King Arthur Baking School
Shortly before the holidays I had the opportunity to attend a bread making class at the King Arthur Baking headquarters in Vermont. As the name “Survey of Classic French Bread” implies, we learned about a variety of bread types and techniques, from long and thin baguettes to round and dense miche loaves. Not to mention this class was taught by two well-known bread makers - James MacGuire and Jeffrey Hamelman. What a special experience!
Having had little formal training in the world of baking, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived. Would everyone in the class be bakery owners? Would we be standing around a mixer all day? Would we be expected to make our own bread from start to finish? What would I take away from this experience?
I soon learned that, above all else, the world of bread takes time, patience, and determination. Some of my classmates had their own bakeries but some simply wanted to learn more about their hobby. To best fit our range of experiences, James and Jeffrey blended story-telling with demonstration, hands-on mixing and shaping, and taste-testing (of course). We were able to watch their hands shape and score loaves before trying these techniques ourselves. Some of our loaves turned out perfectly round and crusted while others fell flat. But that was all part of the experience. A life of baking bread requires you to try, taste, and repeat until you find what works best for you.
I also created a travel journal during my time in Vermont, which is included here - enjoy!
By: Emily Posey, Kentucky Native Café Artist-in-Residence