Destination Recreation: Baking Class at King Arthur Flour - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Baking Class at King Arthur Flour

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Paula Fay didn't bake as a child, but that changed several years ago.

While recovering from an injury, her doctor recommended a unique form of therapy.

"So he told me to go home, learn to bake, so I'm learning how to bake," she says.

She's expanding her knowledge by taking an Artisan Breads class at King Arthur Flour in Norwich.

"I just love to see people feel successful with baking," says teacher Amber Eisler.

Amber Eisler has been teaching classes at King Arthur flour for 9 years. Today, she's showing students like Fay how to make baguettes.

They start with a preferment known as a poolish, and then combine the other ingredients.

"You want to break up the poolish and combine everything as efficiently as you can," she says.

Eisler shows students how to handle the dough.

"Lift it from north and south, give it a quarter turn, smack and fold," she explains.

Now everyone gives it a try.

While their dough rests, Eisler moves on to the next demo.

"We're gonna stretch the dough, fold it, and press down to degas," she says.

After a little time goes by, the dough gets preshaped.

"Bring it to the center, like your making a pouch, then turn it upside down and tuck the sides under," she instructs.

Students get to practice this a few times with instructors at their side.

After another rest, the dough is ready for its final shape. This step is a little tricky. It involves a couple of folds then...

"Take the fingers of your left hand then stretch the dough, trying to build surface tension, over your thumb, and use the flat heel of your right hand to seal it," Eisler says.

Students take turns practicing this technique. Eventually it seems to get easier.

But we aren't ready for the oven just yet. Eisler demonstrates how to move the baguettes to a wooden peel, then shows the right way to score a baguette. This ensures a full rise while baking.

"Cut away from you. You see my angle? Spoon facing up," she says.

Now it's time for the students to give it a whirl, and then finally the baguettes are oven ready. 20 minutes later, the many steps pay off.

And Fay is ready for more baking classes in the future.

"It's worth coming back and doing more, most definitely," Fay says.

Classes are offered throughout the week. They start at $65. And of course your get to take your baked good home.

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