averagejoeartisanbread


quality posts: 2 Private Messages averagejoeartisanbread

Let's see...where to begin? Maybe I'll start with some themes that have emerged.

Technique - Yep, the New York Times article was my inspiration. You can now find that technique in many places. But if you want to actually bake bread, rather than spend your time researching bread, the Average Joe cookbook will get you baking (multiple recipes, no less) in 25 pages. I've spent a lot of time streamlining the process and tweaking different variables, and I encourage you to capitalize on that experience.

Price - Compared to what? A $150 bread machine that makes cardboard? A $25, 250-page cookbook + a $45-200 cast iron pot + $15 ingredients + HOURS OF YOUR TIME to acquire the stuff, read the book, and figure it out over several weeks, if not months? Or $49.99 for everything you need to make it right out-of-the-box? The math seems pretty simple to me. But I'm biased.

Bread Pot - Cast iron works no better (though unlike our Bread Pot, it requires preheating) and is a lot more expensive. And the Bread Pots are very sturdy - I've used them extensively in commercial production, including at one of OpenTable's Top 50 Restaurants and at the James Beard House in NYC.

The Point - Our goal is to teach anyone - yes, even the Average Joe - how to make great bread at home very easily. We include the techniques, supplies, and enough ingredients for three loaves to get you going immediately and to build your confidence. After that, you can buy more ingredients at almost any grocery store and make the bread for about 80 cents per loaf. If you want to quickly learn how to easily bake world-class, homemade bread for your friends and family for years to come, Average Joe will teach you.

Thanks for your time!

Joe

Anhaga


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Anhaga

I'm going to even argue against the artisan-bread-in-a-pot version, and recommend that those who really want to learn to make easy, quick, versatile artisan bread instead but a copy of Judith Fertig's 200 Fast & Easy Artisan Breads and a baking stone, and just cope with the idea of getting their hands a little messy with a single knead/shaping at the end of the process. Crunchy-crusted, chewy artisan bread really does not require any special equipment except for that baking stone, which is also incredibly useful for things like good home-made pizza, and learning the feel of bread is an important thing for anyone who thinks they might bake regularly. It's also, really, just as easy as the dutch oven method, believe me.

polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22
averagejoeartisanbread wrote:The Point - Our goal is to teach anyone - yes, even the Average Joe - how to make great bread at home very easily. We include the techniques, supplies, and enough ingredients for three loaves to get you going immediately and to build your confidence. After that, you can buy more ingredients at almost any grocery store and make the bread for about 80 cents per loaf. If you want to quickly learn how to easily bake world-class, homemade bread for your friends and family for years to come, Average Joe will teach you.

Joe


I'd say you hit that goal dead-on. Basically what my review was trying to convey. Great way to get started. And with enough information that it is easy to buy your own ingredients from then on.

You really don't set yourself up well to sell the refill kits.

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mommadeb1


quality posts: 17 Private Messages mommadeb1

I got to try this out earlier this week and am cooking my second loaf as I type this.

First impression: wow, I never knew you could bake bread in a pan!

First step, read the instruction book. LOVED the pictures and directions... I also loved the fact that the flour is King Aurthur brand.. I would have liked the bags be resealable, instead of me searching for clips to close them.....
would like to have been told weather it was important to warm the water before you add yeast (I did) and how much water do you need to spritz on the bread before baking? (I guessed)

The mixing is super easy. First stir in ingredients then use a mixer, I did used my Kitchen Aid mixer.
Let proof for 18-24 hours, shape, let proof for another hour. Bake: first part with lid on, second part without lid.

Was totally amazed when I took the lid off the pot!! My bread looked like professional bread!! (side note here, I usually have bread turn out weird when I make hommade bread)
Waiting for the bread to cool was torture! The whole house smelled soo yummy!! We waited for about 1.5 hours to cut into the bread.
First impression.... crust is super crunchy, the inside was a bit denser than I expected, but it looked pretty!!
Taste: YUMMY!!! everyone agreed it was supper good!! Crust was crunch/chewy (mmmmmmm) Flavor was great! My son wanted to take some to school to share with his friends...
I mixed up my second batch yesterday before I headed out to work.
I will post pictures of first loaf as soon as my kids get home and help me (pathetic, I know)
As far as price goes, I can see peoples point in it is a bit pricy...but this would make a great gift. I do like the fact that everything I need is all together. So you are paying for convenience in my opinion.


mommadeb1


quality posts: 17 Private Messages mommadeb1
Anhaga wrote:I'm going to even argue against the artisan-bread-in-a-pot version, and recommend that those who really want to learn to make easy, quick, versatile artisan bread instead but a copy of Judith Fertig's 200 Fast & Easy Artisan Breads and a baking stone, and just cope with the idea of getting their hands a little messy with a single knead/shaping at the end of the process. Crunchy-crusted, chewy artisan bread really does not require any special equipment except for that baking stone, which is also incredibly useful for things like good home-made pizza, and learning the feel of bread is an important thing for anyone who thinks they might bake regularly. It's also, really, just as easy as the dutch oven method, believe me.



good point, but not all of us have time to bake like that. This makes homemade bread in minimal mixing/kneading time. I mixed my second batch in 5 min before I went to work....

fredrinaldi


quality posts: 33 Private Messages fredrinaldi
ardubu wrote:$50 for some pot? Hey...

