The New York Times article was great, but…

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. 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 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 things crystal clear.

Baking with the Southwest Journal

A couple of days ago I had the great honor of hosting Tricia Cornell and Robb Long from the Southwest Journal for lunch. They were here to do an interview for an article they are putting together about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Jeff and I baked them rye bread, peasant bread, pizza, pan d’epi, panettone and sticky pecan caramel rolls. While those breads were baking we made naan and beignets on the stove top and tossed together a cold Indian cucumber soup and a Middle Eastern bread salad called Fattoush, made with home made pita. All of these recipes are from the book. Suffice it to say we were all stuffed and happy by the time they left! We look forward to reading the upcoming article and seeing the wonderful pictures Robb took between bites of his chocolate filled beignet.

We’re in MSP magazine!

Wow, Beth Dooley wrote a fantastic article about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in the November issue of MSP magazine. There is a fun photo of my co-author Jeff Hertzberg tossing pizza dough over his head, taken by the talented Mark Luinenburg (who is also responsible for the beautiful pictures in our book). MSP magazine is available at stores all around MN and will no doubt appear on their website soon. Check it out in the Food+Dining section or on page 111 in the printed version.