Food & dining

Insider: New cookbook helps you bake with steel

If you bought a Baking Steel to create restaurant-quality, Neapolitan pizza in your oven, you might wonder what else to do with the hulking 16-by-14-inch steel sheet that weighs 15 pounds. It heats up to temperatures past 700 degrees, turning out pizza in minutes with a perfectly charred, crackly crust as if it were baked in a wood-fired oven. Hingham resident Andris Lagsdin, the Baking Steel inventor, has developed a plethora of ways to use the powerhouse tool and teams with writer Jessie Oleson Moore on “Baking With Steel: The Revolutionary New Approach to Perfect Pizza, Bread, and More” (Little Brown). The book explores the Baking Steel’s capabilities and helps you understand how it works. It’s also a primer on dough and offers recipes for sauces and creative pizzas, from avocado and tomato, spicy coconut shrimp, to dessert pizzas with blueberries and raspberries topping ricotta. Beyond pizza, recipes teach you how to use the sheet to bake crusty breads (baguettes, English muffins, bagels, brioche), as well as stromboli, calzone, and more. Readers will also find recipes geared toward the Baking Steel Griddle for the stovetop, another invention by Lagsdin. The griddle puts a beautiful char on steaks and can turn you into a proficient short order cook. The book is only useful if you own a Baking Steel, which in itself is a worthy investment ($79 on Amazon). The cookbook is available at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.bakingsteel.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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