Back to bread - Use King Arthur flour. It is superb!



$50 for some pot?, must be low grade Oops slipping back to the 60's

kwkilcoyne


quality posts: 7 Private Messages kwkilcoyne

Not an item for me, as I've been baking my own bread for thirty years, and even grind my own flour.

But if a kit like this inspires someone to start baking their own bread, and stop buying the prepackaged dreck from the grocery store, it's a winner!

fogtower


quality posts: 1 Private Messages fogtower
blueraccoon wrote:Honestly, this looks good to me. I don't have a cast iron dutch oven or covered pot to bake in, I don't know the first thing about baking bread, and it's worth having everything in one package so I can figure out what I'm doing. $50 is a bit high for my budget this month but I'm still tempted. Getting everything together like this means I'm much more likely to *use* it as opposed to buying a pot, flour, salt, yeast, etc. separately at separate times and letting it all sit in my pantry until I forget about it.

Just my $0.02...



This is a useless stamped steel pot, you can find them for about $5 in stores and most China towns. They are poor for making bread so get a cast iron pot and a bread kit and you are FAR better off.

Look, and this is with Prime.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L8DOL3-Pre-Seasoned-Handles-5-Quart/dp/B00063RWYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367503853&sr=8-1&keywords=cast+iron+pot

Go to the Mall, get the pot for even less at Bed Bath, walk to cook shop and get bread kit. You now have a really good pot and won't need to throw it away.

modi123


quality posts: 0 Private Messages modi123
The idea behind it is that most everyone already has measuring cups, a mixing bowl, etc., so they don't need all those kitchenware’s.



Funny story - I am not part of the 'most everyone'. No measure cups (dry or liquid), no complex spice array, no special knifes, fancy salts, bread boards, pizza stones, etc.. Just one of those odd things I never got around to picking up, and (so far) haven't come into dire need for. I am not a baker, a pseudo-chef, or someone with oodles of time to delight my pallet with a complex array of the fanciest of feasts.. in my single bedroom apartment. By myself. Plus I don't have any creme fraiche.

With that being said I have entertained the idea of making my own bread - if for anything to break up the monotony of my daily multigran sandwich for lunch. Or to make a pretzel or two to munch on when yelling at my Yankees to be better.

I figured a bread machine would work (sort of the set it and forget it approach), but this whole 'bread in a pot' brings an interesting twist to my lackadaisical Saturday afternoon dreams.

I may consider this more as the day progresses!

editorkid


quality posts: 91 Private Messages editorkid
drfranco wrote:Agree that $50 for a pot, some flour, and bread recipes is really ridiculous. However, disagree with above posts that AP flour is just as good as bread flour. That's likely true with mediocre AP and Bread flour, but if you use high quality bread flour (e.g., King Arthur and flour from better mills), the difference in rise and crust due to the increased protein is more than noticeable.


In fairness, there's a difference between my "AP is fine" and the implied "AP is just as good." You will get good bread with AP. As you say, you'll get better bread with real bread flour. But if all you have is AP, you'll still get good bread. (And yes, I always use King Arthur unbleached.)

paulmd


quality posts: 5 Private Messages paulmd

Interesting product concept.. but too $$$!!

iversoncupid


quality posts: 0 Private Messages iversoncupid

100% agree. Bittman nails this and the breads based out of Jim Lahey's NYC bakery come out amazing.

editorkid wrote:Wow.

Assuming you've already got the stockpot, here's how to do it for nothin'. You don't need bread flour; AP is fine. You don't need fancy salts (although the 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt in the recipe is a bit too scant; try 1 3/4 or so). There's a tiny amount of yeast to get it started, but the whole point of the recipe is that your dough gathers wild yeasts right out of the air. And if you search Google for bittmann no-knead bread variations, you'll get plenty of info about whole-wheat, rye, the works. It's a remarkably forgiving and adaptable recipe and, as Bittmann stresses repeatedly, you're missing the point if you even try to make two loaves come out the same.



Winedavid39


quality posts: 197 Private Messages Winedavid39

Guest Blogger

ThunderThighs wrote:Y'all are gonna make WD really sad.



I'm ok TT, thanks for your concern :-). And thanks average Joe for joining the fray.

