The California Raisin Marketing Board, Fresno, Calif., announced a baker’s dozen of winners in its third annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest. Out of an initial 85 entries, 33 finalists were selected to produce their formulas at AIB International, Manhattan, Kan. This year, the artisan and commercial bread competition was expanded to include rolls, pastries, scones, coffee cakes and any other breakfast breads containing California raisins.
To qualify, contestants had to submit formulas for raisin bread and raisin bakery products currently available in the market or planned for sale in the future. Raisin breads had to include a minimum of 50 percent of raisin content to dry flour weight, while other raisin bakery products had to include a minimum of 25 percent raisins to dry flour weight. Raisin content could include natural sun-dried raisins, golden raisins, raisin paste and/or raisin juice concentrate. The products were judged on flavor, appearance, originality and value.
Grand Prize: Courrone aux raisins–Mitch Stamm, Johnson& Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Judges Prize: Deep Dark Delicious–Kevin Knight, Anjou Bakery, Cashmere, Wash.
Ideas Prize: California raisin focaccia with goat cheese and caramelized onions–Ray McCue, Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Commercial Baking Category
Grand Prize: Split-top buttermilk raisin bread–Shaw Kearns, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group
Judges Prize: Chocolate Gold–Steve Barnhart, Highland Baking Co., Northbrook, Ill.
Idea Prize: Raisin “Stuffin” mini buns–Lin Carson, Wendy’s Bakery Co., Zanesville, Ohio
Grand Prize: Raisin pecan caramel rolls–Angela Dodd, Cargill (Integrated Bakery Resources), Lake Oswego, Ore.
Judges Prize: Golden Raisin Walnut Flip–Mike Dixon and David Corning, Dawn Food Products, Jackson, Mich.
Idea Prize: Caramel apple-stuffed French toast–Mary Vande Wall, Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe, DePere, Wis.
Artisan Co-Grand Prize: Pan de pasas–Chee Her, California State University Fresno; and caramelized apples and golden raisin ciabatta–Oprah Davidson, Ritz-Carlton, Johnson& Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Commercial Grand Prize: Thanksgiving raisin bread–Kacy Charlesworth, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pa.
Breakfast Grand Prize: Coconut rum raisin bread–Katrina Snelgrove, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pa.