It’s been said that cooking is art, baking is science. It certainly looks that way at the Washington State University Bread Lab in Mount Vernon, where leading researchers not only conduct important research on grains, but preach what they practice in an innovative partnership with King Arthur Flour.
The result is a baking school adjacent to the research lab, which teaches interested bakers the fine points of baking pies, croissants, biscuits, scones and other hot-from-the-over delights.
The Bread Lab portion is all business. Researchers work with thousands of lines of wheat, barley, buckwheat and other small grains for find strains that will work best for farmers as well as serves as the best ingredients in baking, cooking, brewing and distilling. The lab opened in 2011.
The King Arthur connection resulted in the baking school. The company’s first school is on its Norwich, Vermont campus. The company is famous for its proven recipes, some of which date back to King Arthur’s founding in 1790. When the Baking Lab moved to its current location, a baking school seemed like a smart addition and King Arthur jumped at the chance to partner.
“We believe in the work that they’re doing,” says Susan Miller, baking school director for King Arthur Flour. “We want to support it and find ways to make that kind of grain-growing and milling and baking more accessible throughout the country, and we think the Bread Lab is at the forefront of making that happen.”
Classes range from three-day courses geared to professionals to sessions for weekend bakers. Celebrity bakers often take a turn in the kitchen, teaching students the fine points of making the perfect baked goods. Students come from all over the West Coast and Canada. There are even classes for families and children as well as their famed $10 “Baked for Good” pizza nights, which benefits the Oasis Teen Center in Mount Vernon.
Find out more about the Baking School in The Seattle Times.
Or check out their online course calendar.
Want to know more about the Bread Lab? Visit their site.