Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day fame (and the followup, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day), have just put out the third book in their wildly popular series: Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day. The duo, which consists of a medical doctor (Jeff) and an award-winning pastry chef (that would be Zoë), have spread their wings and launched an exploration of global flatbreads and the world of flavors that can be paired with them.
Jeff and Zoë were kind enough to take a break from their busy book tour to answer a few questions for Bay Area Bites readers. Here's a peek into what inspired their international journey, and how they spent an entire year eating countless pizzas. Oh, the sacrifice!
This is your third book. Now that you've covered Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread In Five Minutes a Day, how did you come up with the idea for pizza and flatbreads?
Jeff: It seemed to us that the country was being swept up into a high-end pizzeria craze. These places are popping up all over the country, claiming Pizza Vera Napoletana status and all that, but it's a pretty expensive night out and our readers want something they can do at home. Plus, we already knew that the pizzas and flatbreads were clearly the fastest things in our books. After you stretch them flat, they're ready for the oven. That's not true for loaf breads, which need to rest for 45 to 90 minutes after shaping. So pizza and flatbread works for a busy weeknight.