When we factored in all the components, we found this to be a pretty cool Thursday item. Particularly when considering it for a gift.

** Yes, this will arrive by Mother's day **

It IS the best deal around for this set of products, but we get that it's mabye not for everyone.

My .02 ? Educational, fun and some seriously good bread.

editorkid


quality posts: 91 Private Messages editorkid
ThunderThighs wrote:Y'all are gonna make WD really sad.


My take on this particular deal aside, anytime WD posts actual vittles on a Thursday instead of all the schlocky corkscrews and napkins and aerators, it's a good thing! (It would have been even cooler if the Maison de Monaco preserves had shown up on w.w Plus today, so folks making bread would have something to put on it. And if those Breville smart ovens had been on h.w, it would have been win-win!)

gmwhit


quality posts: 2 Private Messages gmwhit

Just a thought - perhaps, this item might have been better placed/received on home woot.

Or not. And yes, I know that it's Thursday, a non-wine offering day.

Edited to add: Did not see the post above me. Goes to show you, some have differing viewpoints. Duh!

craigthom


quality posts: 62 Private Messages craigthom
fredrinaldi wrote:$50 for some pot?, must be low grade Oops slipping back to the 60's



No. I don't know about the '60s, but I have it on good authority that $50 would have gotten you at least two lids of the good stuff in the '70s.

InFrom


quality posts: 31 Private Messages InFrom
craigthom wrote:No. I don't know about the '60s, but I have it on good authority that $50 would have gotten you at least two lids of the good stuff in the '70s.

This kind, right???

polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22
kwkilcoyne wrote:Not an item for me, as I've been baking my own bread for thirty years, and even grind my own flour.

But if a kit like this inspires someone to start baking their own bread, and stop buying the prepackaged dreck from the grocery store, it's a winner!


Wow! Never knew someone that ground their own flour. That must make some super bread.

Polar bears are meant to be clever, very clever. They are the Einsteins of the bear community. - Anonymous
Please donate to the 2014 MS Bike Ride
Want to read what SonomaBouliste has to say about wine?
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polarbear22


quality posts: 35 Private Messages polarbear22
Winedavid39 wrote:I'm ok TT, thanks for your concern :-). And thanks average Joe for joining the fray.

When we factored in all the components, we found this to be a pretty cool Thursday item. Particularly when considering it for a gift.

** Yes, this will arrive by Mother's day **

It IS the best deal around for this set of products, but we get that it's mabye not for everyone.

My .02 ? Educational, fun and some seriously good bread.



Any chance for a reappearance on gift week? Or should I buy now and hold? (Don't know what I would do if I don't have to buy gifts on Christmas Eve, so buying them in May? Heck, I'll probably lose them when "putting them somewhere safe?")

My wife was not a bread maker, She got excited by the kit, how easy it was to make and how tasty the bread was. So it would be worth $50 to me.

While clearly not for everyone, and maybe not that big a hit, it was a good choice for an offer.

Polar bears are meant to be clever, very clever. They are the Einsteins of the bear community. - Anonymous
Please donate to the 2014 MS Bike Ride
Want to read what SonomaBouliste has to say about wine?
Ddeuddeg Cheesecake Cookbook
My Cellar

mommadeb1


quality posts: 17 Private Messages mommadeb1

update: Second loaf was better than the first.... I'm going to go buy more bread flour for sure....





edit: got to thinking about the price... Where I live, a good loaf of artisan bread is over $5... and with this kit you make 3 loaves... just a thought...

bhodilee


quality posts: 32 Private Messages bhodilee
polarbear22 wrote:Wow! Never knew someone that ground their own flour. That must make some super bread.



This will shock you, but your kitchen aid has an attachment to grind your own flours.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

kwkilcoyne


quality posts: 7 Private Messages kwkilcoyne
bhodilee wrote:This will shock you, but your kitchen aid has an attachment to grind your own flours.


The KA attachment is fine if you're not going to do much, but the duty cycle is low. I use the Family Grain Mill, which can be powered or hand turned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sJNijrNrf8
I've found my lowest price on 25 pound sacks of wheat and rye on Amazon because the Prime shipping rocks!

fredrinaldi


quality posts: 33 Private Messages fredrinaldi
craigthom wrote:No. I don't know about the '60s, but I have it on good authority that $50 would have gotten you at least two lids of the good stuff in the '70s.


your right about the 60's $10 bags were the norm, today,
fo-get-a-bout-it

ceagee


quality posts: 61 Private Messages ceagee

King Arthur has a bunch of tasty looking recipes I wandered upon the other day.
That link was to one I liked in particular, but at the bottom of the page it leads you to more. The never ending labyrinth of the internet.

I never made it before, but was inspired by the recipe to check into it. I don't have a dutch oven, so at first I thought maybe on this deal, but after reading, I think better to invest in something nice on that front. Sorry Woot.

