On June 28th and 29th of 2002, Tina and I
attended a workshop on "Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens".
This workshop was taught by Dan Wing, co-author of the book
"The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens".
The work shop was held in Norwich, Vermont at the King
Arthur Flour Baking Education Center.
During this workshop we made and baked several
loaves of bread. The bread was all naturally leavened, or
a sourdough type of bread. (Look for Dan's 10% Rye Bread
in the recipe section.) The first day we took dough that
had been through the first proof and we learned how to shape
and bake the bread. The second day we learned how to freshen
a leaven or starter and prepare to make the bread dough.
At the end of the second day we two kilos of bread dough
to take home and bake.
For any of the local participants, this was
not a big issue. However for Tina and me, we had to deal
with an overnight stay in Vermont and a plane trip to Utah.
Let's just say that I had some very curious glances at me
carrying my bucket of unbaked bread dough. Believe it or
not, I did not have a problem with it in getting through
security. They placed it in a bin and sent it through the
X-ray machine. Once I was inside the terminal, I just took
it as my carry on. Every once in a while I would have to
punch the dough down as it would rise to the top of the
container. I had a bottle of water that I would wet down
my hand to help keep from sticking to the dough. It does
not inspire the confidence of fellow travelers to see you
mixing some type of doughy material prior to boarding an
aircraft. However, it is a great ice breaker for conversation.
In the future I would recommend just carrying freshly baked
bread as a conversation starter.
Once we got home, the dough was just too tired
to bake into bread. I used the dough as my future leaven
or starter and have used it since. I do believe that this
would be the same starter that King Arthur sells in their
here to see the pictures of our class and time in Vermont.