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First Loaves: Jan D' Atri

One of our newest fan is radio and television personality Jan D'Atri. She was introduced to the bread kit in the Phoenix market and has been a baking maniac ever since. Here's a glimpse at her "first loaf!" Great job Jan, we look forward to hearing more about your baking successes with our bread kit!

The WSJ's MarketWatch Shows Us Some Love!

It’s not every day you make Big Media like a Wall Street Journal property. But a couple of days ago, we did.

Charles Passy, reporting for MarketWatch.com, somehow selected Average Joe Artisan Bread as one of “5 foods you’ll soon be eating” from among 180,000 products at the 2013 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.

Holy smoke! How did that happen?!?! We’re not sure, but we’re not complaining.  J

Bread Dust in a Pinch

Sometimes we’re not very good about making a list before we go to the grocery. Other times, we make a detailed list, coordinated with weekly specials and almost-expired coupons…and then promptly walk out the door with said list still on the kitchen counter.

So yes, we sometimes find ourselves without an Average Joe Artisan Bread Kit Refill. And right now we’re even out of wheat bran, one of the three dry ingredients (flour, wheat bran and corn meal) that go into the “bread dust” we spread in the bottom of our bread pot to prevent the loaf from sticking and burning.

By some miracle, though, we always have corn meal on hand. It’s like the fishes and the loaves—the bag seems to be full no matter how much we consume. And, here’s a trick—ample amounts of corn meal alone can serve in the role of bread dust. Just be sure you cover the entire bottom of the pot.

Usually we can remember one thing from our list at the grocery. This week it’s corn meal. When you’re there this week, pick up an extra bag for those times when your list gets lost in the shuffle.

A Bread for Easter

When you grow up with a mother who is a nurse in the intensive coronary care unit, breakfast is more than just the most important meal of the day. It’s also a healthy affair and an opportunity to cram in a few important food groups, with whole grains and fruit, skim milk and yogurt. Even as kids we were reading labels, making sure that “sugar” wasn’t too high on the list of ingredients in the cereal we chose at the store. Darn you, Frosted Flakes!

But on holidays, Mom put the yogurt aside. Instead, we’d wake to the most enchanting smell known to man, the scent of fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. Even when we were teens sleeping like it was our job, that heavenly smell would pull us from our potent slumber. Mom really knew how to make a day special.

We’ve decided we want to continue this tradition in our own family…but with a spin (because we don’t have Mom’s patience or skill). We’re going to make the Cinnamon Raisin Crown recipe from Average Joe this Easter. It’s rich, thick and sweet, studded with fruit and nuts and topped with a decadent glaze that we usually end up licking right off the plate. We’re thinking it might beat the chocolate in the Easter basket. We’re also thinking it might seduce our slumbering teens, coaxing them from the covers before noon. 

Maybe we’ll even make an extra loaf for Mom.

What are your Easter traditions? Or what kind of tradition do you want to start? Tell us on Facebook!

A Bruschetta-Inspired Snack

When we bake Average Joe Artisan Bread, we usually just slice off big warm hunks as soon as it comes out of the oven, dredge them in olive oil and scarf down the entire loaf. It’s not civilized, it’s not pretty, but wow, is it good!

Occasionally, however, we fall short of full-on food orgy and have a few leftover slices. This time we got creative with the crusts and created a bruschetta-inspired snack.

We lined a baking sheet with foil and laid several slices on top. We spritzed each lightly with an olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled aged parmesan shredded cheese and oregano on top. Then we put it in the oven under the broiler. We waited a bit too long on the first batch and smoked our family out of the house. But after clearing the air, we tried again and ended up with a few nicely toasted pieces.

We topped ours with salsa, though you could use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce instead. Instant deliciousness. And this time, there were no leftovers!

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