You can imagine my response when the lovely Megan asked if I’d be interested in attending a blogger baking class she was organizing at King Arthur Flour. Yes, please! I have actually exclusively used King Arthur Flour for years now because it’s such a high quality product and always yields consistent results. In fact, I always have at least their all-purpose, white whole wheat, whole wheat, bread, and cake flours in my pantry at all times (yes, I stockpile flour similarly to the way I hoard baking chips – you never know when you’ll want to whip up a treat!). Even though I’m a pretty confident baker in general, I still haven’t completely mastered baking with yeast, so I was very excited to take a class at their Baking Education Center and learn from the pros!
So last weekend I headed out on a road trip to Norwich, Vermont with an awesome group of Boston bloggers. During the course of the day King Arthur Flour treated us to lunch, the baking class, and a huge goodie bag of whole grain baking essentials (but I received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mine, of course!). We were impressed as soon as we arrived and dug into sandwiches made with the most perfect crusty sourdough bread! As we learned more about the employee-owned company, what really struck me was how supportive and helpful they strive to be to home bakers. They have a very cool Baking Hotline where you can chat with them live online about baking issues for free and a recipe blog that I just started following. I was also very impressed by their educational programs.
After lunch we moved onto our class where we each made our own pizza dough, whole grain crackers, and brownies in a gorgeous light-filled classroom. Our instructor Susan was incredible. In addition to patiently answering all our questions and putting up with our flashing cameras, she walked around while we were making our dough and demonstrated how it should feel at each step. I learned so many tips! Did you know it’s best to fold your dough instead of punching it down and that you can’t over knead your dough if you’re doing it by hand? Or that whole wheat flour can go rancid in as little as 6 months due to the oil in the wheat germ? Or that you can make your dough and toss it in the freezer for later use? I’m already excited to try some more recipes with yeast. Maybe I’ll even get confident enough to enter their National Festival of Breads contest next year!
The classes are pretty reasonably priced at $90 and I’d highly recommend them to anyone in the area. I’ve been drooling over the course catalog and plan to take another one with my mom when she visits next year. Speaking of my mom, when I told their team about my mom’s culinary arts program, they offered to work on setting up a baking demo and/or send her some free baking ingredients, how cool is that?
Of course, I couldn’t resist buying some goodies at their company store too. I tried to restrain myself somewhat and just get products that are hard to find anywhere else. I got four types of flour (pumpernickel, whole wheat pastry, semolina, and toasted hazelnut), mini cinnamon chips, espresso powder, instant yeast, and colorful muffin cups. They also have an online store that I only suggest checking out if you’re ready to part with some cash…there are so many fun ingredients and tools that it’s hard to exert much self-control!
After our class, we had a delightful dinner that Alicia organized at Carpenter & Main and stayed overnight at a quaint bed and breakfast. Talk about a fun group – we all had a blast! Here we all are the next morning by the bed and breakfast (minus Bridget who unfortunately couldn’t stay overnight).
Definitely check out their awesome blogs for more baking tips and pictures if you haven’t visited them yet! Our weekend was the perfect foodie adventure and SO much fun – thanks so much to King Arthur Flour and Megan for organizing! I already can’t wait to go back!