Yesterday we had our first book signing at the Borders in Rosedale Center. We met what seemed like hundreds of enthusiastic bakers and bakers-to-be, all coming by to sample our Italian peasant loaves. Everyone that stopped had a story of their own bread baking or wanted to share their grandmother’s recipe. We sold and signed the entire stock of books in just a couple of hours. It was fantastic! (more…)
When Jeff and I started to write Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day I sent the “master” recipe to my mom. It was, in my mind the ultimate test. Not because my mom has been baking for years and would be hyper critical, quite the opposite. You see my mother has many, many talents, but baking is not one of them. Or I should say it wasn’t until now. I sent her the recipe and waited. A couple of days later I got a hysterical call from her and she was slathering butter all over her first loaf of bread. She had just taken it out of the oven and despite our recommendation to let it cool she cut into it when it was still warm. She was talking to me between bites and was so proud of herself. (more…)
This week Jeff and I were on the KARE 11 Saturday morning show with Belinda Jensen to promote our book and mix up our dough in front of her viewers. I admit I was a bit nervous, more than a bit, but Belinda made us feel like we were just chatting in her living room. Everyone at the studio was so kind and after our 5 minute TV debut they swarmed around the table of bread and devoured everything we brought. They have our “Master” recipe on their website. Eric Perkins was there as well and he grabbed a “sticky pecan caramel roll” between every segment. (more…)
Hmm. What to do with that leftover prosciutto? Better wrap it around some Italian breadsticks (grissini). Grissini are infused with olive oil, but since the oil infuses just as nicely when drizzled over the unbaked sticks as when mixed into the dough, you have a variety of choices of which pre-mixed dough to use– you don’t have to use an olive oil dough (even our olive oil dough will need additional oil). This batch was made with a basic peasant dough (page 46), but as below, it works nicely with any of the listed ones.
Immediately after being photographed, the grissini consented to being wrapped with strips of prosciutto and consumed with white wine.
Makes a generous handful of grissini
Use any of these pre-mixed doughs: Boule (page 26), European Peasant (page 46), Olive Oil (page 134), Light Whole Wheat (page 74), or Italian Semolina (page 80)
1/2 pound (orange-size portion) of any pre-mixed dough listed above
Olive oil for drizzling, preferably extra-virgin, dispensed from a small-tipped squeeze bottle
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. A baking stone is optional, but if you’re using one, allow for a 20 minute preheat, otherwise 5 minutes is adequate.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or simply grease it well with olive oil.
2. Take a small piece of dough and gently roll it into a ball. Gradually stretch and roll the ball on a lightly floured wooden board until you achieve sticks with a diameter of about 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Lay them out on the prepared cookie sheet with an inch or so between each stick.
3. Generously drizzle a stream of olive oil over each stick.
4. Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 6 to 10 minutes. Grissini are done when they are nicely browned and beginning to crisp (they will firm up when they cool). Serve plain as an hors d’oeuvre or with one half wrapped with a prosciutto strip.
A couple of days ago I had the great honor of hosting Tricia Cornell and Robb Long from the Southwest Journal for lunch. They were here to do an interview for an article they are putting together about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Jeff and I baked them rye bread, peasant bread, pizza, pan d’epi, panettone and sticky pecan caramel rolls. While those breads were baking we made naan and beignets on the stove top and tossed together a cold Indian cucumber soup and a Middle Eastern bread salad called Fattoush, made with home made pita. All of these recipes are from the book. Suffice it to say we were all stuffed and happy by the time they left! We look forward to reading the upcoming article and seeing the wonderful pictures Robb took between bites of his chocolate filled beignet.
Wow, Beth Dooley wrote a fantastic article about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in the November issue of MSP magazine. There is a fun photo of my co-author Jeff Hertzberg tossing pizza dough over his head, taken by the talented Mark Luinenburg (who is also responsible for the beautiful pictures in our book). MSP magazine is available at stores all around MN and will no doubt appear on their website soon. Check it out http://www.mspmag.com/ in the Food+Dining section or on page 111 in the printed version.
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