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Bread Baking Competition winning recipes

Bread Baking Competition winning recipes


Jean Sarnie of West Halifax, with her Dante’s Blueberry Quick Bread, has won the grand prize in the Strolling of the Heifers Great Vermont Pro-am Bread Baking Contest.

Judges tasted the finalist entries and announced winners on Friday evening, June 4 at Brattleboro’s River Garden, as part of the 2010 Strolling of the Heifers weekend. After the judging, samples of the finalists’ breads were offered to the public.

The winners were:

Grand Prize Winner:  Jean Sarnie – Dante’s Blueberry Quick Bread

Quick Bread 1st Place: Nate Carey – Caroline’s Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Quick Bread 2nd Place: Elizabeth Levock – My Dad’s Beer Raisin Bread
Quick Bread 3rd Place: Tara Sullivan – Lemon Walnut Quick Bread

Yeast Bread 1st Place: Michael Wind – Michael’s Challah
Yeast Bread 2nd Place: Jackie Gould – My Best Friend’s Challah Recipe
Yeast Bread 3rd Place: Bill Clark – Sugarhouse Bread

The contest was sponsored by King Arthur Flour, based in Norwich, Vermont, and Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, based in Monroe, New Hampshire, with additional sponsorship from Grafton Village Cheese Company, Vermont Bread Company, Against the Grain, Orchard Hill Breadworks, Common Loaf Bakery, Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe and Red Hen Baking Company. Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery donated butter for the tasting.

Professional and amateur chefs were invited to enter; prizes were awarded in two categories: Yeast Breads and Quick Breads (made without yeast). The rules called for all flours to be King Arthur brand.  To the extent possible, contestants were asked to use Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, locally sourced cheese, maple syrup, and dairy products, along with other local and organic ingredients.

The judges were:

Yeast Breads: Dan Rosen from Against The Grain,  Kurt Hackler from Orchard Hill Breadworks, and Randy George from Red Hen Baking Co.

Quick Breads: Jeff Newton, Independent Culinary Professional, Mary Jane Robbins from King Arthur Flour Co. and Gerry LaFlamme from Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Thanks to Phyllis Trier, organizer of the contest!


Recipes for the winning entries:

Grand Prize Winner: Jean Sarnie – Dante’s Blueberry Quick Bread

  • 2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose King Arthur Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 ½  Tablespoons Butter
  • ¾  Cup Sugar
  • 1 Organic egg from Pete & Gerry’s
  • 1 Cup Sour cream
  • ½  Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey from the Live Wire Farm in Jacksonville, Vt.
  • 1 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia extract from King Arthur Flour Co.
  • 1 ½  Cups Blueberries (We pick ours at a friend’s yard in Halifax)
  • Sugar and Cinnamon mixture for top (I use Demerara sugar from King Arthur)
Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Grease and flour loaf pan.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl.
Cut in the butter and sugar thoroughly.
Mix the egg, sour cream and milk together. Beat in.
Add the honey and Fiori di Sicilia extract.
Fold in the blueberries by hand.
Spread into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.
Enjoy as is or with a small scoop of ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s.
Quick Bread 1st Place: Nate Carey – Caroline’s Traditional Irish Soda Bread
This recipe makes one loaf
  • 4 cups King Arthur Traditional whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups of King Arthur All-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 Pete & Gerry’s Organic Egg lightly beaten can be added with the buttermilk
  • (the egg is optional and non-traditional)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk to make a
soft dough. Turn it out onto a surface dusted with whole meal flour and knead
until smooth.
Form a round loaf about 1-2 inches thick and place on the baking sheet. Dust
a knife with flour and make a deep cross in the top of the loaf.
Bake for about 45 mins. If you like a soft crust, wrap the loaf in a clean
dishtowel while cooling.
Slather on the real Irish butter and whiskey marmalade and enjoy!
Quick Bread 2nd Place: Elizabeth Levock – My Dad’s Beer Raisin Bread
  • 1 cup McNeill’s Dead Horse IPA (beer)
  • 1 cup monukka raisins
  • 2 cups King Arthur’s Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup grated Grafton Cheddar Cheese (1 year is fine)
  • 1 Pete & Gerry’s Organic Egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Heat beer and raise to a boil; remove from heat and let stand for 20+ minutes.
In a large bowl stir: flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
Then stir in beer, raisins, cheese, nuts, oil, & egg.
Spoon into a greased bread pan.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees– (to clean toothpick).
Quick Bread 3rd Place: Tara Sullivan – Lemon Walnut Quick Bread
This dignified sweet bread is best served with coffee and a cozy conversation with a friend. The warmth of the buttery lemon loaf is balanced by the tartness of the lemon glaze. All organic and Vermont products can be purchased at the locally owned Brattleboro Food Coop.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour one 9×5″ loaf pan.
  • 1/3 cup melted butter ( I use Cabot)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (divided 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 2 fresh organic local eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cup King Arthur unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 TBSP. fresh organic lemon peel, finely grated (I use a microplane zester)
  • 1/2 cup organic walnuts, chopped
  • 3 TBSP fresh organic lemon juice
In medium size bowl, blend melted butter with 1 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to combine.
In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
Add dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, blending just enough to combine.
Fold in grated lemon peel and walnuts.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and bake, in center of oven, for 65 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend fresh lemon juice with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
Remove loaf from oven when done. Spoon lemon glaze over top of hot loaf. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Remove from pan. Let cool completely. Wrap in wax paper and then aluminum foil and let rest for 24 hours-if you can!
Yeast Bread 1st Place: Michael Wind – Michael’s Challah
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs Red Star yeast
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup local clover honey
  • 1/2 stick Cabot unsalted butter
  • 4 XL local eggs (or 5 large, about a cup)
  • 2 lbs King Arthur bread flour
  • 1Tbs salt
  • 1 egg wisked for wash
  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds

