Sweet and Simple Magazine: Blogs We Love * Zoe from Zoe Bakes

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Blogs We Love * Zoe from Zoe Bakes

{photo by Stephen Gross}

What a privilege to welcome Zoe, from Zoe Bakes, to Simply the Sweet Life. Her site is filled with inspiration and appetite. Her mission to “play with sugar and take the mystery out of baking”, will inspire you head to the kitchen. Zoe’s third cook book, Artisan Pizza and Flatbreads in 5 Minutes a Day, just hit book stores and is filled with recipes for every one's favorite, pizza. This is one girl who knows her way around food. We are so excited to have Zoe here today.
p.s. Don’t miss her fun pizza video. It will make you smile, and make you hungry.

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you start cooking/baking?

Long before I started Zo√ęBakes.com or wrote the Bread in 5 cookbooks, and while studying art at the University of Vermont, I started a cookie company as a way to earn extra money. I baked outrageous gourmet cookies in my tiny apartment oven, sold them from a beautiful vending cart on the street and managed to established a few wholesale accounts.

I ended up working in a couple of professional kitchens, but decided I needed more formal training and headed off to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. My first boss out of school was Andrew Zimmern (before he started eating crazy things on the Travel Channel) and it has been a wild ride of pastry and baking since then.

Where do you get your inspiration for cooking.

Inspiration can come from the farmer's market, eating at restaurants, requests from my kids, gorgeous websites, magazines, my collection of over 300 cookbooks or even a painting. I am constantly thinking of sweets, so everything is inspiring to me.

What are your three must have kitchen tools?

A Danish Dough Whisk, Parchment Paper and a pizza stone. That's a random list, but I use those almost every day for something. The dough whisk is the coolest tool I own and the best thing for mixing our doughs.

When it comes to food, what is your weakness. What is your favorite thing to eat.

Pizza! That is why I was so excited to do this new book. While I was researching, testing and writing the book, I think my family ate pizza at least three times a day and I never got tired of it. They begged me for sushi on occasion, but we spent 2 years eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And then there is chocolate.

Tell us a little about your new book, ARTISAN PIZZA AND FLATBREADS...what inspired you to write it?

I adore pizza and I don't think I'm alone in that. My co-author, Jeff Hertzberg, and I spend 24/7 on our website breadin5.com talking to people about our books, answering questions and getting requests for recipes. This is how we got the idea for the Healthy Bread book. Then there was an overwhelming theme to the requests, everyone wanted to make more pizza. It is fast, it is easy and it is a meal. These are my kind of folks. Thin crust, thick crust, stuffed, healthy, decadent, you name it and we make it. The book was really just an excuse for us to eat pizza all the time.