breadlab_14The Bread Lab is an integral part of the WSU Mount Vernon plant breeding program, which studies the diversity of locally grown grains to determine those most suitable for craft baking. Professional bakers will analyze and test their bread and pastry doughs under the technical guidance of bread lab resident baker Jonathan McDowell and center director/wheat breeder Steve Jones.

The 500-square-foot lab houses steam-injected ovens and commercial-quality equipment to test such dough qualities as rise, strength, mixing tolerance and protein content. McDowell will assist the visiting bakers in finding the optimal hydration, temperature and times that bring out the desired characters of their featured grains, such as wheat, rye or barley.