A Trip to King Arthur Flour

This weekend I got to spend an afternoon at the King Arthur Flour (check them out on their blog, Facebook, or Twitter) in Norwich VT with 9 other Boston Bloggers: Megan (definitely check out Megan’s blog – she’s the one who dreamed up this whole trip!), Kerstin, Meghan, Alicia, Bridget, Michelle, Elina, Kristen, and Katie.

Today I’m going to let you know how the trip went and on Thursday I’ll be posting the Top Ten Baking Tips that I took away from learning from a pro – so be sure to check back then.

We started the day with lunch provided by King Arthur Flour. Their catering department whipped up some sandwiches on the most amazing bread ever. While we were eating, Allison talked about KAF’s history and their outreach programs.

Allison explained that KAF is the oldest flour company in the US and was started in 1790. Their flours are grown and milled right here in the United States. They have the strickest regulations for their flour. What does that mean for you? It means that their flour will have a consistent protein content which means it will bake the same way today that it did two years ago.

King Arthur Flour does a great deal of work with the community. The first thing they do are they’re Traveling Baking Demos – which are free demonstrations about pies and yeast breads. They are kicking off the 2010 season in the Midwest the first weekend in October. Be sure to check out their schedule!

They also do the Life Skills Bread Baking Program. This sounds like a GREAT program. The people at KAF will give a demonstration on bread baking to students in grades 4-7. Then the kids go home with recipes and ingredients to bake two loaves of bread. One of the loaves of bread is to be enjoyed with their families and the other is donated to a community organization of the school’s choice. The best part? This is all provided FREE of charge by King Arthur Flour. So if you know anyone in grade 4-7 or any teachers, let them know about this awesome program.

The last thing Allison told us about is The Baking Circle, which is their online community. You can post recipes, ask for advice, or even just start up a discussion. In conjunction with the online community, KAF has a Baking Hotline. You can literally CALL a professional baker with your questions anytime between 8am and 9 pm during the week or 9am to 5pm on the weekend. How cool is that?!? If calling isn’t your style, you can shoot them an email or even talk to someone online through their live chat!

Next we headed over the Baking Education Center for our class. They had compressed a couple classes into one for us! We made pizza dough, whole grain crackers, and whole grain brownies (recipes and photos will be posted within the next week so watch for each of those).

I think our instructor, Susan Miller (who is also the director of the Baking Education Center at KAF), was pretty shocked at the amount of pictures we all took!

The people at KAF were so generous to us all. They gave us a goodie bag filled to the top. Here’s what we got: Dough Whisk (I forgot to include it in my picture!), a box of one of their mixes – we all got a different mix – I got Lemon Bars, a 5 lb bag of Whole Wheat Flour, a 5 lb bag of White Whole Wheat flour, a box of the unbleached cake flour, a plastic scraper, the Fall 2010 issue of their Baking Sheet, and the Whole Grain Baking Cookbook!

At the end of class, we had just enough time to browse the baking shop. Here’s a picture of my booty and a list of the items I bought at the store: Baker’s Special Dry Milk, Cappuccino Chips, Fiori di Sicilia, Unsweetened Coconut, Candy Thermometer, Muffin Pan Sponge, and two cute dish towels.

Once we piled all of our goodies into our cars, we headed over to the Norwich Bed and Breakfast. We had the whole place to ourselves! We shared a few bottles of wine before heading out for dinner.

Then Alicia organized an amazing meal at Carpenter and Main. They use local ingredients as much as possible and the service was spot on. Of course, the food was amazing!

The next morning, we all went outside to snap some pictures of the beautiful view. I also bought a dozen farm fresh eggs from the owner. She said they had been laid last week. I can’t wait to use them!

Then we hit the road to come back to life in Boston. I had a blast getting to know the other bloggers who were there, some of whom I had never met!

Be sure to check back Thursday for the list of baking tips that I learned while I was in class.

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33 Responses to “Foodbuzz 24-24-24: Boston Cupcake Crawl”

  1. #
    Nina — July 27, 2009 at 4:29 am

    What a great and yummy idea! I wish I lived closer and could have joined. I need to research the bakeries in Phoenix and find some delicious cupcakes.

  2. #
    Mermaid Sweets — July 27, 2009 at 5:08 am

    What an amazing idea and post, awesome.

  3. #
    brannyboilsover — July 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    what a great post and a fun idea!

  4. #
    Molly Jean — July 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    You did SUCH a great job with this. I’m so happy it went well for you! And no rain? Double bonus!!!

  5. #
    thenursecooks — July 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    How neat, all the cupcakes look yummy to me!

  6. #
    Jamie* — July 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Very cool! Your group must have been exhausted at the end of the day. I am from Boston but now live in PA, your post made me want to head home for a visit. 🙂

  7. #
    Jen — July 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks everyone. We definitely lucked out with the weather. It was a bit hot, but not unbearable.

    It was an exhausting day. I think we left the last bakery around 8:30. Hubby and I grabbed some dinner and got home around 11:00. We were exhausted!

  8. #
    Tavia — July 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I am jealous! This is right up my alley. I need to get myself out to Babycakes ASAP!

