Basic White Bread & King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake™

by Kate on May 11, 2013

Post image for Basic White Bread & King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake™

How do you share the experience of a lifetime? I share my experiences through photos. Each time I attend the smallest event, a day in a park or at a lake having a picnic lunch, a family barbeque … the moments are captured with the click of my camera. Big events are no different. Birthday parties, graduations, weddings, each moment frozen in time with the opening and closing of my shutter.

King Arthur Flour Sign

When I received a coveted invitation to the very small, intimate King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake™ event I was beyond thrilled and knew that my camera would get a workout and did it ever. During my time in Vermont, I took over 800 pictures!!! I’ve tried to whittle it down but there were so many amazing moments that I want to share with you so let the journey begin.

When I saw the guest list I was flattered to be in such wonderful company and truth be told, I was more than a little star struck. Many of the attendees were the authors of blogs that I read on a regular basis and hold in high esteem. I couldn’t wait to meet them! Each of the 11 other bloggers I had the privilege of baking with were each incredibly talented and just such nice people. I mean, really nice! Immediately warm and so very interesting.

Hogwash Farm

When we arrived in Norwich, Vermont the festivities began almost immediately after we got settled in our rooms. We started our 3-day experience with at Hogwash Farm, a small family farm with a focus on rare heritage breed animals such as Jacob sheep, Belted Galloway cattle, chickens, turkeys, and pigs. How cute are those little piglets?!? I wanted to share every picture I took of them with you. And the big pigs loooove day-old King Arthur Flour baguettes! All the animals at Hogwash Farm are grass-fed and are raised outside year-round because the animals are happier, healthier, and produce a better product.

Farm 3

From there we journeyed to Killdeer Farm, where they grow fresh, seasonal food and flowers with a commitment to certified organic and sustainable practices. There they grow many kinds of flowers as well as herbs and plenty of vegetables. How gorgeous are those leafy lettuce rows? I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

Killdeer Farm 1

We learned a lot about growing many different vegetables and flowers, especially tomatoes. Their tomatoes are grown in greenhouses where the plants are pollinated by bees. I had visions of dying in there since I’m deathly allergic to bees but I left them alone and they left me alone. Everyone was happy. By growing in greenhouses, the farm is able to control the water and pollutants that the tomatoes would otherwise be exposed to.

After our brains were filled with farming knowledge it was time to head to the place we’d all be dreaming of for months before, King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center. Ahhhh!!! (Queue the heavenly music…)

King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center

Heaven indeed, I was filled with excitement to be there and in anticipation of all we were about to learn. We started our afternoon off by preparing a preferment for pizza dough that we would finish making the next day. We were split into teams to make them and once we did, we named them (yes, named them) and tucked them in for the night.

Rise and Shine Preferment

After a full day of farming and preferments it was time to eat. We were treated to an educational dinner experience courtesy of Cabot Cheese. We viewed a crepe-making demonstration while we sipped beer from Harpoon Brewery. After dinner we learned A LOT more about cheese, cheddar specifically. We sampled 8 tempting cheddars during our tasting. My favorite was the Cabot Old School which I’ve never seen in in stores. Turns out it’s rare and is only sold one per year. No wonder I like it so much, I’ll never get to have it again!

Cabot Dinner 1

We learned that ALL cheese is white. Yep, all of it! Originally cheese was dyed yellow because the cows milk producing the cheese would be more yellow in the warmer months, producing better tasting cheese. In the winter months, the milk would be lighter so cheese makers began dying the cheese to make it more appealing the the buyer. I’ve met people who will proclaim their loathing of white cheddar and their love of orange cheddar. Now I can burst their bubble and tell them it’s all the same thing. I’d love to do a blind taste test! *Note to self: Get some guinea pigs and conduct that test.

Cabot Dinner 2With bellies full and brains in a cheese coma, we headed back to the lovely Norwich Inn which would be home for the next 3 nights. After a great night’s sleep we had a fresh breakfast of fruits and pastry and then launched into a full day of baking! Our day started off by adding to our preferments from the night before to create no knead pizza dough which would later turn into our dinner. Then we began working on this lovely Basic White Bread. It’s soft, with a golden crust that kicks the pants of any bagged white bread I’ve ever had! A smear of butter is all it took and we devoured this loaf in no time. I don’t particularly like white sandwich bread, I’m more of a whole wheat girl but this loaf made me a convert for sure. Move over, Wonder Bread!

