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).
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 Oventraps 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 stoneunder the pot, or it can scorch. Continue reading →
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.
Sometimes you just don’t know when to leave well enough alone. This savory flatbread was in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2009), and I was making it tonight as a side dish for a simple baked Coho Salmon with dill. I’m back on a pizza and flatbread kick again, since our new pizza and flatbread book is coming out in 28 days:
I wanted something to brighten up the flavor and color of all those soft lovely green things—roasted cherry tomatoes did the trick. The tangy acidity was perfect for cutting the softer flavors of the zucchini, parsley, cheese, and nuts. The tomatoes weren’t in the original recipe, and neither version has ever appeared on our website before, so here goes. Plus, I’m going to be doing a demo this Saturday, October 1 at 10:15 am at theMinneapolis Bread Festival, and they’re asking for something like this. Hope to see you at the festival, but if you can’t make it, give this a try here. Our pizza book is available for pre-order on Amazon and will ship October 25. Continue reading →
The pastry above is layered with chocolate pastry cream, flan, and on top, a very whimsical patisserie (pastry shop) in the Marais district in Paris has placed jelly beans, candy blackberries, and a little pile of minced pistachio. For some reason, I seem to find the need to put a baguette in every picture.
My family and I’ve been home from France for a month but I’m still not exactly “home.”
More photos if you click below; plus new tips on getting a perfect Dutch oven bread on the outdoor gas grill (we’re going to keep refining this). I’d planned on trying to re-create this pastry—-baking up brioche, slicing it thinly, and layering it with pastry cream (recipe for the cream in our 1st book on page 225, the brioche on page 189, book available on Amazon). But as I said, I always seem to end up with bread… Continue reading →
Though the official publication date for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day is October 25, 2011, you can place an order for our third book on Amazon now (they’re discounting the book 34% as of today). If you’re only interested in the electronic version, that can’t be pre-ordered; you’ll have to wait until October. If you do pre-order the bound book, nothing comes off your credit card till the book is shipped in October. If Amazon decides to discount it further between now and when the book’s first available, they guarantee that your final price will reflect the deeper discount.
I for one would like to see this thing in my hands. Two years of eating pizza have gone into this book (nice work if you can get it!), and we are terribly excited. Timing will be perfect for cooler weather (though we do pizza on the grill all summer, more about this in the upcoming months here on the site).
We can’t stop thinking of pizza even though we made deadline for our upcoming pizza and flatbread book (Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, Macmillan/Th Dunne Bks Oct 2011). Even though we’re technically done, there’s still time to put a new recipe or two into the book, and you can see that there are a world of ingredients that could end up on pizza other than mozzarella and tomato (though we love that too).
We’d love some help with new recipes. All we’d need is your concept, as in “how about yak sausage, lemon rind, and Slim Jim on a pizza?” We’re not looking for full recipes here, but something imaginative, like Zoe’s pizza with a fresh cracked egg and an assortment of Tuscan goodies:
The winning concept entry will be selected by a jury (Zoe, me, and our editor at Thomas Dunne Books), will win a copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and have their concept published in our pizza book this October (see “Betsy’s Seeded Oat Bread” in Healthy Bread -first names only in the book). See rules for our contests, the most important being US entries only. In addition, for this contest, the Authors reserve the right to decline to publish any recipe in the upcoming book if none meets with the jury’s approval. Also, the winning entrant agrees to grant all copyright for the winning entry to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. Five random entrants will also receive a free copy of Healthy Bread in Five. Contest CLOSED!
Be imaginative– it doesn’t have to be a main course, so even desserts are fair game. And remember that many of the ingredients and ideas you might think of are already in our almost-finished manuscript, so being creative increases your chance of selection. Entries are due anytime before January 19, 2011. Contest CLOSED!
In Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, we talked about one way to get steam into the oven to create a great, crispy, caramelized crust on lean (un-enriched) loaves: pouring water into a pre-heated METAL (not glass) broiler tray or other pan just before you close the oven door. To be extra-safe about your glass oven window, protect it from the water with a towel before you approach with the water–some older non-tempered glass windows can crack if you get water on them when they’re hot. This metal-tray method works well in most ovens.
But some ovens are a bit temperamental about this. Really large ovens, or really well-vented ones, and in many cases, professional-quality ovens installed in homes, seem to let the steam escape and you end up with a dull, pale-colored crust that never gets crisp. We’ve got a video of some excellent alternatives… Continue reading →
… …and I’m having trouble finding time to finish editing the video. Zoe and I have two more busy weeks of last-minute editing for our pizza and flatbread book (which will be out in October of 2011). I’ll get the new video up here as soon as possible (on how to get steam into your oven), but meanwhile here’s a re-print of an old post– on roasted red pepper fougasse– a gorgeous stuffed flatbread from France, which looks ahead to next year when we’ll be talking about flatbread all the time. Continue reading →
It will soon be American Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d re-post our Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn bread. It’s based on the Portuguese Broa style (page 82 in the book)—it’s our regular Master Recipe, but with 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour taken out and replaced with an equal amount of cornmeal.
People think of artisan-style loaves as being free-form, but our method also works beautifully in loaf pans, as you can see above (read on for instructions on how to make the cinnamon-raisin bread in Zoe’s picture). We love crusty free-form artisan loaves, but nothing says “comfort food” and kicks off the fall baking season like a luscious traditional loaf like this one.
Our friends at Red Star Yeast have offered to provide some great prize packages for a giveaway– perfect for creating loaf-pan breads. Red Star also shot a video of Zoe and me demonstrating the basic method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day…
We first met the Red Star people in Milwaukee, while on book tour for Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day– that’s where the company has its headquarters. Red Star had found out through the bread grapevine (!) that we use their product. Both of us have used it for years– it gives consistent, excellent results, and it’s the best value in the grocery store. This fall, you’ll find bottles of Red Star yeast in the supermarket, with our pictures tied to them, in addition to a 75 cents-off coupon, and recipe links:
OK, here’s what’s in our Red-Star giveaway package, which will be awarded to six lucky entrants picked by random drawing next week. You must enter by commenting HERE, on this post (one comment only), US entries only. Don’t try to enter on the contest rules page, we won’t see that for the drawing (click here to view contest rules): Continue reading →