As you can imagine, I tend to make a lot of bread. And while most of it gets eaten gladly, there are times when the bread box is filled with loaves that have gone stale. I never find it too hard to be creative when it comes to ‘old’ bread; french toast always works, and bread pudding, and bruschetta. While I love a traditional take on bruschetta, I decided to change things up a bit by making something with fall flavors; so I took off the tomatoes and added figs.
Figs are in season just a little longer, and my fridge has been filled with them for weeks now. I tend to snatch them up and then cook them down, making a compote that can be used in a variety of ways. The sweetness of this compote combined with the prosciutto and blue cheese makes for such a flavorful bite. And, if the compote is made ahead of time, this can be put together in mere minutes, making this a simple and delicious afternoon lunch.
Extra credit: Zoë is on Andrew Zimmern’s latest podcast, talking about the upcoming book (which is available for pre-order)! Go ahead and take a listen here.
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.
In 2009 I was in Pittsburgh just before SuperBowl (go Steelers!) and mixed up a batch of Master Recipedough 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 theTV 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.
I just wanted to share a mind-blowing-adventure I had with Ina Garten. The Ladies’ Home Journal invited me and a few other food bloggers to attend Ina’s very first holiday cookie swap. I, of course, went with our bread books tucked under my arm, hoping Ina would be willing to add them to her extensive library. Being the consumate host, she accepted the books with utter grace and excitement. Ok, my real hope is that she will become a 5 minute bread baker! You can read all about my time at Ina’s house and see some behind the scenes, post champagne pictures at ZoeBakes. And, Ladies’ Home Journal is hosting a contest, which results in a lucky winner getting to have lunch with the Barefoot Contessa. She is delightful, so enter and I hope you win!
We are ready for warmer weather (50 degrees yesterday in Minneapolis!), and that means grilled pizza. There’s no better place for that than Phoenix, which is Minneapolis’s alter-ego– it’s pretty hot for indoor pizza-baking in the summertime (which is coming!). So we journeyed south a couple of weeks ago to do a demo of grilled pizza on the NBC affiliate down there– and soak up a little sunshine. We also taught again at Barbara Fenzl’s Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Thanks for an appreciative group, Barbara!
One thing to explain though, hostess Destry Jetton said that this was cracker-crust pizza on the grill–it’s not. Everything we showed in Phoenix was Neapolitan-style thickness, about 1/4-inch. We do have lots of directions for both kinds of pizza in Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.
This pizza is so thin and crackly that light shines through it! It’s much easier to achieve perfection with this Tuscan specialty than you might think. Plus, our TV segment in Charlotte, North Carolina, with former Saturday Night Live cast-member Colin Quinn.Continue reading →