Thursday, October 22, 2015

King Arthur Flour Adventure Part 5

This is me with Diane showing off some of the loaves we formed.
So, here I am at the very end of my dream week in Vermont, taking the four-day "Bread: Principles and Practice" class. Even though I lived it, I still find it hard to believe that I really got to do this. I had such a fantastic time. Every day held new knowledge and new experiences. I met some wonderful people who were in my class and others who work at King Arthur. 
Today was actually my favorite day in class. I think it was because we'd pretty much gelled as a group AND we were making the bread I'd most looked forward to making: the French batard, which is really just French bread shaped like a torpedo instead of a baguette. We ended up with an obscene amount of loaves because each student formed 5 loaves (3 from their dough and 2 from our own). We had nearly 50 loaves in there among the 9 of us, plus the instructor's. We also learned a new (to us) technique for kneading dough. It involved first cutting the dough into chunks repeatedly and then picking the relatively wet dough up, giving it a quarter turn and simply folding it over onto itself. It was amazing to see and feel the gluten develop and the dough "get stronger." I also learned how important "preforming" the dough is for the ultimate structure of the bread. I mean, those are just a couple of the things I've learned. In the next few weeks I hope to post some of the techniques and recipes that I've taken away from this experience. I just need to remember I have an actual job and other responsibilities. 
As for the rest of my day, I didn't do a heck of a lot. I did some driving around just to see what is out here, and I've concluded that Vermont--at least this part of it--is made up of a lot of small towns. Did you know that there is not one Target store in Vermont? I'm not judging; I just find it surprising. It's actually kind of nice to just see small locally owned businesses everywhere--or large locally owned ones in the case of KAF. At any rate, below are pics from my day. 
It's been fun, Vermont. Let's try to make this happen again sometime. 

Dan and Whit's office supplies and kitchen goods, I think.
D & W's sewing and glue section
D & W's toys, games, and party
I stopped at the KAF store and bought just a few items before going driving. I could stay in here for hours if I let myself.
I turned left out of the KAF driveway today and ran across this building. More industrial type things happen here, I think.
I think this was in White River Junction. Just a cool looking church. I've already forgotten the name.
I saw much more beautiful views than this, but I couldn't find a place to stop and I'm terrible at pics on the road. This was a cool drive along a river--I think it's the White River. Don't quote me on that though.
Yummy beef stew at the KAF Bakery
The sun was in my eyes, but I wanted a quick pic of me in front of the KAF Store/Bakery-Cafe/Baking Education Center.
More croissant making in the pastry bakery
This is the new kneading technique I mentioned above.
We put stickers on our loaves to ID them. they did not burn up and they stayed stuck to the loaves. So strange.
Some of my classmates listening intently to Instructor Jess giving a math lesson on dough temperature. It really was fascinating.
This isn't even all of the loaves we made today. This is about 2/3 of them. There were more in the oven to the right.
Jess talked to us about the value of slashing our loaves. She cut into different loaves so we could see the difference. Then we got to slather slices of the bread with butter and enjoy. Gosh, this was a great week.
Today we made the French batards and current scones.
I literally ate half a loaf of my French bread for dinner. I used this Cabot Extra Sharp Spreadable Cheddar instead of butter because I had it in my little fridge and I can't take it with me back to Iowa. I told you I'd finish that tub of cheese. Isn't that bread absolutely beautiful?

That's it. That's all I've got. Thanks for reading about my adventures at King Arthur Flour. If you have the means to take your own KAF adventure, I highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.


  1. Hope you can visit again soon. Vermont is beautiful in the Winter!

    1. Well, Jonathan, a girl can certainly continue to dream. :)

  2. Great posts on your KAF adventure. Love it!

    1. Thanks, Ron. Did you read more posts than this one?


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