Two Guys, A Grill, And A Pizza

I've been hearing great and wonderful things about Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day and I was a bit skeptical until Kat at A Good Appetite posted about some hamburger buns she made. I tried them and fell in love. Little did I know that the same recipe can be used for buns, rolls, loaf bread, pizza dough, and more! I finally picked up the book this weekend and I've been in bread heaven.

One of the authors has a food blog: Zoe Bakes. And the book has a blog too: click here. You can see the recipes at work, ask questions, and get updates on the authors' appearances. It is so wonderful to see good people have good things happen to them. I mean, this book has taken the food world over by storm. I can only dream to have a book some day...

I made pizza and salad last night. Nothing special, nothing spectacular, but I love eating at home. I love knowing exactly what was put into my food. Two guys weren't involved (unless you count my neighbor and his friend; even if I'm not cooking "It smells good in here...")

And I can lick the spoon when nobody's looking...

Original bread recipe from Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T granulated yeast
1 1/2 T salt
1T Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container
2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a large wooden spoon.
3. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. You can use the dough at this point, or refrigerate and use over next 12 days. If you refrigerate at least overnight, you’ll develop better flavor in the dough.

If you're using refrigerated dough, shape into a ball and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

You're supposed to use a pizza peel, cornmeal, a 500 degree F oven...
Yeah...I didn't do any of that.

350 degree F oven, non-stick pizza pan sprayed with Pam, loaded on the toppings and 15 minutes later: Voila!

Yes, I'll admit it! The sawdust that they call parmesan cheese has been sprinkled over my slices. Forgive me. Please...
For my salad, I used my neighbor's grill!
I sliced a romaine heart lengthwise, brushed olive oil, sprinkled salt and pepper on it and placed it on the grill until it got wilted and a little bit charred. After it cooled, I chopped it, added some cukes, chickpeas, diced red onion, tomato, roasted red, yellow and green peppers, a healthy grind or 12 of black pepper and some dashes of Kraft Free Italian Dressing. Yum!

Almost two months ago, I started reading and listening to Concious Eating and my outlook on food really has changed. I still live to eat instead of eating to live, but what/how/when I decide to eat has changed.

I made a new pact with myself about food: If I want to eat it, I have to make it myself. No more fast food, convenience foods, or going out to eat unless it's for work or by invitation.

I can cook any and everything, so this shouldn't be a problem. The night I made my pact, a friend came over with Wendy's and had my favorite: Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I couldn't...and didn't refuse. I'll start again tomorrow. Then, someone brought oatmeal cookies from Trader Joe's to work. I told myself I was allergic and didn't eat any.

Jenn the Left Over Queen went on a rant about how she's not buying anymore bread from the store and she's making it at home now. I have since decided to follow suit. No more Nature's Own or Merita for me.
I love bread more than almost anything. But I hate baking bread that involves yeast. And I don't believe in bread machines. My hands and dough hook in the Kitchen Aid (well, mine is a Sunbeam) work just fine.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. I tried a pizza dough from this book. I didnt pot about itbecause it was a really wet dough and hard to handle. However I usedit up and baked little blobs of it and served with olive oil and sea salt. It tasted good! I finally crafted a pizza from it, and it was good. I like the vast qty's and the days the dough lasts. I have to try another recipe from it. Im all about making from food from scrathc. You appreciate it much more. I hope you are feeling better today.

  2. I'm so glad you are liking the book! We have maybe bought one loaf of bread at the store since we got it. I mean seriously could it be any easier?!

  3. Your pizza looks great. Is it true that there is no kneading involved? It sounds like you just mixed it together, let and rise, and it was ready to rock. I love no kneading bread.

  4. that book gets rave reviews from all who've tried that dough. i checked it out from local library and read about it, but got stuck at the having to have a plastic container. i want to try it someday though. fresh bread daily? nothing better than that!

  5. was this pizza crust amazing? because that is the only way i'll give up good all pillsbury pizza crust. it looks great though;)

    P.s. just discovered your blog on the foodie forum, and showing some love;)

  6. Great pizza Nikki. You are so brave working with yeast. I made yeast bread for the first time in my life yesterday. Man oh man it gets sticky! But it was fun.

  7. Courtney: Did you try to use the dough after refrigeration or after the rising period?
    I halved the original recipe, thinking that if I messed it up, there wouldn't be much waste. Well, I wish I had followed the full recipe because it was amazing!
    And yeah, today was better :) Thank you for asking.

    Kat: No, no...I LOVE this book. I have AP flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, cake flour, I am going to be baking SOOoo much now. I can't believe how easy and wonderful it is!

    Adam: Thanks! It's true, no kneading at all. I barely handled the dough. I mixed it with a rubber spatula, and kinda folded it into a ball when it was time to bake. It totally rocked.

    Bekka: You should try it anyway. Only have a ceramic bowl? Any tupperware? Anything? I seriously doubt it matters. This dough is that simple and easy that I'm sure you could put it in a plastic Halloween pumpkin and it would turn out.

    kitchen vixen: Hey, thanks for stopping by! It REALLY is amazing. I covered my hands with olive oil before I put it down to spread out. I mean, you have dough in your fridge for any time! No thawing, it's cheap and you know what's in it. No preservatives and crazy enzymes you can't pronounce. You want some rolls? Some pizza, a've got it in 30 minutes or less (kinda like delivery pizza).

    Teresa: Before a few weeks ago, I didn't dare mess with yeast. Maybe with biscuits, but even that was pushing it. Check out this book or even the blog. I believe it has changed my life...

  8. Ha ha ha ha! Yo, Nikki! Ain't it cool? I am so pleased you went (walked!) and bought the book. Congratulations, and welcome to the cult of the converted. :)

  9. I have GOT to buy this book! I've heard so much about it. Your pizza looks tasty.
    I guess I'm going to have to follow you, and start baking my bread myself.

  10. i love the title of this post..i am not so familiar with this book but i definitely love making my own bread at home :-) your pizza looks hubby and i love pizza .;so this is for us!! yum

  11. CC: I think we're both cool! Keepin' it green...makin' my own bread...walkin' to the store... I usually hate following others and jumping onto bandwagons but I'm glad about jumpingon this one.

    Emiline: Yeah, you like baking, this book is right up your alley. And there are sweet treats, bread-related side dishes, and accompaniments in the book too.

    dhanggit: Thank you! I tried to get the "two guys" part in my post the best I could.

  12. You have two things waiting for you at this address:
    Be sure to scroll down to see them both!!!

  13. Haha, you think the "green can" parm is bad, I put brewer's yeast on my pizza, like a damn hippie fool. It's so good!

  14. Christy: Thanks! I'll check them out right now!

    Heather: I have no idea what brewer's yeast tastes like, but I'm sure it's some potent sh*t.

  15. Hey! I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm so glad our recipes are working well for you. Come visit us anytime at, where you can post questions into any "Comments" field, or into the "Bread Questions" gateway on the left side of the homepage.

    Jeff Hertzberg

  16. Jeff: Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I will surely be commenting on the Website and extolling the greatness of you and Zoe's book!

  17. I love grilled salads - especially grilled romaine. My friends hate - they just don't know what they're missing.


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