender, and less chewy crumb.  And we knew most of our potential book-users already had all-purpose flour in the house.  But sometimes, a stiffer dough is desirable, like when something really needs to hold its shape, like these wreath-shaped, well… bagels.  You can always swap bread flour into our recipes that call for all-purpose, just by adding a little extra water (details below).  And we’ll announce our contest winner at the end of this post… Continue reading

Our New Book: Shhhhhhh!

We are excited to announce that we are working on a new project, but sadly, most the details have to end there–our publisher will kill us if we say much about our new book, which should be out in the next 15 months or so. We can tell you that we spent a long, but fun week in Minneapolis with photographer Stephen Scott Gross, and that we worked very hard baking and cooking all kinds of deliciousness. Continue reading

Flatbread Sandwiches: Cool Kitchen, Hot Summer Meal

Here in Minneapolis we have been having a heat wave, and while grilling out can be a great way to keep the kitchen cool, some days it’s just too hot to even do that. So we came up with a quick and easy meal to help beat the heat, a dinner that just requires some stove top time and easy prep.

Continue reading

Why You Need to Slash Loaf Breads Before Baking…

Couldn’t resist showing you this–I was doing a loaf bread on the outdoor covered gas grill, right on the grates (indirect heat), flipping at midpoint, for about 30 minutes total baking with both burners on low.  I figured that since it was being done on “low,” maybe I could skip the slashing.

Wrong! Continue reading