Martha Stewart Comes to King Arthur Flour

By Laura Sim, The Dartmouth Staff | 6/20/14 11:00am

As lifestyle expert Martha Stewart mixed the ingredients for her festive holiday stollen in a metal bowl at a sold-out cooking class at King Arthur Flour’s Baking Education Center in Norwich last Wednesday, she insisted that all bakers use a plastic spatula to prevent food waste, just as Stewart’s mother had taught her in her childhood kitchen. The class helped attendees connect with Stewart beyond her television persona, as she told personal stories to enrich her baking lessons.

Following the stollen, Stewart continued with her signature flatbread and her everyday breakfast cookie. The class, which was followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing, was attended by over 100 people, some of whom drove several hours to see Stewart.

Stewart said she first began her relationship with Vermont’s King Arthur Flour bakery when she started using the bakery’s signature flour in her own homemade recipes.

“I’m here because [I’ve] been using King Arthur Flour for a very long time,” Stewart said.

To this day, many of Stewart’s recipes cite King Arthur Flour as a primary ingredient.

When asked by an audience member if this was her first time visiting to the Upper Valley area, Stewart cheerfully smiled.

“Oh no,” Stewart said. “One of my best college weekends ever was at Dartmouth.”

She added that at the time she was dating a member of the basketball team and that she traveled by train to visit.

“It was a weekend to remember, or not, I guess,” she said.

Since then, the Upper Valley-based bakery has sponsored Stewart’s hit show Martha Bakes on PBS. The show, which is currently running on its third season, has been the center of positive reception on the network.

“I’m happy to be on a show like this, and also cooking in the studio,” Stewart said. “We have two shows – both on PBS and it makes me happy that people are responding so favorably to it. It has nice ratings — really high ratings.”

In addition to her show’s success, Stewart said that her program Martha Bakes fills a cultural gap in the education of necessary, household skills today.

“Shows like these have been a little bit absent from the public,” she said. “With the younger generation, moms have forgotten to teach their kids these things. Mom has forgotten to teach little Suzy how to bake a cupcake. Instead, they’re Instagramming the foods that other people are making, or they’re learning online.”

Though Stewart’s enterprise originally began with her adventures in the kitchen, she has since branched out to other passions. Stewart’s website features articles on the holidays, home and garden, pets, weddings, entertainment, crafts and, of course, food.

“I like to [teach], but I also like to garden, too,” Stewart said. “And I like to design and I like doing all kinds of things. And I’m always involved in a lot of things. It’s a diverse company.”

Laura Sim, The Dartmouth Staff