Sprinkle the yeast into the water, then stir. When the yeast starts to proof, stir in the honey.

Melt the butter, whisk the eggs, add to the yeast mixture.
Add half the flour, salt, then mix in the remaining flour, a cup at a time, turning it out on a board, when necessary kneading. If using a mixer, add all of the flour, then put the salt on top. Mix until the dough pulls away from the bowl. What you should end up with is a dough with a silken sheen, that doesn’t stick to the board. While you are kneading is the time to sing to it and knead a little love in. Yeast is a living thing and responds to vibration.
Butter your bowl, push in your dough, then turn it over to insure it is buttered on the top. Cover. Let rise 40 to 60 minutes, until doubled.
Punch down, and knead a few minutes. Divide into however many strands you want to braid. Roll out the strands into equal lengths. I usually roll them all a little at the same time, until they are to right size. Cover with a towel to rest for 10 minutes. Butter your pan, sprinkle on sesame seeds, set your oven 300 to 325.
Braid. I start in the middle, go to the end, flip and do the other side. Marry the ends with water on your finger, pinch together and fold under.Transfer to your pan, I may floof the braids around a little, patting it into shape, if I’m not satisfied. Cover to rise until doubled, same time as before.
Brush on the egg wash, sprinkle on poppy seeds, bake. It usually takes 40-45 minutes, you will smell it, I start watching it after a half hour, letting it get good and golden. Yum.
This recipe make a whopping 3 1/2 lb loaf, you may want to divide it, making two loaves so you can freeze one, they come back to life so well, I haven’t try freezing the dough. It also keeps very well, cool on the shelf or in the fridge for almost two weeks.
If you want to make it wheat, only substitute 1/2 lb with wheat bread flour or it won’t be like challah anymore. I once made onion challah,cooking the chopped onions in butter until translucent, add them to the mix, with liquid ingredients.
Makes 2 one and three quarter pound loaves, or 1 three and a half pound loaf
Yeast Bread 2nd Place: Jackie Gould – My Best Friend’s Challah Recipe
  • 2 pkgs or 4 1/2 tsp baking yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, split into 1/4 cup amounts, the first 1/4 is for “proofing” yeast
  • 2 cups very warm water (test with your wrist for “too hot!”)
  • 3 ounces vegetable oil
  • 2-3 Tbs honey, to taste (that is, two heaping, overflowing tablespoons of honey)
  • 3 eggs, beaten: initially, beat two for the dough, and save one for the glaze
  • 2 tsp salt (and up to 1/8 tsp turmeric to make a very golden challah if you want to Experiment!)
  • 8, +/- , cups white flour (I use King Arthur special white. You can experiment with various combos of white and wheat)
  • (If challah is for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, add 1 c. golden or dark raisins beforeadding the flour)
  • poppy seeds or white sesame seeds to sprinkle on egg glaze
2 oiled cookie sheets; breadboard or clean surface for kneading dough; pastry brush
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Proof yeast by mixing with 1/4 cup of the sugar and warm water in large mixing bowl. Stir or swirl around in the bowl. Cover with wax paper (opt) and a dish towel, set aside to rise, 15-20 minutes. You can put the bowl over a pilot light or in a sunny window to speed up the process a bit.
When yeast mix is bubbly, stir in remaining ingredients, except for flour.
Slowly add flour, one cup at a time. Dough will get denser and heavier. After adding 4-5 cups, turn it onto a floured board. Knead, adding remaining flour,10 -15 minutes or so, until dough is smooth and does not stick to your hands. (Longer kneading = better rise = lighter bread)
Roll dough into ball. Let rise in covered (with tea towel or waxed paper) oiled bowl for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (In summer, I’ve been known to put the rising dough on the top of my car in the sun. Just don’t drive away!) When dough has at least doubled in size, punch down. Roll into ball, again.
Cover and set aside to rise a second time; this time dough will rise higher.
Punch down, make into “ball” shape and turn onto floured board.
Dough will make 1 huge, 2 big or up to four smaller challahs. Cut the dough into 2, 3, or four equal pieces, depending on the size challah you want.
