SW Warburtons Young Baker Of The Year

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Another blog-related day out of the office last Friday, this time for the difficult task of appearing on the judging panel of the South West’s Warburtons Young Baker Of The Year competition…

(L-R: Kelsi, Ben, Charlie, Persephone, Gaelle)

Five young catering students made it through to the regional bake-off at the City of Bristol College’s South Bristol Skills Academy. Each had submitted a recipe for an innovative loaf, which they cooked on the day, and the judging panel (consisting of Clive Strawbridge and Liz Austin from Warburtons, plus myself) had the tricky task of marking each of the five on originality, execution, taste and presentation.

All five entrants produced very different and exciting recipes: from Ben’s fruit loaf to Kelsi’s parmesan and spinach creation. Persephone tempted us with a Stilton and cranberry loaf with a walnut crust, while Gaelle created a plaited lavender bread with citrus zest, cloves, honey and fennel.

The standard of the entries was incredibly high…but sadly there could only be one winner. After much deliberation (and VERY close scoring), we finally made our decision. Charlie Williams from Cornwall College emerged victorious as a result of his Betty Stogs Bitter and Ploughmans Bread: an innovative combination of Betty Stogs Wort, malt, sage and finely chopped pickled onions.

(Charlie and his winning loaf)

Charlie seemed shocked to have won the prize of £500 towards his college tuition, £500 for bakery and cooking equipment for his college, and a spot at the live national bake-off final on November 10th, but he was a deserving winner. If you’re interested in recreating his recipe, have a look at the Warburtons website to find out how!

Many thanks to Warburtons for allowing me to take part – not only was it fun to taste (and attempt to score) the varied creations that the students came up with, but was also an interesting opportunity to learn more about the world of breadmaking.

(Charlie with judges Liz, Clive and me!)

 

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