Basic White Bread - FoodBabbles.com

We learned A LOT about yeast the most interesting thing I learned was that despite hearing otherwise my entire life, both active dry yeast and instant yeast can be used without proofing. Yep! Active dry yeast used to be processed with heat and therefore, required proofing to dissolve the dead yeast cells on the outside to get to the live yeast underneath. It’s no longer processed that way so it can be tossed in with your other ingredients just like instant yeast. It may take me a little while to get used to this newfound knowledge but I loved that little tidbit.

Chocolate Apricot Scones - FoodBabbles.com

While waiting for our loaves of soft white bread, we worked on making whole wheat scones. I mentioned earlier this week that until I made those Coconut Lime Scones, I’d never made any scones before particularly because I never cared for their dry, crumbly texture. While visiting King Arthur Flour we learned that while making scones, if you work the dough too much after adding the liquid it will lead to tough, dry scones. These whole wheat scones were anything but tough or dry! Clearly, we had great instruction. We had a variety of ingredients to add to our scones. For mine I added Diced Dried Apricots, Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, and topped it off with a sprinkle of Sparkling White Sugar. Love this stuff!

Sparkling White SugarFinally, after waiting nearly 24 hours there was pizza!!! Tons of creative pizzas topped with fresh, interesting local ingredients. We were all excited to spread our dough, top our pizzas and feed them into the amazing big brick oven.

Pizza 1When it came time to make mine, I saw some roasted parsnips looking a little lonely and ignored so decided to give them a whirl. I’d never had parsnips on a pizza. In fact, nearly all the ingredients I chose were new to my pizza repertoire. Roasted parsnips were paired with ramps sauteed with olive oil and bacon, goat cheese, fresh cracked pepper and a little olive oil. It was fantastic! I also loved the pizza that was topped with a sunny side up egg, another first as a pizza topping.

Pizza 2At the start of Day 3, we were greeted at our stations by mysterious covered bowls. It was time for what I dubbed, Pie Wars! We were instructed that we would have 1 hour to create an original pie recipe, make and bake the pie and that we absolutely had to use each and every local ingredient in the bowl which included, maple candies, soft caramels, ricotta and maple walnut peanut butter. Let the games begin!

Pie Wars - FoodBabbles.comEveryone had a blast executing their recipes and then things got even more interesting when we switched stations and each team had to then bake someone else’s recipes.  The energy in the kitchen was palpable especially as the clock ticked down to those final moments. When all was said and done, we all sampled 6 pies before 11am. That’s my kind of breakfast! This was probably my favorite portion of the event. You know how I love pies and tarts!

Next we were off to the Baking Sheet test kitchen!! Another “Ahhh!” moment for sure. The Baking Sheet is pretty much my baking bible. I’ve subscribed to it for years now and never throw out an issue. I’m even more excited now that King Arthur Flour launched a Baking Sheet app! 20,000+ recipes right at my finger tips?!? Awesome! But back to the test kitchen. It was pretty much my dream space with every tool and ingredient imaginable. The best part was Susan Reid in the flesh telling us all about the recipes.

Muffin Testing - FoodBabbles.comOne of the reasons I’m so passionate about King Arthur Flour and why it’s the only flour that I use is that they only allow 1/10th of a percent variation in the amount of protein in their flour. That’s very picky! And picky is a very good thing. Want to know why? If they’re that consistent with their product, that means you’ll always get a consistent result with your baked goods.

To prove that point as well as illustrate how the type of flour you use (bread, cake, gluten-free, etc.) we sampled 8 muffins. They were all the exact same recipe except for the flour. Some were gluten-free, some made with cake flour, a store brand and more. They all looked different, had different densities and textures. It was incredible how the very same recipe can be impacted in such a big way by what you choose as your flour. So choose carefully.

