Did you know that springtime in Vermont is roughly equivalent, temperature-wise, to deep winter in south Louisiana? Despite highs of 45 and lows below freezing, I ventured to Norwich, VT, last week, home to King Arthur Flour. In a tiny, historic town along the Connecticut River, America’s oldest flour brand (since 1790) operates a corporate headquarters & warehouse (boring) and a baking education center/retail bakery/store (fascinating and fun).
Visiting the KA Baker’s Store feels like walking into the KA catalog: flour in every protein strength all the way up to 50-lb sacks, many grain varieties (nongrains, too), baking tools, books, ingredients from almond flour to yeast. The inventory includes chocolate in bars, feves, chips, and bulk, holiday-themed cupcake papers, flavorings and extracts, and King Arthur’s custom-crafted line of baking mixes.
Adjacent to the retail space is a first-rate bakery, with made-on-site pastries, savory baked goods, a rotating array of breads, and a full menu of coffee and tea choices. My chocolate croissant contained not one but two bars of chocolate. (Over several days, I managed to sample the ham & cheese croissants, currant scones, raspberry bars, sugar cookies, as well as savory turkey and ham sandwiches on housemade bread.)
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the “baking in a wood-fired oven” course with KA head baker Jeffrey Hamelman.
OK, this one is now on my Bucket List. Just the thought of 50 pound sacks of flour makes me drool, not to mention being able to just pick up non-grain flours without paying shipping-I feel faint.
It’s easy to fly Southwest into Manchester, NH, and then drive a lovely 60 miles to Norwich. Go for it…
Glad you made it up to visit us! Thanks for braving the freezing tundra. 😉
I hope you enjoyed your time here!
I had a great time–Vermont in spring is lovely, and the class was definitely worth the long trip.