My grandpa always believed that all-American was the best and only way to go. He drank Mug root beer and had a mandatory channel change override policy whenever John Wayne was on TV. He always drove American cars, too. Chevys (called “Shivees,”) Dodge, and Chryslers were all he knew.
My first car was a Chrysler. He wouldn’t have let me park it in the driveway otherwise. Eventually I upgraded to a (shhhh) Toyota. But my Toyota had Bluetooth capability. Heated seats. Electric windows (which really ages me, considering that my first car didn’t). It has little gauges that beep merrily when I get too close to an obstacle, or when my tires need a little air.
Sometimes even a classic can be improved with something ridiculously brilliant that you didn’t even know you needed, until you got it and decided that you couldn’t live without it.
I’ll never forget when I ordered my first Baking Steel. I watched the distant horizon of my driveway at mail delivery time with the enthusiasm of a shipwreck victim looking for rescue. Ahhh the agony of the wait! And then finally, one beautiful day . . . it CAME! Ohhhh my friends the thrill that tingled the tips of my SOUL as I held it in my hands for the very first time!
I turned my grill on the very highest setting on the very hottest day of summer. No more pale, flaccid pizza for me, I said with a mischievous grin. I smiled knowing that, finally, I had a flame hot enough! I had a flame hot enough to BROIL me some PIZZA! I had A FLAME HOT ENOUGH TO TAKE OVER THE WORLDDDD!!!! *earth conquering music swells in the background*
It’s probably no surprise that I practically melted the vinyl siding off my house in my little homemade version of Dante’s Inferno. My first, glorious pizza burst into flames almost immediately when it hit my scorching steel. I believe I quite literally took the term “A flaming success” to new heights. But I wasn’t worried.
Being a planner, I had cleverly prepared 4 pizzas, all waiting as trustingly as a groom at a drunken wedding toast to get their little tails roasted off. I calmly removed the few remaining floating flakes of torched pizza bliss and tried a second pizza. Then a third. Then a fourth. It was like watching perfectly good lemmings fling themselves into the sea to die. My darlings, why oh why oh WHYYYY????
Luckily Baking Steel is helmed by Captain Andris Lagsdin. I crawled to him over the broken, broiled, burnt up dreams of my Baking Steel pizza bliss. I offered up the charred remains of my dignity to his experienced, pizza-god hands. And like the champion that he is, he took me into the wings of pizza rehab and healed my infirmities.
He brought my pizza dreams back to life again.
You might find it amazing that a man so successful and so busy would make time for a single customer. You might be amazed (as I was) to find that he answers each question, personally, and responds to each comment on his (very large and successful) social media accounts. You might be surprised that, through all of his business growth, he has not lost the personal touch.
This product, and especially this man and his dream, are for real.
Your pizza game will succeed because of Baking Steel. But your Baking Steel will succeed because of Andris Lagsdin. He took something classic and found a way to make it new.
I think my grandpa would be proud.
1 baguette, cubed (day old works well because the bread is harder and easier to toast)
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
Cube baguette into roughly 1” square pieces. If you mess up, I won’t tell the crouton police. :) Just do the best you can to get them fairly evenly sized. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil, stirring gently to coat. Dust with spices and stir to evenly distribute spices around all the bread cubes. Toast on a baking steel (I heated mine on the grill on low heat) just until golden, stirring to get all sides of the croutons evenly crisped. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.