With the holidays tucked safely behind, I’ve found myself trying to incorporate healthier foods into my family’s New Year diet. There were some subtle groans about the 100% whole wheat flour bagels and bread that showed up in our kitchen January 1st, foreshadowing things to come. After a few weeks of slowly letting go of the white flour, however, no one seems to mind quite as much anymore. Along with the whole wheat flour, I have also been adding spelt flour to many of our baked goods and breads. I’ve always loved the flavor of spelt, and find it easy to work with in most applications. I had forgotten about the Whole Grain Spelt Dough recipe in Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads, and it has been a welcome addition to dinner. My kids didn’t even notice the crust on their beloved stovetop pizza was slightly heartier, and gobbled down their slices without batting an eye.
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.
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
Pizza for dinner is always a favorite around my house, and while I’ve tried it every which way: classic margherita, deep dish, hand tossed, and grilled, it had been awhile since I’ve made a stovetop version. Our Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in Five Minutes A Day book has a great recipe for pizza made in a cast iron skillet, and after making it quite often this past week I remembered how easy and tasty this method is. It’s perfect for dinner, but especially for lunch; pizza is ready quickly without even turning on the oven.
We’ve made a lot of grilled pizzas here at Bread in Five, but almost all of them have been on a gas grill. If you’ve ever attempted a pizza on a charcoal grill you know why this is: the pizza is much easier to manage, and there is less change of burning when it’s not over flaming hot coals. However, many people do not own a gas grill, and so we set out to figure out some helpful tips and tricks in making a charcoal grilled pizza a little bit easier. Twenty pizzas later, and we finally have something for you.
There were quite a few things we learned along the way: bread flour makes a nice, sturdy dough, olive oil in the dough keeps the pizza from sticking to the grill, building a hot and cool side in the grill is a must, and keeping the pizzas on the small side makes them easier to manage.
There is nothing more American than grilling on the 4th of July, well, maybe a star spangled pizza is the most patriotic of all. This is a super fast pizza that is ideal for breakfast, which I just served my family this morning, or can be throw together at your holiday BBQ as dessert. I made the pizza in a small baking sheet, but you can make a larger one if you have a crowd to feed.
Happy 4th of July! Continue reading
The asparagus season is short, and since we’re on the very tail end of it, working it into a flatbread seemed like a good idea. Technically this might just as easily be a pizza, since there is sauce, some cheese, and a heaping of vegetables. Either way, it’s a delicious dinner. The caramelized onion spread is sweet, and adds a nice backdrop of flavor. The asparagus is peeled into ribbons, and this technique helps them bake easily, leaving a tender bite and a subtle flavor. Goat cheese lends just a bit of tang, and if you happen to have chives growing in your garden, topping it all off with chive flowers makes a beautiful presentation.
Stuff it with any fillings you like and you have a simple and delicious lunch. And if you make them small, individual-serving-size, you can pack them for a great school lunch. There is no end to the flavor combinations. This recipe can be made with any of the doughs in our Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day book, but today I made it with the gluten-free dough, which is super tasty and easy to work with. Because the dough doesn’t have the same gluten-full stretch, we have to handle it slightly differently, but it is just as simple as traditional dough with the right technique. Continue reading
This weekend we joined Michelle Gayer (above with Jeff) from The Salty Tart Bakery, to make pizzas in a wood-fired oven at the 2nd Annual Bread Festival, hosted by Gold Medal Flour and the Mill City Farmers Market. It was a perfect fall day to bake outside and enjoy freshly baked breads and pizzas. Continue reading
This week I had the tremendous pleasure of doing an event with the Minnesota Food Bloggers. The group is held together with the love and sweat of Stephanie Meyer and includes 450 passionate food lovers. The group gets together about once a month to celebrate what is exciting and new in the Minneapolis food scene, which is growing larger and more exciting every day. Stephanie invited me to do a pizza class for the group, and I jumped at the chance. An excuse to hang out with this group and an opportunity to get them all tossing dough in the air and baking pizza. The venue was also a tremendous draw for me, we did this giant pizza party at the Kitchen in the Market. A fully equipped professional kitchen run by the sweet, sassy and talented duo Molly McDonald Herrmann and Tracy Morgan. Here is a lovely post of the party by Sarah Kieffer whose site The Vanilla Bean Blog is just beautiful.
We made dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day the kind made specifically for tossing high in the air. The dough for tossing is made with Bread Flour, so it is a bit stronger and can handle being thrown as high as you dare. The group has several folks who are on a gluten free diet, so we had our gluten free crust available to them. The g-f crust is tasty and makes a brilliant pizza, but can’t be tossed high in the air and needs to be handled in a different way from traditional dough. Below are our instructions for the no-fail gluten free crust. But, before I roll out the dough, I want to say a little about the toppings. There are some gifts that are priceless…so rare, so precious and so fleeting that they make you want to weep. Kathy Yerich, one of the partners of Rouge Pottery, brought me such a gift at the pizza party. She went foraging for morel mushrooms, ramps (spring onions) and nettles and brought them to me in a basket. The contents of this basket were almost too gorgeous to eat, but I managed and made this pizza, which my husband said “tastes like summer!” What a gift. Continue reading
Check out the Apr/May issue of Fine Cooking Magazine to see the feature article Jeff and I wrote about making quick, easy and delicious pizzas. On news stands now!