King Arthur Flour is truly an American success story; the company has been making its flour for over 200 years. Think of it this way – it is America’s oldest flour company, founded in 1790, just after George Washington had been elected president! The company is headquartered in Norwich, Vermont in a 16,600-square foot timber framed structure known as “Camelot”.
In 1990 the company had 5 employees. Now it has grown to over 160 employees with over $70,000,000 in annual sales. “We are an employee-owned, open-book, team-managed company, with profit sharing and an employee stock ownership program. Our employees have a stake in what we do, and it shows in every bag of flour.” King Arthur Flour also owns a retail store, The Baker’s Store, in Norwich, Vermont; a destination store for bakers from around the world.
So what makes this flour special? All of King Arthur’s flour products contain only the highest grade of American wheat, and contains no artificial enhancements. White flours are carefully milled from the innermost heart of the wheat berry, which contain the richest, gluten-producing protein. Although it costs a bit more, KosherEye thinks it’s worth it! Many King Arthur Flour products are certified kosher. To verify kashrut agency, search King Arthur website or contact the company.
It was well worth the trip to attend King Arthur’s Baking Across America educational demonstration program! We enjoyed a 2–hour class packed with valuable baking tips and techniques; it was both enlightening and entertaining. KAF teacher and bread whiz, Susan Reid made a basic sweet bread dough and demonstrated the many ways this soft and pliable dough can be used, including Cinnamon Rolls. Soft dough is the secret to soft, tender bread.
About Chef Susan Reid:
After a career in public relations and communications, Susan Reid switched gears and pursued a professional culinary education as a student at the renowned Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park New York. She graduated first in her class and was winner of the school’s coveted Roth award, selected by administration and instructors. She began her cooking career working at various high–end restaurants in New England and Chicago. Along the way, Susan had the pleasure of meeting Julia (Yes, Julia Childs), and being a classmate of the inimitable Alton Brown.
Over the years this talented writer, chef, and teacher has enjoyed quite a diverse professional path; teaching for eight years at the New England Culinary Institute, and sharing her expertise with how2heroes.com, an independent website that creates videos of foodies and chefs preparing recipes. Since 2002, her main focus is on the development test kitchens and publications of King Arthur Flour. Susan is editor of King Arthur’s popular Baking Sheet Newsletter where readers can find baking videos and tips, and she has co–authored several books for the company.
If you missed the Baking Across America demonstrations, in cooperation with our friends at King Arthur Flour, we are happy to share some of the recipes, tips, and techniques.
Susan Reid suggests trying these King Arthur Flour challah recipes: Classic Challah, Millie's Whole Wheat Challah and Raisin Challah. And according to Chef Susan, "Any of these recipes can be mixed in the bread machine on the dough cycle, then shaped by hand and allowed to rise once more before baking. If the dough is to be baked in the machine, choose the light crust setting. In challah (and other recipes), margarine will work as a substitute for butter; and an equal amount of parve soy milk can be substituted for yogurt."
- When possible it is best to measure flour and other ingredients by weight, not by cupful. King Arthur Flour Master Weight Chart
- Knead dough until it is soft and springy, like an earlobe or a baby’s bottom
- If you store dough in the refrigerator bring it to room temperature before rolling
- It is fine to freeze dough after shaping; defrost in refrigerator and then bake
- Use egg beaters instead of eggs to glaze dough- less waste
- Line pans with parchment – “Parchment is flour’s friend”
Some must have baking tools:
- Offset spatulas
- Danish dough whisk (KosherEye will be featuring this wonderful tool soon!)
- Parchment paper
News you “knead” to know:
King Arthur Flour has recently introduced its newest kosher products: Gluten–Free Multi–Purpose Flour and Unbleached Cake Flour Blend. KosherEye will report on our baking results with these new products.
Visit KingArthurFlour.com for additional product and recipe information.