MOUNT VERNON — America’s oldest flour company is bringing its New England baking expertise to Northwest Washington.
King Arthur Flour will offer baking classes at the WSU Research and Extension Center’s Bread Lab in Mount Vernon.
If you weren’t aware, the Bread Lab has convinced local farmers to grow new and ancient whole grains. Some of the country’s top restaurants use flour from wheat grown and milled in Western Washington, and in particular from Skagit Valley.
King Arthur Flour has long been interested in the Skagit’s heirloom wheat and specialty grains and the research being done by the Bread Lab.
“The endeavor marks another milestone in the growing relationship with the (WSU) wheat think tank and baking laboratory,” Susan Miller, director of baking education at King Arthur Flour, said in a statement from the company.
King Arthur has announced its fall baking classes schedule. Don’t be upset if you don’t get in right away. The company is in Mount Vernon all school year. Some free workshops are scheduled in October. Regular classes begin Nov. 5. Tuition varies from $50 for the pie class to $725 for intensive, multiple day classes.
Registration is open online at www.kingarthurflour.com/baking-school. Topics focus on bread and pastry baking, with instruction from notable guest bakers and King Arthur’s own certified master baker Jeffrey Hamelman.
The Bread Lab’s commitment to breeding wheat varieties for flavor and nutrition gives King Arthur Flour an opportunity for continued discoveries in baking, Miller said. It’s also a good marketing tool for the flour company.
“Teaching bakers how to bake with both new and ancient whole grains, and how to adapt recipes to new varieties is really exciting to us,” she said. “The King Arthur Flour Baking School at the Bread Lab welcomes the added benefits this close collaboration will bring to our instructors and students alike. While we will continue to teach our traditional offerings, we look forward to incorporating what we learn from the Bread Lab’s work.”
Free classes in October involve pizza Oct. 14, biscuits and scones and pies and tarts Oct. 15, and bread Oct. 16, when students will bake two loaves of bread, one to take home and the other to donate to the food bank in Mount Vernon. If there’s no room left, put your name on the waiting list.
In November, the classes with fees include American Pie with cookbook author Jim Doge on Nov. 5; Baking Bread with Baking Team USA member Mike Zakowski on Nov. 7-8; Whole Grain Baking with Jeff Yankellow on Nov. 9-11; Lofty Layers: Crafting Croissants on Nov. 12; and Bread: Principles &Practice on Nov. 14-17.
In December, classes are Chocolate Holiday confections with master confectioner Ewald Notter on Dec. 2-3; Bread 101 on Dec. 4; Pastry: Principles &Practice on Dec. 5-8; and Easy as Pie on Dec. 10.