Monday, August 1, 2011

We Made Bread

What do you get when you combine two friends, three days, four states, and six loaves of bread? Another action-packed weekend for my friend Lara and me, of course.

After meeting up with Lara in Boston, we headed up to Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine, where they have a cooking school along side the headquarters of their gourmet food company.

We saw a baking demonstration by Joanne Chang, cookbook author and owner of the Flour bakeries in Boston.

The demo was great. She shared some good tips and personal anecdotes as she demonstrated how to make a few different desserts, all of which we got to taste.

The chocolate cupcake:

The controversial homemade oreo- it was my favorite of the three, but Lara's least favorite.

The homemade pop tart. Delicious- I liked it so much more than I was expecting to.

She made all of the desserts seem fairly simple and not at all intimidating. I'm definitely going to try making these myself.

We hung around Stonewall after the class, spending a little time in their garden and browsing in their store.

Our original plan of hunting down some Maine lobster rolls changed as soon as we saw that the Stonewall cafe had lobster tacos on the menu. So good. (If you notice that this picture looks a little bit different, that's because I had to take it with my phone...after I got yelled at for taking pictures inside the store!)

After lunch, we hit the road, heading across New Hampshire. Next desination: Vermont and the King Arthur Flour baking school.

Since there isn't too much to do in the Vermont countryside on a Saturday night, we found our way back across the border (with very little help from the GPS) to the tiny town of Hanover, New Hampshire, for a look around Dartmouth's pretty campus.

The next day, it was back to baking. Like Stonewall, King Arthur Flour's headquarters encompass a store, a bakery, and a school. The store looks exactly how you would imagine a classic Vermont general store to be, only filled with every kind of baking supply and ingredient you can image. Happily, it was also much more camera friendly.

I may or may not have walked out of there with $70 worth of goodies. Suffice it to say there's a good chance you'll be seeing one or two baking posts from me in the future.

The class we took here, Bread 101, was a hands-on experience. We measured, mixed, and kneaded our way through two loaves of white bread, one loaf of semolina, and a batch of scones. By the time the day was done, I had gotten over my fear of working with yeast. I even bought some to take home with me (part of the aforementioned baking loot) so I can make some more bread on my own.

Back at Lara's house, we admired our handiwork...

...but had to put everything away quickly before the squirrels got to it.

(Hey, it was a long day.)


  1. Looks like so much fun! And your bread looks gorgeous. I hope you'll be sharing some of the tips you learned in a future post...(hint hint)

  2. I haven't had much luck commenting on your posts lately, but I hope ole blogspot comes through. Thanks for taking me on this virtual baking trip with you and Lara. You need to come to Indiana some day to meet Les's Bestemom. She'd be a great baking mentor too! And besides, we'd love to meet you for real!



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