Maybe you could put a really nice dutch oven up on home woot ? I'd bite.
But don't make it too long, I want to try this out.



modi123


quality posts: 0 Private Messages modi123

I am still a bit wishy washy on the whole thing. I have a feeling I may just use it once and forget it... though my buddy tells me chicks dig guys who know how to put a bun in the oven. zing!

rjquillin


quality posts: 169 Private Messages rjquillin

I finally, after 4 1/2 years, received the fabled "Golden Ticket" ! Yes, they do exist. not actually golden either, but it will end up on my wall in a frame. So, how to do it justice? this is going to be very difficult, as the parcel arrived at FedEd on Wednesday, late. Actually too late for me to even pick it up, as Wednesday was the third day of looking at huge striped layers of tenting totally engulfing my house that were finally dropping off as the crew exposed what is now purported to be a termite free structure.

Now, this in and of itself may not have been all that difficult to deal with, however, I'm also the dubious owner of a neurotic cockatoo that had only weeks earlier laid two eggs. See, you don't just pack up and go to a hotel with a rather large parrot in a larger cage, especially when she's sitting eggs. Problem. Solution not however optimal. Now, at least I reside in SoCal, so we've not been experiencing the absolutely Yellow Brick Road weather much of the nation has been blessed with. It's been mild at night and actually pretty warm in the day here. Given that, the solution was to move the cage, bird and eggs just outside, into a rather small backyard. This too presents obvious problems; where do I hire a bird-sitter for an already neurotic white parrot sitting on two eggs. You don't, that I know of. Second solution; stay with the bird. Yeah, can do. I do have an old official cedar, I think, and canvas, I know, surplus cot, and a sleeping bag. Time for a stay-at-home camping adventure. Work, yeah, that too. An extension cord and wireless router saved the day and I could just work on files from home. So cage outside, cot next to cage, computer, extra monitor, wireless phones and a few basic supplies on a picnic table was my new outdoor office for three days. Now, obviously, there are other physiological needs that would need to be tended to, but those details are left to the reader.

Wait, this is about an Average Joe Bread Kit isn't it.
Yeah, and just how am I supposed to make bread, enter the house with breathing gear in a hazmat suit? So I picked up the parcel from FedEx on the way to work this morning, Thursday, and needing to make up some time just got home at 20:45 local, that's PDT, so many of you are already reading your eyelids, but I've got a book to read. Not going to get a chance to sample the wares, just play touchy-feelie with the goods. Others have pretty well covered what's in the kit, but the flour is the noted King Arthur Bread Flour, that's good for points. And the other ingredients, yep, all there, no shopping required, another plus. Did I already have some of these ingredients, true that; I have a bread machine, but this isn't bread machine plonk we're trying to make here is it?

I've got bread cookbooks with lot's of recipes, but this one is visual, and not being a cooking school graduate, or for that matter even a decent cook, much less a baker, this makes it all look easy. I've never had good luck getting yeast breads to come out consistently, so when I'm not using the machine, I tend to do soda breads. Those heavy loafs that do well as lethal projectiles a day or so after they're baked, especially if you have your old school boy slingshot.

The BOOK, let's talk about the book. For me this is what makes the kit. It's got pictures. It not only tells you what you knead to do, but shows you. Huge plus, the other cook books just fail here. And it sounds like it's going to be simple, but will likely try my patience; what is this 18-24 hour business. I can't even remember what I was doing 24 hours ago, much less predict what I'm going to be doing 24 hours from now.

So, now with little time left for you to purchase this, based of course on this extensive and concise review, I'm going to start my first loaf of bread. This looks like it's gonna be some fun.

I ask you now, could I have really made this up?
Think so, check this out my digs for the last three days, before I got the cot setup…

Thanks WD and George, but next time let's try to improve our timing just a bit...
AverageJoe, thank you too, nice concept.

CT

InFrom


quality posts: 31 Private Messages InFrom
rjquillin wrote:awesome post

It's a shame the mods apparently never saw this, as it's one of the quality-est things I've seen in a long time.

Having read the reviews, and also the vendor's participation, I've softened my opinion. I can see that it's a nice idea, and that some thought was put into assembling the kit. I'm sure it would do a reasonable job for someone curious about no-knead baking. That said, as one of the proponents of a more DIY approach, I note with interest that a 5-qt, Lodge Dutch oven is on sale at a couple of sites today. This one seems nice in that the lid can also be used as a skillet. Clever!

bemilowe1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bemilowe1

I am a terrible cook/baker. My attempts are well known in my family. I bought this kit, looking for something simple that made better bread than my bread maker...the instructions were fantastic, and the bread was simple to make and more importantly, my family loved it, and asked for more. And, more I did make, and each loaf was better than the first. This is a milestone for me, and my family- so, this kit is a winner for me!