Pizza on a Baking Steel

pizza | Breadin5

After a year of our readers recommending the Baking Steel, I’ve finally given it a try. It is a little surprizing that this hadn’t happened earlier, since I have every other baking surface ever created. As you know, if you read my review of baking stones, I love my Lodge cast iron baking “stone,” but it isn’t perfect. The round shape makes it a bit hard to make baguettes and the lip around the edge makes it tough to clean. The handles on the Lodge are convenient for getting it in and out of the oven, but it means I can’t lay a baking sheet on top of it, so I have to take it out of the oven before baking anything on a baking sheet. None of those things prevented me from using it constantly, until I got the Baking Steel. The shape of the steel is more conducive to baking beyond just pizza and there is no lip or handles to work around. Just like the cast iron, the Baking Steel is virtually indestructible, heats up a bit quicker and conducts heat really well. In fact, I think the steel is the best heat conductor of any of my “stones.” The Baking Steel is a bit more expensive than my other stones. Is it worth it? For me, yes. The shape and heating properties make it worth the extra money, and I’ll use it daily and so it’s worth the investment. The fact that I don’t have to worry about it ever breaking (even on the grill) is a comfort as well.

baking steel | Breadin5

The dimensions of the baking steel 14×16 inches.

If you’d like a chance to win a Baking Steel with carrying case and a copy of our book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day please leave a comment below about your favorite pizza. (The package is only available to be shipped in the USA and subject to all our regular contest rules.)This giveaway is over! Continue reading

From CBS-TV (KPIX-5) in San Francisco…

2013-11, CBS San Fran blogpost, Narsai David

From long-time San Francisco restauranteur, radio, and TV host Narsai David:

“In this new edition, they really, really make life so easy and so simple… baking your own bread virtually daily… the simple idea of making dough in advance and storing it… very, very clever.”

CBS-TV San Francisco, 2013

Thanks Dorie!

Dorie Greenspan endorsement on book jacket

Zoe met world-famous baker and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan a few years back when she was in New York to tape a segment for the Cooking Channel, on the Kelsey Nixon Show. We’re both huge fans of Dorie’s so we were thrilled when Dorie endorsed The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for the back cover.

“Every step of Zoe and Jeff’s adventures in bread has been fascinating and delicious for us, the home bread bakers who follow them, but this book may be their most exciting yet, because they’ve incorporated years of readers’ questions, problems, and discoveries into every chapter…truly the all-you’ve-ever-wanted-to-know edition. And there are plenty of photographs… at last!”

Dorie Greenspan, James Beard Award-winning author of Around my French Table

Thanks Dorie!

Thanks Andrew!

Andrew Zimmern endorses Healthy Bread in FIve

Andrew Zimmern’s phenomenal career is testament to the way Minneapolis has become a great food town–he got his start right here, at the long-departed (but wonderful) Bravo. And who was his pastry chef? Zoe Francois of course.

So we were flattered when Andrew started baking from an advance copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and endorsed the book on the back cover:

“…Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg have amazingly demystified the arcane and delightful world of artisan bread. Now, on the heels of time sensitivity (Hello…5 minutes???  Really?  Yes!), comes a baking book for the health-conscious, and it couldn’t be more timely.  Bottom line, I would crawl across a desert of broken glass to hop into their loaf pan…”

–Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods America

Today’s Newsday Review of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

From today’s review: “From all the fuss, you’d think that… Hertzberg and …François had invented sliced bread, or maybe bread itself. Their book …delivers what it promises, which is a great gift to home cooks who have the desire to bake but worry that they don’t have the time or skill.”

Sylvia Carter, New York Newsday

Newsday Review of Artisan Bread in Five