The California Raisin Marketing Board's (CRMB) sixth annual America's Best Raisin Bread Contest is now accepting entries. Professional and student bakers have until May 31 to submit their raisin-inspired entries in one or all of the three categories of the competition: Artisan, Commercial and Breakfast.
Preliminary judging will take place in August, when 36 finalists will be selected to receive a free trip to the International Baking Industry Exposition in Las Vegas Oct. 6-9, 2013, where they will bake their formulas for a panel of judges. Twelve winners–nine in the professional division and three in student division–will be chosen. The winning bakers will be selected based on their formula's taste, appearance, originality and value. Formulas that feature 100 percent whole grains and/or gluten-free ingredients also will be awarded in each division. The winners will receive a five-day California educational vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley–home of the California raisins.
To qualify, submitted formulas should be for raisin bread and raisin bakery products currently available in the market or planned for sale in the future. Applications must be submitted along with color photos of the cut cross section and whole finished loaf Raisin breads, and at a minimum, must include 50 percent of raisin content to dry flour weight while other raisin bakery products must include a minimum of 25 percent raisins to dry flour weight. California Raisin content may include California Natural (Sun-Dried) Seedless Raisins, California Golden Seedless Raisins, other California Raisins, California Raisin Paste and/or California Raisin Juice Concentrate.
Eligible contestants include bakers and research and development staff of commercial baking companies, craft bakers and retail shop owners/managers, certified baking instructors, students in accredited baking programs and bakery technicians at bakery supply wholesalers, flour milling companies and other allied bakery ingredient suppliers.
Contest application, rules and additional details are available at www.loveyourraisins.com.