Braiding: Take (one piece of) dough and cut into four equal parts to make a traditional four strand braid. Roll each of these four pieces into 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter “rope”, until about a foot long, depending on how much dough you have. Begin braiding process by laying the pieces out with the top points pinched together and turned under. Then, beginning with either of the outer ropes, follow the pattern “under two and over one” by bringing the outer rope under the two inner ropes and then back again over the closer of the two inner ropes. Repeat back and forth, from each side, until just enough of each rope is left to pinch together and tuck under. (Do a three strand braid if you prefer.)
For High Holy Days: Round challahs: If you add raisins for the New Year, add them in the batter as you make it, as that will make them moist and help them stick to the batter as you work with it to braid or spiral, etc.. . If you forget, you can always add them at the end, but it will be a bit harder to knead.
As to the “round/spiral” challah, it’s a tradition to make a round challah for the New Year/Rosh Hashanah, because it symbolizes a full, round, complete year ahead.
There are two ways to make a round challah
One is just cut the dough into 2-4 balls, and put them on the baking sheet , as usual, and flatten them a little bit. They will rise, and if the center is too think, it may be dough-y — that is, not cook as evenly in the center as on the edge . If you forget to do this, it’s ok, you just bake it longer, so, you need to check a bit more, to make sure the bottom does not burn or it becomes so dark and crusty that it dries out.
Make a long, long “snake”, about an inch and a half thick. Spiral it out from the center. Try to leave a “finger-width” in between the spirals , which will fill “in” , instead of “up” as the dough rises. This way you will not have the uneven baking problem, where the dough in the middle does not bake enough……
If this sounds complicated, it’s not! You will get the hang of it!
Lay the braided challah dough on oiled pan/pans. Let rise one more time, for only + / – half hour — until the dough looks like it has risen to its “max” , that is, before it starts to flatten or pull apart.
Beat the remaining egg. Brush over challah(s). Finish by sprinkling sesame or poppy seeds onto the glazed challah. Seeds will stick to egg glaze.
Bake +/- 20-25 minutes, depending on size of challah. (check at 15) until light brown and/or you can “knock” on the bread and it sounds hollow. It can take up to 25-27 minutes, depending on your oven temp, and the size of the challahs.
Remove and cool on racks. (Great the after several days, to make thick sliced French Toast, with VT maple syrup, of course!)
Enjoy! Celebrate! Say a blessing, do a dance, be thankful, share! YUM!
Yeast Bread 3rd Place: Bill Clark – Sugarhouse Bread
Dense, chewy, crusty and mildly sweet with a nutty flavor. I make three loaves at a time (about all I can do in one large bowl) and freeze two of them.
This recipe uses a lot of maple syrup, but my brother-in-law (Fraser Cooper-Ellis) is a sugarmaker in Westminster West, so I’m set!
Ingredients for three loaves (all quantities are approximate — use your judgment):
  • 10-12 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat or Unbleached White Whole Wheat flour
  •  (substitute 1/3 to 1/4 King Arthur Unbleached White flour for a lighter, less dense loaf)
  • 5 cups Vermont well water
  • 1 1/2 cups Vermont maple syrup, the darker the better
  • 3/4 cup toasted, unsalted organic sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic flax seeds, ground fine
  • 1/2 cup organic multi-grain hot cereal (e.g. Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain cereal)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
Heat water to steaming, combine in large mixing bowl with maple syrup, stir until thoroughly mixed.
When water/syrup is cool enough for your finger, add yeast and stir.
When yeast starts to foam (5-10 minutes), add half the flour, the seeds, cereal and salt. Stir thoroughly (until all ingredients are moistened); cover with a wet cloth and set aside to rise for 30-40 minutes.
Oil/butter three large loaf pans. Spread remaining flour on clean countertop, and pour out contents of bowl onto flour. Knead for 10 minutes or so, adding flour or a little warm water sprinkled over the top as needed to achieve a dense, elastic dough.
When the dough has a good consistency and the flour is about gone from the countertop, form into a rough cylinder and divide into thirds. Shape each loaf ( I flatten, then roll into a cylinder) and drop into a loaf pan. Cover loaf pans w/ moist cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour. Remove cloth when dough rises enough to start lifting it. Don’t let it rise too long or the yeast will consume all the syrup!
Place loaves in pre-heated 375 F oven, bake for about 35 minutes or until tops are dark brown and hard. Turn out onto cooling rack — wait at least 5-10 minutes before eating.
Allow to cool on rack for an hour before sealing in plastic bag; bread freezes well.