For the last five years, nearly every Saturday night my husband and I have intimate dinner parties for a few close friends. Well they’re more like gatherings rather than actual parties – fancy dress is optional (and should you show-up in your “Sunday best” we reserve the right to tease you mercilessly.)
Why after a week of 2+ hour daily commutes do I slave away in my kitchen every Saturday? Because I love to cook. For me there’s nothing more rewarding than whipping-up some concoction that is met with “oohs and aahs” around the dinner table. It makes me feel good just thinking (writing) about it.
My specialty? Well, chicken marsala is what I’m best-known for; however any dish I can serve with a wine-based pan sauce, finished with butter and herbs, is a winner in my book. Sadly I’m responsible for adding a few inches to our friends’ waists, as well as my own… my husband on the other hand can eat anything and not gain a pound… grumble, grumble.
Is there anything I can’t cook well? Yup. Bread. I don’t know why, I’m just not great at it. My mom bakes wonderful bread, and she is known as the best bread baker in the family. So why didn’t I inherit this trait?
My first experience with King Arthur Flour was met with mixed results. As a young adult when I first moved out on my own, I tried to make a sweet rolled bread recipe that was a holiday favorite in my family. I wanted to use the best flour, and bought King Arthur. Unfortunately the dough was unmanageable and I ended-up throwing it away. When I called my mom asking what I did wrong, she said it was possibly because KAF was “too good” for this recipe, and that my grandmother used some other “crappier” brand. I think she was complementing KAF in her own weird way…
Almost 20-years later I knew that if I wanted to find any success in baking bread, I needed (kneaded?) to once again turn to this trusted baking resource, and required a recipe that would work.
Wanting to keep it simple, and not worrying about kneading dough until it “squeaked” (something that I still don’t understand, even after my mom’s explained it to me several times) I discovered a no-knead crusty white bread recipe and a fun-to-read blog post about it.
Success! A free-form crusty bread with a chewy interior. Having triumphed with my first bread attempt, I was anxious to try other bread recipes – and I did.
Today, while loaf-style bread isn’t a huge hit in my family, artisan-style and free-form breads are, and I’m proud to serve a variety of crusty breads or Parker House Dinner Rolls at our Saturday night soirées.
Who’d have thought that this direct mail company offered so much more than mail-order flours and mixes?
A hearty thank you to King Arthur Flour for helping me overcome my inability to bake bread!
Blogging Done Right
Part of King Arthur Flour’s (KAF) success is their robust social media. From humorous tweets to followers, to their robust blog, bakers of all skills can find resources to help them in their own bread adventures.
- Categories. The King Arthur Flour (KAF) website and blog is broken-out into categories, from recipes, tips & techniques, and news. This makes finding information easy and informative.
- Headings. The headings used by King Arthur Flour draws you in and makes you want to read more. The voice of KAF bloggers comes through loud and clear, often using humor to gain attention.
- Photos. One of the best things KAF does is shows photos of the finished product. From crusty, crackly bread to mile-high apple pie. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the KAF blog has millions.
- Bios. Who is posting on behalf of KAF is never a question, as there are bios contained on each post. Many writers have journalism backgrounds coupled with baking skills that inspire at-home bakers.
- Questions. Including questions at the end of blog posts are key to creating engagement. KAF bloggers also respond to comments or concerns from at-home bakers and make suggestions to improve their experience.
Do you use any of these tips and tricks in your blog posts?