The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Coffee with Jeff and Zoë

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Coffee with Jeff and Zoë

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, the authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, swung through Portland a couple of weeks ago to promote their newest book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day.  I was able to catch a few minutes of their time to chat about the new book.

As the title suggests, Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day is similar to their previous books in that it centers around a high-hydration no-knead master recipe that takes only a few minutes to assemble.  Many variations of this dough are introduced, as are the appropriate sauces to accompany everything from your classic Margarita pizza to a Brussel Sprout, Pancetta, and Pecorina pizza.  Pitas, Chapati, and Turkish flatbreads are covered as well, as are gluten-free and whole wheat pizza doughs.  

Jeff and Zoë told me there are now just shy of half a million of their books in circulation and that they personally respond to around twenty emails a day from folks asking questions about their recipes.  While artisan and wood oven pizzerias have become a staple in places like Portland and San Francisco and the East Coast has a deep tradition of serious pizza, it is their impression that there are still many places where pizza as something that doesn't come out of a cardboard box is still catching on.  Particularly in these tough economic times with more folks eating at home, it is their hope that through this book they can make good pizza both affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

 

  

Comments

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I have both their other books, and its what got me started on bread baking. Will order this one as well, and yes there are a lot of people who don't think they can bake a pizza at home, but its like anything else, you can do it, it won't be quite the same as one from a pizza place, or cardboard frozen one, but it will be pizza. And you will know what is in it! And on it, not uninteligable gobblty gook that only a science chemistry major would know what was.

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Wow Floyd, what a shock! I always thought you were one of those eccentric characters who had been baking bread since you were in knee pants.

I too got started as a direct result of Zoe and Jeffs book!

I never really got the ABI5 crumb as dry as I wanted, but my quest for perfection then led me here, and onto different tecniques, different recipes,  and now I am baking several different styles of bread using conventional methods, something I would never have had the courage to do had it not been for ABI5.

It was really neat to be able to communicate directly with Zoe and Jeff, via their forums, and that kept me going when I got discouraged.

After I stumbled onto this site, and I started experimenting, and now my favorites are Reinharts cold ferment and Jasons Crocodilla ciabata and the Wonder Bread, and Cuban Bread recipes.

I'm about to embark on some NY Hard rolls, as soon as I can find the ingredients, but I would not be doing ANY of this were it not for ABI5 and The Fresh Loaf.

I owe you ALL a great big Thank You.........................for making me gain weight. lol.

I kind of took a year off because we moved to S Florida, but the past few weeks, I just got back into it, and I love baking bread!

Thank You All!!

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Oopps, sorry Floyd, I thought Eva's comment was yours, so please don't banish me from the site for my presumptious remarks about you. LOL

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Ha!  No worries.  I have been baking for quite a while, but it was more out of dumb luck (growing up in the same town that Peter Reinhart lived and getting an entry-level job at his first bakery) than being any kind of a prodigy.  

Jeff and Zoë do good work to "promote the cause," as does Peter Reinhart, as did Carol Field and Joe Ortiz before them, as did James Beard and Bernard Clayton before them.  Regardless of who your inspiration was, you are welcome here.

-Floyd