The Maine Grain Alliance is thrilled to share that…

William Rubel will deliver a keynote at the 2020 Kneading Conference

William Rubel has been making bread since he was eleven years old. For decades, he has been studying the history of bread, and examining where traditional foodways and culinary history intersect.
William travels the world studying food customs and gathering recipes. Inspired by the antique iron fireplace cooking tools he purchased at a flea market in Paris in his twenties, William has since traveled to Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia and has fallen in love with cooking with live fire.
William writes on a wide range of subjects from b read to wild mushrooms, and from hearth cooking to kitchen gardening . He is the author of  The Magic of Fire: Cooking on the Open Hearth and Bread: A Global History . William is a regular contributor to Mother Earth News where he has published a diverse array of articles on hearth cooking, making butter at home, the heirloom red Italian flint corn Floriani, and how to make wonderful, simple homemade breads. William mills and refines most of his own flour and takes a relaxed, improvisational approach to baking. He bakes bread (and many of his meals) in his outdoor bread oven.
William also writes for other publications, usually articles that relate to culinary culture and history. As an example, William is the principle author of an article in Economic Botany on the edibility of “Amanita muscaria,” the red mushroom with white dots that lends its pattern to so many products and children’s story illustrations. William also has an ongoing project researching the smoke cured and fermented milk of the Samburu of Northern Kenya.
Forty-seven years ago, William founded Stone Soup , a literary magazine and website written and illustrated by kids through age 13. Stone Soup has been inspiring children to read, write and create their own artworks for publication in their magazine since 1973.
The Kneading Conference is incredibly excited to welcome William as our Thursday keynote.



Get a Taste of the Past and William’s extensive research on the history of bread in this episode from the Heritage Radio Network . William discusses the ancient roots of bread making, the social and class implications of certain types of flour and bread, and bread’s place in different religious traditions and texts.


William has fostered discussions through the creation of the Bread History and Practice Facebook Group. The focus of this group is bread history. Its purpose is to share discoveries gleaned from indirect sources — books, paintings, archeology — that can help bring the breads of history to life. The group encourages members to ask questions, make comments, and most important of all, to share your discoveries and questions about bread history.


William has also offered to lead a workshop on milling at the Kneading Conference! Stay tuned!


To enroll in our 2020 Kneading Conference here.

Register for the Kneading Conference


Each year we gather farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts from around the world for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees choose from hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions, field trips and more.

We will be adding speakers, workshop descriptions, and surprises to our 2020 schedule on this page throughout the spring. The schedule will be shared here very soon!