Glass BlowingThe last portion of our visit was a trip to Simon Pearce. It was prefaced by a cooking demonstration by Chef Jerod Rockwell in which he showed us how to prepare the dinner we would be served later that night. I got to try my hand at making spaetzle which was awesome! It definitely wasn’t as hard as I thought it would have been and I can’t wait to give it a try on my own at home. When we arrived we were treated to a glass blowing demonstration. I was just in awe of the talent and craftsmanship and these men created beautiful stemware and glass home decor. All Simon Pearce glass is handmade and hand opened. It was an incredible experience. Next we dined at Simon Pearce and enjoyed some much needed relaxation on our final evening in Vermont.

InstructionThis was the experience of a lifetime and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. If you’re ever in Vermont, do schedule a class or two at the Baking Education Center. The instruction is truly unparalleled. I’ve learned so very much for all these fabulous people. Many thanks to King Arthur Flour for such an amazing few days of baking, food, inspiration, and new friends!

Our CrewI  feel like our small group of bakers really connected. We arrived as strangers but after 3 days of working so closely together I feel like we formed friendships that hopefully will continue to grow. We had so much fun together and I know you’ll love them too! So be sure to head over and say hello to this wildly talented group.

Carole – Heirloom Meals

David – Spiced

Erika – In Erika’s Kitchen

Eva – Adventures in Cooking

Jen – Tiny Urban Kitchen

Jennifer – Bake or Break

Katie – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Marnely – Cooking with Books

Rebecca – Foodie with Family

Tara – Food & Entertaining Director at Ladies’ Home Journal

Hope you enjoyed reading about this experience and learning a little of what I was taught as well. Now, go bake up a loaf of this wonderfully soft, tasty white bread.

Enjoy!

~K

One Year Ago: Apricot-Sage Cookies

**Disclosure: I was provided meals, lodging and education at the baking education at no cost to me.

Basic White Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Basic White Bread

Soft, basic white sandwich bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (10 to 12 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water

Instructions

  1. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the flour into a medium bowl and add the milk powder, sugar, yeast, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into the dry ingredients.
  2. Pour the warm water into the mixture and beat to blend well.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour gradually until the dough forms a shaggy mass.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to knead it. Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself toward you. Press into the dough with the heels of you hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90º. Repeat this process in a rocking motion for about 8 to 10 minutes. If the dough sticks, sprinkle it lightly with flour. The dough should become soft and elastic.
  5. Allow the dough to rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  6. After the dough has risen, degas it gently. Form the loaf into the desired shape.
  7. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and allow to rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
  8. Just before baking, slash the top of the loaf if desired. Bake at 375°F for 25 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

https://foodbabbles.com/basic-white-bread-king-arthur-flour-blog-bake/

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

suzanne May 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

What an honor and what a great time you had. I know several people that have done this and all unanimously said it’s the experience of a lifetime. Congratulations.

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Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories May 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Beautiful photographs. I am so jealous! Sounds like a wonderful experience.

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Kate May 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Thank you Karen! It truly was the experience of a lifetime. I learned so much, met so many people and just had a fantastic time.

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Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) May 12, 2013 at 3:50 am

What a fun event! I’m not surprised at all that you were invited and I really loved seeing it through your eyes.

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Kate May 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks so much Brandie! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it. It was an amazing experience.

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ChristineM May 12, 2013 at 10:39 am

I am so glad you learned, and more importantly, had a GREAT time! Would have loved to learn right along side ya!

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David May 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm

These pictures are incredible! It was great meeting you at Blog & Bake…I can’t wait to see what other delicious posts are coming up soon!

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Kate May 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thank you David!! I was really happy with so many of the pictures I took. It was hard to narrow it down (thank goodness for collages!) Loved meeting you as well!

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kelly @ kellybakes May 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

What a fantastic experience, Kate!! Reading the posts from last year had me wishing that I’ll get to go someday too! It seems like such an invaluable learning experience. Thanks for sharing it with us! 🙂

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Kate May 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm

It truly is invaluable! There’s so much to learn and experience. Absolutely amazing! I hope that it’s something you’ll get to experience as well.

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Carrie @ poet in the pantry May 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

What a wonderful experience–and a fabulous group of bloggers participating in it! So glad you shared it with us!

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