Going back on the road in June!


Hope to see some of you this summer, we’ll be doing classes on our book and its recipes in Chicago, including the Tribune’s Printer’s Row Event (June 5-June 8), Seattle (June 19-June 22), and San Francisco (June 26-June 29). We hope to have some TV/radio/newspaper exposure as we did in Phoenix and in Atlanta in March (at Fox 5 TV News Atlanta, above).

More details when we know them! To keep track of our up coming classes please visit the Events page on this website.

25 thoughts to “Going back on the road in June!”

  1. Great to hear you are going to be doing classes. Do you have any plans to come to the New York City area?
    I have been experimenting with your technique and just love the ease of it and also the subtle and complex flavor of the “aged” dough. But we are big fans of wild yeast in my family and I’d like to know if you have tried keeping a batch of wild yeast-based dough in your fridge for two weeks to use it as you use regular yeasted dough. I wonder if the wild yeast gets “tired” more easily than the commercial one and just gives up trying after a few days or if it keeps, just like its domesticated cousin. By wild yeast I mean a liquid sourdough starter homemade out of flour and water.

  2. MC: I grew up in NYC (Queens) but I’ve been in Minneapolis for 20 years. So I’m always looking for an excuse to come to NY. Unfortunately, we’re told that the NY media market is a tough one to crack. We do classes in cities where we can also get media exposure, so if that ever happens, off to NY we go!

    I’ve extensively tested the use of natural starters and sours, but after lots of deliberation, Zoe and I decided not to put it in the book, because this approach is a bit temperamental (especially for beginning bakers, who were part of the expected audience for our book). That said, especially for experienced sourdough users, sourdough can work well in our method and gives a nice result. Here’s what I’d suggest:

    1. Use about 1 1/2 cups of fully activated loose starter in one of our typical recipes.

    2. Decrease the flour and water, to make up for the starter you added. My starter is about half and half water and flour by volume, so I used to decrease the water by 3/4 cups, and the flour by 3/4 cups.

    3. Despite your best efforts, you’re going to have to adjust the final flour and water to get the consistency you want.

    4. Don’t try to use the starter as the only leavener; it becomes very iffy as to whether you’ll be able to store the dough. You can decrase the commercial yeast (half or even quarter dose), but don’t bring it to zero unless you don’t care about dough storage.

    Let me know how you make out! Jeff

  3. Thanks for your reply, Jeff. I will give your recipe a try as soon as I get back home next week. Waiting for me there in the fridge is a batch of épi dough which I made last Sunday, adding 1/3 cup of leftover wild yeast fermented dough to 13 cups of flour (I had doubled the recipe as I plan to bake an armful of épis next Sunday when the dough is exactly two weeks old). I’ll tell you out it comes out.
    In my first test with your recipe (I had halved it), I baked the first épi on Day 3 and was very disappointed (but not surprised) by the flavor and by the crust but I baked the second one on Day 13 and it was simply amazing. Perfect crust, perfect crumb and excellent complex flavor.

    I understand why you suggest adding commercial yeast to wild yeast but throughout his book Sourdough Classics (and notably on page 3), Ed Wood warns against doing just that, saying that the commercial yeast may destroy the wild culture and even if it doesn’t, produce a very different crumb from the one we are used to with wild yeast. Well, I’ll have the beginning of an answer to my question when I bake the dough which is in my fridge (since there is a trace of wild yeast in it) and then I’ll try your recipe and should get back to you on that in a few weeks.
    Meanwhile you may be interested to hear that this 1/3 cup of wild yeast fermented dough went completely crazy on the 13 cups of flour. The dough rose to the bucket so fast I had to divide it and even divided in the two buckets it raced to the top way more quickly than anything I had ever seen before. When I opened the lids to take a sniff, millions of thin but resistant gluten filaments were attached to them. I was so awed that I forgot to take a picture. I quickly put the two buckets in the basement where it was cooler and the dough calmed down after a while.

  4. MC: Purists about wild yeast culture don’t love mixing wild and commercial yeast, but then, none of them are trying to store the finished dough. I’ve done it both ways, and they work… problem is that the mixture is a little more reliable. You sometimes get a very dense result with stored wild-yeast dough.

    Just keep it moist if you store it, whatever you do. And thanks for the update on the effect of storage… that’s what we’ve found too. For experienced bakers, we have to convince them to save it and don’t judge our technique based on Day 1 or 2, and certainly not Day 0. Jeff

  5. Hi Jill,

    We would love to come to Vegas. Let us know of a cooking school and we’ll see if the publisher will send us!

    Thanks, Zoë

  6. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I’m still trying to get your book, but Amazon UK has taken it off their inventory or something! Amazon Marketplace sellers have your book but won’t ship to where I live. Any idea if Amazon UK will stock the book again soon? Thanks!

  7. I have a question about your bagel dough recipe. I’ve tried both the bagels and the pretzels and they taste great, but the surfaces are weird and wrinkled after they boil. What can I do? Thanks. I love your book and it has made baking bread with my three-year-old much more fun since the doughs are ready when he’s interested.

  8. Brynne: Do they straighten out when they bake? I’ve not seen this. Sounds like there’s puffing going on in the water bath, then shrinkage as the soft crust cools. It doesn’t have any stiffness before being baked, so it wrinkles as the bagel or pretzel shrinks.

    But I’d think they’d puff out again when they bake. Jeff

  9. Hi Sheri,

    There are lots of things in the works for our visit to SF. The one class that is all firmed up is one in Napa at Whole Foods on 6/26. I’ll put more info on our events page as I find out.

    Thanks and we’d love to see you there.


  10. Again, your book is fabulous. I continue to enjoy many new experiments each week. I look forward to taking your book home to PA in August and let my mom the original family bread maker see how easy it is and how great. I tried this week a German recipe called Bienenstich or Bee Sting Cake and rather than using their recipe for a brioche dough used what was in my fridge to fabulous results. It is baked in a spring form pan and topped with honey and almonds prior to baking and then cooled, split and a custard cream is slathered in between the layers. It was incredible. A little more effort for the custard but well worth the work. You may want to try it and consider a new addition to brioche recipes. Yummy!

  11. Hi Joyce,

    This sounds incredible. I’ve heard of this recipe but have never made it myself. I will now!

    My father has always kept bees and I’ve always made him treats based on honey. This will be the next one I make for him.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  12. Glad we could give you some inspiration in return for all you have given all of your fans.

    By the way Milford, PA may be a great classes area. I could visit my mom near there and go to a class too. They have a great community. You can see their magazine by searching Milford Magazine and see the great things they have in area.

  13. Saw on your events that you will be in Seattle 06/19-22/08. Can only say hooray!! Anxious to find out where so my daughter and I can come see you two. I saw you on Ch 3 in Phoenix in March, called my daughter and she pulled up the recipe and made the bread the next day. I had to order the book and it was waiting when I got home. Have made a few buckets full in the last month. Yummmmm. My husband loves it. It’s soooooo easy! Hurry and post your locations here ASAP. Thanks a bunch!

  14. Dorothy: We can’t wait either, thanks for your enthusiasm! As soon as we know where we’ll be teaching/appearing, we’ll post it on the Events page of this website, and probably do a post in the blog as well. Jeff

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