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King Arthur Flour: a great holiday resource

November 18, 2008 |  4:15 pm

Becclass4With the holidays fast approaching, cooking hot lines, online recipes, helpful tips and shopping guides are not only practical -- they can also be crucial emergency resources. What you may not know is that King Arthur Flour, this country's oldest flour company, is not only a source for high-quality flour, but it's also a mother lode of the aforementioned resources.

Founded in 1790, the Vermont-based, employee-owned company has a baker's hot line (staffed by actual live bakers) and operates seven days a week, with extended hours on the holidays. If you need help with a technique or an ingredient, re-creating a favorite recipe or just moral support, they're on call.

King Arthur also has online recipes, a baker's blog, free online baking classes, a great catalog (flours, baking tools, specialty ingredients, baked goods), cookbooks and even an online baking circle, a community of 100,000 bakers chatting on a searchable message board. If you're in that neck of the Vermont woods, King Arthur teaches classes at its Baking Education Center (see above left). If you're not, the company sends a crew on the road for six weeks a year (Dec. 3, San Francisco). Or just call or e-mail. They don't do turkeys, but if it's got flour in it, they'll probably be able to help.

King Arthur Flour, 58 Billings Farm Road, White River Junction, Vermont. Bakers' Hotline: (802) 649-3717. (8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; extended on weekends Thanksgiving through Christmas to 9 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.)  Baker's catalog: (800) 827-6836. www.kingarthurflour.com.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo of baking class courtesy King Arthur Flour