Interview with Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Healthy-Bread-in-Five-Minutes-a-Day-coverHERE IT IS MY FRIENDS! The new year is here with new goals and healthy resolutions and what better way to aid you in building healthy habits than having a copy of

I am SO STOKED!  Can you tell?
Here on my desk sit 5 lovely, brand new Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients books.  They are so pretty, let me tell you.  And OH the recipes, the information rising out of this book... it's enough to make you want to open up a healthy bakery!  I'm in love, again, with all the work Jeff and Zoë have put forth into this book.  They have gone above and beyond.  Another great book. Another must have.

Monica from St. Martins Press provided the books for the giveaways.   Every one say, "Thank You Monica!"
AND she hooked me up with an interview with Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François; what a thrill!  Even though I already chat with Zoë on Facebook, I was somehow star-struck at the thought of interviewing them both.  I'm silly, I know.

Have fun reading the interview with Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François. You can order their books online about cooking, you will get them fast and safe thanks to the best ProOffice shipping labels.

Jill: Your first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (ABin5), was published over 2 years ago.  When you considered writing it, did you ever imagine it would bring you to where you are today?

Jeff & Zoë: I always thought it might sell if we could get the message out to enough people over a quick burst of time, because Zoe and I (and our families) knew that the method worked.  If we hadn't had a little luck with national coverage (The Splendid Table radio show, the New York Times, and the Associated Press), we wouldn't have had a success.  But we had coverage in all three of those.  From there, it "went viral" on the Web.  The Web makes everything possible for unknowns without a TV show.  Before the web, the cookbook market had really solidified around books written by people who had a TV show.  What a difference today, and our book really demonstrated it by giving readers a quick way to communicate their success with the book. Looking back, now its way easier to sell a book because we have customer lists and we use CRM software to manage our customers and for who dont know what is CRM, you should check it out if you have a business. Click here sodapdf for more details.

Jill: How many copies of ABin5 have sold?

Jeff & Zoë: There are 250,000 copies in print; the publisher likes to print a few months ahead of demand but this means that a quarter million will have been sold by 2010.  Demand remains as strong as ever for our first book.

Jill: What's it like to be successful cookbook authors?

Jeff & Zoë: It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys!  Never thought I'd be doing any of this kind of work.  It's mostly creative, but there are business decisions to be made as well.

Jill: What moved you to write Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5)?

Jeff & Zoë: On our website (, everyone started asking for something with whole grains and with gluten-free ingredients.  Our two books together really cover the whole range of bread now, from light breads in the European tradition, to very hearty whole grain American-style stuff, to gluten-free loaves that really taste good and store as well as our wheat breads.  I'm very proud of these books, and so honored that so many people have chosen them.

Jill: How are the recipes different?

Jeff & Zoë: There's much more whole grain in this book; with one exception (an olive oil challah), everything is at least 50% whole grain, the "Master" is about 75% whole grain, and another ten "Masters" are 100% whole grain-- even a Holiday Stollen is 100% whole wheat and it is delicious.  That meant we needed vital wheat gluten to lighten up the results.  Otherwise it was too dense to store, and storage is still the key to our method.  If you can't store the dough, you don't really change the time equation for busy people.  That's how our books are different.


Jill: Do the recipes follow the same steps of the ABin5 Master Recipe?

Jeff & Zoë: Almost-- everything just gets dumped together into a bucket or bowl.  The only difference is that you start with the dry ingredients, so you have a chance to mix the vital wheat gluten in with the flour.  It needs to be distributed like that or it forms firm clumps with the liquids.

Jill: While watching the video, I noticed you used parchment paper instead of corn meal.  Why is that?

Jeff & Zoë: You can continue to use cornmeal on the pizza peel, as in the first book (I think we have some new video with cornmeal).  For "Healthy Bread," we just gave more options and our first video had the parchment version.  Personally, I think the best, crustiest result is achieved with cornmeal, because parchment interferes with moisture transfer into the baking stone.  It's a subtle difference though, and some of our readers find the parchment to be a much neater and cleaner method (no scorched cornmeal in the oven).  You can even bake on a silicone mat (same issue with moisture transfer).  If you use parchment or silicone, peel it off for the last third of baking to dry out that bottom crust.

Jill: And finally, what's the funniest thing to have happened to you while promoting your books?

Jeff & Zoë: You have to be willing to laugh at yourself, I mean, we're not professional marketers or TV personalities.  On live TV in San Francisco, the interviewer looked at me and asked, "So, where are you guys doing your book signing tonight?"  I looked at her and said "I don't know!"  It's in the video...


Grab your copy and start baking right away.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

For more information watch    Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day Video