  9. #
    ASkinner — July 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I used to live in Quincy and a stop into Babycakes was mandatory at least once a week for DH and me.

  10. #
    elc — July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    i live in the north end and have been wondering about the new lyndell’s!! great info for a fellow bostoner!!

  11. #
    Joelen — July 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    What a great crawl! Glad to see you had fun and I hope to make a stop to check these out when I’ll be visiting in a few months! I’ve been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it’s great to catch up and see what’s cooking in your kitchen!

  12. #
    Emily — July 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Such a fantastic idea – I love Boston… and cupcakes.

  13. #
    comforttable — July 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    What a great idea! I am in Boston and I am amazed at all of the cupcake shops that keep popping up. And another one: I just read that Todd English is opening “Curly Cupcakes” on Charles street!


  14. #
    ashley — July 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    fabulous idea for 24,24,24! i’m hungry for cupcakes now….

  15. #
    ValleyWriter — July 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Great post! I can’t wait to try some of these places out the next time I’m in Boston.

  16. #
    Stephanie Wagner — July 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Love this idea! Great post and pictures. The straw in the Pink Lemonade cupcake at Sweet is so cute!!

  17. #
    Jingle — July 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you SO much for this! Although, I wish I had all of this info on Friday when we were wandering around town just for fun! I am SO going to have to try some of these places!

  18. #
    bcallegra — July 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I love the fact that you did this crawl – I wanted to do the same thing after reading a Boston.com article a few months ago but never got off my lazy butt to do it. You’ve inspired me to start visiting some of these places.

    From a wedding standpoint, I love all the pictures of the cupcakes – this is because I want them as a part of my wedding reception and need to find the right bakery to get them from.

    As always, great post!

  19. #
    michelle — July 28, 2009 at 6:21 am

    You forgot to try the the only cupcake store that would have scored a 5.0. Sensational cupcakes in saugus just 10 mins from boston. You really should try them they are simply sensational. http://Www.sensationalcupcake.com

  20. #
    Jen — July 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for the note about Curly Cupcakes, I’ll have to check that out too.

    As mentioned in the post, we were only trying cupcake bakeries that were accessable via the T. We wanted to be able to rate bakeries that anyone could get to in the city. There are quite a few other bakeries that don’t meet that criteria. I’ll definitely have to try Sensational Cupcakes next time I’m in the Saugus area though.

  21. #
    hoppzor — July 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    you should have gone to Lyndell’s – the *real* Lyndell’s – in ball square close to Davis. their cupcakes are great. there is also an adorable cupcake-related story about Lyndell’s: http://www.wickedlocal.com/somerville/homepage/x418534015/Groom-to-be-My-love-is-like-a-Lyndell-s-cupcake

  22. #
    Gigi — July 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    I agree with everyone that this was a great idea and I love reading the reviews. I also second the idea of going to the real Lyndell’s in Somerville, it is the same place, but the original store. However in my opinion the best thing at Lyndells is their black and white cookies. They are like flat cupcakes more than cookies and the frosting on them is at least an inch thick. Their chocolate frosting is A-MA-ZING!!!

  23. #
    chris — July 29, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I have to give a nod to Lyndell’s in Somerville.I ended up with a ton of goods from them at The taste of Somerville.
    If you’re out on the T again you have to check out Sweet Tooth in South Boston just up Broadway from the Broadway T stop. Their cupcakes are enormous and are the absolute best I’ve ever had.
    They are also available at Lamberts in downtown Boston.

  24. #
    Megan — July 29, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I love the idea of the Boston Cupcake Crawl. All the cupcakes look amazing and makes me want a cupcake!

  25. #
    Ingrid — July 30, 2009 at 1:54 am

    VERY cool! I haven’t been to a bakery for cupcakes (anything, really) here in FL.

    Have you come down off your sugar high yet? 🙂

  26. #
    SK — July 30, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    It sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the recommendations and ratings – it’s always good to get another perspective (other than yelp)!

  27. #
    Elizabeth Jarrard — August 2, 2009 at 1:29 am

    that’s the cutest idea ever!!!
    i really enjoyed one of kickass cupcakes vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes once, and I hear that sweet has vegan offerings on Mondays! I can’t wait to check it out!

  28. #
    CB — August 4, 2009 at 4:00 am

    How fun! Man I wish we were neighbors. I’d love to cupcake crawl with you! I totally have to jank this idea for my hood. Complete with your cute little scorecards and goodie bags. J’dorable!

  29. #
    Debbie Flanagan — August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Please come see me as part of your next cupcake crawl, Sugar Bakery… I am the cupcake lady ask for me. Always loooking to know if people enjoy my cupcakes:)

  30. #
    Debbie Flanagan — August 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Please come by sugar bakery ask for me, I would love to be part of your next adventure. Always looking to see what people think of my cupcakes 🙂

  31. #
    eatlivetravelwrite — August 19, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    What a great 24,24,24 theme!!

    I just got selected for this month and am very excited!

    I also just got back from Boston where I did a great walking tour of the North End Market area:


    (and the two posts that follow it!)

  32. #
    Mrs Hackney — August 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    What a brilliant idea! I think I’ll try and organise a cupcake crawl now! Loving the little bags you made 🙂

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