SKOWHEGAN – Bread makers from 22 states and seven countries will meet in Skowhegan over the next few days for a conference where they’ll come across everything they could ever knead.
“This is one of the few chances bakers have to get together,” said Michael Rhoads, who is teaching a pastry class.
The 11th Annual Kneading Conference kicked off Wednesday in Skowhegan, attracting all sorts of bread lovers.
“It’s exciting to have people from all over come and just share their knowledge,” Rhoads said.
Rhoads traveled from Colorado to teach a pastry-making class.
“This is my chance to relate to people who have a lot of passions who are just getting started, this is my roots where I came from so I get to come back and teach,” Rhoads said.
“It’s great to learn new tricks of the trade and be immersed with a bunch of different people who are into what you’re into,” said Alison Ladman, who works at Crust and Crumb Baking Company in Concord, New Hampshire. “Because there aren’t a lot of people who are into real artisan baking.”
Over 250 people will attend both baking and brewing workshops over the next few days.
“The chance to work side by side with really talented people and pick their brains for information and learn new stuff,” said Mark Spahr, who teaches culinary arts.
The Maine Grain Alliance is behind it all, promoting the use of locally produced grains.
“To help re-energize and invigorate the grain economy in the northeast,” said Tristan Noyes, executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance. “So we’ve done that by bringing all of these types of folks together in one place to learn from one another.”
“You can make artisan bread with locally grown and locally milled flour, so that’s pretty exciting stuff,” Spahr said.
The conference is followed by an Artisan Bread Fair on Saturday, which is open to the public to celebrate breads and baked goods.