By the end of the first day at the King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake I was exhausted. After madly taking notes on everything from how to make bread rise perfectly and the difference between flours, to Sara Moulton’s herbed spaetzle and how to properly debone a chicken breast, I had absorbed just about all I could. Following our elegant dinner at The Norwich Inn I turned in for the night and slept soundly until my alarm the next morning. Pizza dough was the first order of business on day two. We had begun making the dough starter the day before and set out to finish it in time for lunch. I was so glad to go through this exercise because I’ve always loved making pizza at home. I usually make it on a baking sheet in my oven and it works well, but I was eager to try the gigantor King Arthur Flour in-house wood burning pizza oven:
Between turning and kneading the pizza dough every 20 minutes we fit in on our pie crust lesson. Class concentrated on two kinds of pie crusts, pate sucree (sweet butter crust) and pate brisee (regular butter crust). I have made both of these crusts many, many times before, but anyone who has made a crust knows there is always room for improvement. In this lesson I learned the techniques for making a crust tender (pulse the ingredients in the food processor) or flakey (under work the dough with your fingertips and make sure chunks of butter are still showing). Once they were ready for chilling we returned to our pizza lunch.
The pizza dough rose perfectly and we were all given chunks to shape into our personal lunch pizzas. Mine looked like an oblong circle, also known as a rectangle, which I tried to pass off as being in the shape of Vermont. Jennifer made a beautiful Colorado shaped pizza, Casey’s looked a bit like Texas. Amazingly, the instructor deemed us qualified to sling our prepared pizzas around on a massive board before inserting it into the outrageously hot oven. Thankfully, my Vermont-esque Margherita made it in and out of the oven with minimal damage and was actually edible. In fact, it was downright delicious. After inhaling said pizza I promptly walked over to the store and bought the instructor recommend pizza stone. Stayed tune for pizza posts later this summer!
Following lunch we made dessert. Chilled pate brisees were retrieved and we were given big rolling pins with which to bang it into submission before rolling it out. The banging part was really quite cathartic, I must say. The giant circle was used for our Summer Tomato Pie. The pate sucree became the base of our strawberry rhubarb tart. In an (ill-advised?) attempt to teach us how to doll up the tarts we were instructed to make a lattice topping. Here is how mine came out:
Note to self: practice lattice work.
At the end of our crust lessons all of our baked good were set in an enormous oven roughly the size of two refrigerators and baked all at once. Man, Thanksgiving would be so much easier if I had an oven like that. Then, it was time for a photo of the group before heading out to our respective destinations. Of course, not before I made one last stop at the King Arthur Store.
King Arthur Flour Product Recommendations (these are soley my own opinions, I was not asked to write about these by King Arthur Flour in any way)
1. Bowl Scraper & Dough Mixer: The tool that will instantly replace your wooden spoons!
2. Wire Dough Whisk: Essential for mixing bread and pizza doughs.
3. Pizza Stone: Because we can’t all have our own wood burning pizza oven.
4. Dry Milk Powder: For adding to bread doughs, much easier than scalded milk.
5. Fiori di Sicilia: The creamsicle-scented flavoring I can’t get enough of.
6. Digital Kitchen Scale: It is so much easier to measure ingredients by weight, buy one of these and you’ll quickly change our measuring cups/measuring spoons ways.
7. Plastic Flour Tubs: These are at the top of my wish list. Such a great way to store large quantities of flour!
8. Pineapple Juice Powder: I can’t wait to bake with this all-natural flavoring this summer!
9. King Arthur Flour’s Bakers Companion: The ultimate resource for any baker, it is the Joy of Cooking for bakers.
10. Flour Scoops: To properly measure flour it must be aerated. Scoop it out of the jar with a scoop like this and gently shake it into your measuring cup. The flour should weight 4 ounces, no more.
The Group of Bloggers:
Maryellen Apelquist of
Love & Scraps
Recipes, Rantings and Ravings from a Vermont Kitchen
Casey Barber of
Good. Food. Stories.
A chronicle of delicious conversations
Amber Bracegirdle of
Bluebonnets & Brownies
Tex-Mex and Southern comfort food
Fiona Coxe of
A Boston Food Diary
Donna Currie of
Glenda Embree of
Living abundantly on a frugal budget.
Corin Hirsch of
Vermont’s Independent Voice
Jean Kerr of
for all things delicious!
Jennifer Leal of
Savoring the Thyme
Aimee Seavey of
The Apron Archives
vintage traditions in today’s homes and kitchens
Strawberry-Rhubarb Tarts (makes 1 6-inch tart)
adapted from King Arthur Flour
|2||ounces unsalted butter, room temperature|
|½||teaspoon vanilla extract|
|½||cup sliced strawberries|
|½||cup strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced|
1. For the crust: cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and stir just until the dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball and break off a ¼ of it to reserve for the lattice topping. Wrap it in plastic and set aside. Press the remaining dough into a 6-inch tart pan. Place the tart pan and the wrapped dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
2. For the filling: Combine the berries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir well.
3. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Pour the prepared fruit into the chilled crush and and roll out 6 thin strips to make the lattice. Lay three strips across in one direction, then basket weave the remaining three ropes in the other direction. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Naptime Recipe Serving ideas
This basic crust can be used for almost any tart. Have fun with summer fruit!
15 minutes assembly time, 25 minutes bake time.
Thanks to King Arthur Flour for inviting me to this sponsored event.