Huffington post

Pizza Book on Huffington Post

This has been such an exciting couple of months. Jeff and I have loved traveling around the country to introduce people to our latest book. We thank all of you who have stopped by our events to meet us. Now we are home with our families for the holidays, and will hit the road again in January to flip more pies and hopefully meet more of you. Please check our Events page to see where we will be next.

It was so much fun to talk to journalist Stephanie Stiavetti from the Huffington Post Food Blog about the journey of writing Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. Here is a link to our interview. 

We’re on the cover of Cooking Club Magazine, with a full four pounds of dough

I love the Twin Cities.  No one thinks of Mpls-St. Paul as a big media center, but wonderful local networks make all the difference for locally grown books like ours.  Zoe and I were introduced to Cooking Club Magazine though a colleague at Cooks of Crocus Hill, where we teach all the time.  She works at Cooking Club, made an introduction, and it turns out that the magazine is produced right here in the Twin Cities metro.  Locally produced, but with a national circulation of loyal readers numbering over 550,000– it’s a fantastic magazine.  Voila– they asked us to write a story, which they used on their February/March cover.

The magazine ran a scaled-up version of our basic recipe– one that produces a generous four pounds of dough (the version in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day makes 4 loaves that are slightly lighter than a pound, more like 0.9 pounds).

For more on our basic white-flour recipe, check out our Back to Basics link and fire any questions you have our way.

Five Minute Bread: British version of our 1st book on sale today in the U.K.; one of the top 50 ways to feel good this year…

Twenty-seven years ago, I rode a bicycle through southern England, and it was a delight.  If I was on the road in the late afternoon, someone would materialize and invite me in for tea (I fear that I might have looked lost).  It was an unforgettable first time in Europe.

I hope I was well-behaved, and that anyone who invited me in for tea will remember and give our little book a try.  Five Minute Bread has been released in London by Random House/Ebury and is available at Amazon UK, and at booksellers all over England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  Britain’s largest daily newspaper, the Telegraph, says we’re number 20 on its top-50 list of ways to feel good this year. If you’re new to our method, this book is based on our best-selling U.S. bread cookbook, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.   Our bread cookbooks are different because we make a large batch and store it in the refrigerator, where it’s ready when you are for quick daily baking (click here for more on our method and a sample recipe– 2 pounds equals 910 grams, by the way).

American readers should note that this book isn’t available for sale in the U.S., because U.S. rights to our book belong to Macmillan/Th Dunne Bks (the books aren’t allowed to compete with each other).  So, what’s new in our British edition? Continue reading

How this whole adventure started!

… it all started with a question for Lynne Rossetto Kasper on The Splendid Table NPR radio show, on April 4, 2000 (see video below), and then a publisher heard the call-in interview and made a book offer.

We can’t vouch for this as a way of getting a cookbook idea noticed– it was a bit of dumb luck:


Thanks Peter!

Peter Reinhart is the dean of American bread bakers, possibly the best in the world.  He teaches baking at Johnson & Wales University in Providence RI, has written six books on bread baking, and has won the James Beard and IACP Cookbook of the Year awards.  On any given day, he’s flying around the world spreading the gospel of great bread– Peter’s an international authority on my favorite subject.

So I was pleased to see his latest book, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day, which was released on October 27, 2009.  Here was a world authority giving his take on super-fast bread (he doesn’t store his dough so it’s very different than what we do in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day).   Peter acknowledged our books and the quality of our results in his own book.  Here’s what he had to say in Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day:

Page 7:  “… when I first read the instructions for the master hearth bread recipe in a recently published book, I immediately assumed, based on my understanding of dough science, that it contained way too much yeast to work as promised.  How could it possibly last in the refrigerator for even one day without overfermenting while the yeast gobbled up all the released sugar?  How could it possibly create a tasty, moist, and creamy loaf (what some describe as the custard-like quality found in great breads)?  Yet, when I made the recipe, it worked and didn’t overferment.  Sure, I saw areas where the recipe could be tweaked and improved upon, but this didn’t diminish my astonishment at how greatly it exceeded my expectations. Although I have yet to find a scientific, chemical, or biological reason to explain why it works, the results forced me to reconsider all of the premises I once held sacrosanct…”

In case anyone’s wondering if Peter’s really talking about our method, turn to page 204 of his book, where he acknowledges our first book by name, as a resource, and again mentions our “excellent results.”

Thanks Peter!

Whole Wheat Brioche from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day!

whole-wheat-brioche-crescent-rolls01new-copy

(picture from color insert of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, taken by Mark Luinenburg)

The brioche dough in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was the very first recipe I developed after meeting Jeff and deciding to write the book together. It seemed a natural place to start considering my pastry chef roots and absolute love of this quintessential enriched bread. I had plenty of experience making it the traditional way after working in a restaurant with Andrew Zimmern. He put a fabulous sandwich on the lunch menu that was served on fresh brioche. I went to work early, got the butter to just the right temperature, made sure the room was also at the proper temperature and then set about on the long journey which is brioche dough. Too much work, although fabulous. Fast forward a decade and I meet Jeff, he introduces me to his method and I try melting the butter and just dumping it, along with all the other ingredients in a bucket and quickly stirring. Low and behold I have a luxurious brioche dough in a couple minutes of stirring. I was thrilled and only wished I’d figured this out when Andrew set that lunch menu all those years ago.

For Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day we still wanted to offer a variation of sweets and enriched breads, but they had to fit with our goal of healthier ingredients. This meant less white flour, less sweeteners, less fat and yet still delicious, tender and rich. It took some time to develop, but we came to just the right balance and now I use this dough for everything from a Tarte Tatin crust to my kids’ sandwiches.

But, in the final push of producing the book some numbers were switched around and it makes the recipe as written in the book unworkable–this only affects the very first printing in 2009. We are sad to see any mistakes in the book, and in particular one that will be such a staple to our readers. We apologize and below is the correct recipe. Continue reading