All You ‘Knead’ to Know About Breads

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Freshly baked, handcrafted bread — so good, butter and jam need not apply.

Bread-makers: Mark your calendars for the 2011 Kneading Conference, July 28 and 29 at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds in Maine. The conference, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, got its start in 2007, when a group of Skowhegan bread enthusiasts recognized an opportunity to make wheat’s role in the local-food movement more visible. The event is now celebrating its fifth year of connecting bakers, farmers, millers and even makers of wood-fired ovens through a variety of hands-on workshops, presentations and panel discussions.

This year’s presenters include Real Food author Nina Planck and author/restaurateur Michel Nishan, and will cover topics from growing grains and using scythes to making your own pasta and pizza crust. Registration before June 15 is $250. (If that’s cost-prohibitive, don’t despair: The Maine Artisan Bread Fair directly following the conference on July 30 is free and open to the public. The fair invites attendees to enjoy live music and sample freshly baked breads, Maine cheeses and other farm-fresh foods while viewing the latest in baking equipment and supplies.)

The Kneading Conference has enjoyed so much success that it’s headed to the West Coast as well. Kneading Conference West will take place in Skagit Valley, Wash., Sept. 15 through 17, and will feature presentations by earth oven expert Kiko Denzer and many others. Visit the Kneading Conference website to learn more about all three events.