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The Kneading Conference

7/25/22 - 7/29/22

A one-of-a-kind educational baking and grain event.

Now in its 15th year, the Kneading Conference has hosted thousands of conversations centered around creating great bread through strong communities. The conference deftly tackles a wide range of topics. In the morning one might attend a panel discussion on bakery business models and different scales of operation. In the early afternoon, the same attendee might learn how to build an earthen oven. In the late afternoon, the same conference goer might sink their hands in the dough with a renowned baker that they’ve long admired. After enjoying supper together, that same person might end their day around the woodfired oven connecting and making friends.

The Kneading Conference brings together professional and home bakers, farmers, brewers, chefs, cooks, grain researchers, maltsters, food entrepreneurs, and wood-fired oven enthusiasts to gather and educate one another about the art and science of growing and milling grains, baking artisan breads, and brewing delicious beer.

This year the conference has the incredible honor of welcoming Roxana Jullapat as the keynote speaker. A Los Angeles native of Costa Rican and Thai descent, Roxana pursued a degree in journalism before turning to cooking. For the last 20 years, she has held tenures at some of Los Angeles’ most celebrated restaurants including Campanile, Bastide, Lucques, and AOC. In May of 2017, she opened Friends & Family bakery, where every loaf of bread, morning pastry, and decadent cookie reflect her appreciation for ancient grains and California’s seasonality. She’s an advocate for garden-based education, and volunteers often at school gardens around town. Her first cookbook, Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution was released in April of 2021 and it is exceptional. In addition to the keynote address, Roxana will also lead a workshop, exploring how tortillas and empanadas can be made in traditional and non-traditional ways. The workshop explores simple nixtamalized masa tortillas cooked over a hot comal, to multi-grain tortillas made with heirloom wheats and cornmeals. The class will even put a little stuffing in the middle, fold them in half and fry up some empanadas.

This year, the conference will be held in person at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds, home to the oldest, continuously run state fair in the United States. The in-person conference will be held July 28-29, culminating in the Maine Artisan Bread Fair on July 30. Building on the success of last year‘s virtual Kneading Conference, a slate of virtual workshops will be held to connect with those who are unable to make the trip to central Maine from July 25-30. Registration is available for the entire conference, the virtual schedule, and for select individual classes that will be held as virtual workshops.

Attendees can expect workshops, panels, lectures ,and discussions on a wide array of topics. From Turkish breads and pastries, to traditional Somali unleavened breads, to sourdough bread baking and long ferments, to artisan doughnuts, the conference creates a relaxed atmosphere while making even the more complex subjects approachable and fun. James Beard Award winning bakers, chefs, and authors, share their knowledge alongside talented and inspirational newcomers to the grain world. Everyone who attends, presenter and registrant alike, has something unique and valuable to offer. This year, the Maine Grain Alliance is honored to welcome Kiko Denzer, Maura Kilpatrick, Blair Marvin, Andrew Heyn, Dan Leader, Muhidin Libah, Albie Barden, Sara Calkins, Dusty Dowse, David Kaminer, Amber Lambke, Brian Lance, Richard Roberts, Stu Silverstein, Beesham Soogrim, Selene Tepatzi, Scott Barden, Gerald Walsh, and Rachel Wyman among others to the presenters slate.

Monday, July 25, 2022 - 12-2PM EST Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 12-2PM EST Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 12-8:30PM Thursday, July 28, 2022 - 9AM-7PM Friday, July 29, 2022 - 9AM-3PM

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