About The Bread Lab


Photo by Kim Binczewski

The Bread Lab is an integral part of the Washington State University Plant Breeding Program in Mount Vernon, Washington. The lab works with thousands of types of wheat, barley, buckwheat and other small grains to identify lines that perform well in the field for farmers, and that are most suitable for craft baking, cooking, malting, brewing, and distilling. Selecting for flavor, nutrition, and distinctive characteristics such as color, the most promising varieties are analyzed and tested to determine the best end uses.

During the fall of 2016, the Bread Lab will transition from its original 600-square foot room at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center to a 12,000 square foot building at the Port of Skagit.  In addition to the expanded Bread Lab, the new quarters will house a rheological lab, the King Arthur Flour Baking School at the Bread Lab, and a milling lab. Future plans include a professional kitchen overseen by James Beard Best Chef Northwest Blaine Wetzel, and a malting, brewing and distilling micro-lab led by Matt Hofmann, CEO and master distiller of Westland Distillery, and Will Kemper, co-owner of Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.

The Bread Lab Mission

The programs of the Bread Lab work to breed and develop publicly available varieties of grains and other crops that will benefit farmers, processors, and end-users while enhancing access to affordable and nutritious food for our communities.

We welcome collaborations with chefs, bakers, maltsters and other small grain end users as a proven approach to adding value to diverse farming systems and as a powerful way to improve nutrition.


Bread Lab workshops for home and professional bakers and millers, ranging from one-day events to week-long classes, will be scheduled throughout the year beginning in the fall of 2016. The Bread Lab hosts the annual Grain Gathering, a summertime three-day conference that brings together 250 professional and serious home bakers, chefs, food lovers, brewers, farmers, millers, maltsters, distillers and food entrepreneurs from around the world.

To receive emails about upcoming classes and events, please sign up here: E-Mail Signup

For more information contact:  Wendy Hebb, wendy.hebb@wsu.edu; 360.707.4640.

Washington State University