King Arthur Flour sponsoring grains conference

by Eric Schroeder
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NORWICH, VT. — The King Arthur Flour Co. will sponsor two events later this month: The Kneading Conference, July 29-30, and the Maine Artisan Bread Fair on July 31 in Skowhegan, Maine. The Kneading Conference features two days of hands-on workshops covering topics such as sustainable grain cultivation, bread baking, baking as business, and earth-oven construction.

“Education and commitment to quality are cornerstones of our business,” said Tom Payne, marketing director at King Arthur Flour. “We are committed to improving grain quality whether it’s with our family and cooperative farmers in the Midwest or regional grain growers in New England. Education is a cooperative effort and that is why we are happy to add The Kneading Conference to the commitments we make to baking education, including our membership in the Bread Baker’s Guild of America and being a founding member of the Whole Grains Council.”

Tod Bramble, national sales manager for King Arthur Flour, said The Kneading Conference spans the spectrum from seed to loaf.

“The revival of regional grain is a win-win for us as a company and the communities in which we do business,” Mr. Bramble said. “The Kneading Conference is an excellent model of a community coming together to teach its farmers about which wheat varieties will thrive in the northern New England climate, how to mill grains, as well as how to create bread from their crop of locally grown wheat.”

Jeffrey Hamelman, who directs the King Arthur Bakery and teaches professional-level classes at the King Arthur Baking Education Center, will present a keynote speech about the challenges and rewards of working with local grains. He also will talk about opening a successful bakery.

“The introduction of our Vermont Grains bread to our bakery line-up — sourced exclusively from Vermont grown grains — only came about because of the time spent working with local farmers,” said Mr. Hamelman, who is a certified master baker. “As a result, we as bakers have a better idea of the challenges facing Vermont grain growers and the farmers have a better understanding of the performance requirements of bakers who are seeking to make good bread.”

Admission to The Kneading Conference is $300, while admission to the Maine Artisan Bread Fair is free.

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