Author Judith Fertig unveils her Easy Bread cookbook, just in time for the holidays

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Chef and author Judith Fertig. // Photo by Julia Shapiro

If you’re a glutton for gluten, the next five weeks are your Super Bowl. We’re talking copious carb-loading. Bring on the rolls, pastries, buns, and other sundry items. 

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Easy Bread.

Local cookbook author (and all-around Renaissance woman) Judith Fertig feels your pain. From coffee cakes and croissants to bagels and brioche, Fertig has experimented with them all. In fact, her house has become the ultimate test kitchen.

I love learning something new,” she says. “The only problem was what to do with all the baked goods. Luckily, I had very well-fed and happy neighbors.”

In her newest cookbook—the aptly titled Easy Bread—Fertig opted to create a variety of recipes for burgeoning bread makers.

“I tried to eliminate all the anxieties people have about making bread,” she says. “First, the master recipe dough only has four ingredients—flour, water, salt, and the easy-peasy instant or bread machine yeast you just stir into the flour.”

How simple is it? “You just stir the dough together like making brownies from a mix,” she says. “Plus, you have nine days to use the dough after you pop it in the fridge. Easy Bread has tons of photos that show you the process at every stage.” 

Fertig says with the holidays coming up, you’d best have a vat of her flatbread dough handy for guest emergencies. “I love to have a bowl in the fridge to make flatbread,” she adds. “You just press it in a sheet pan, add whatever toppings you want, and you’re ready to party at a moment’s notice.” 

Easy Bread

Fertig’s book cover.

If you need to dazzle guests on Thanksgiving, never fear. Fertig’s book is available now. ($20) Want to make a gift bag for your favorite foodie? Fertig says buy the book, a Danish dough whisk, some yeast, and throw in “a regional flour such as Hudson cream flour that you can get locally at better grocery stores,” she says. “Also, the Danish dough whisk looks like something a dominatrix would use,” she adds with a laugh.

Fertig’s love of carbs is well-known throughout the land—including her penchant for cinnamon rolls. She created and shared 50 different cinnamon roll recipes in I Love Cinnamon Rolls, which is another hometown Andrews McMeel cookbook.

There’s even a French version of her new book called Pain (the French word for bread). “I’ve had a lot of fun with that,” she says. “Especially with readers who find me on my website to ask questions that I try to answer in my very poor French. At least they’re spared my Midwest-accented pronunciation.”

Find Easy Bread at Pryde’s Old Westport, Meadowbrook Deli, and Rainy Day Books. It’s also available at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Categories: Food & Drink