Two Pennsylvania College of Technology students earned first-place honors in the final round of America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest, held at the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., Oct. 14-16.
Kacy L. Charlesworth, a baking and pastry arts student from Mar Lin, earned first place in the Student Commercial category for her Thanksgiving Raisin Bread.
Katrina M. Snelgrove, a baking and pastry arts student from Winchester, Va., took first place in the Student Breakfast category for her Coconut Rum Raisin Bread.
Winners were selected based on taste, appearance, originality and value of their final baked products.
Charlesworth and Snelgrove, along with their classmate Terri A. Smith, a baking and pastry arts student from Hatfield, were among just nine students from across the nation who were accepted to compete in three student categories in the competition’s final bake-off. A total of 83 student and professional bakers submitted recipes for consideration in the third annual contest, which is sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board.
Thirty-eight finalists in the three student and three professional categories were chosen to advance to the final bake-off and receive an all-expense paid trip to the American Institute of Baking, where they prepared their formulas for a panel of distinguished judges.
To qualify, each contestant submitted formulas, along with color photos of their creation. Raisin breads, at minimum, needed to include 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. California raisins could comprise California natural sun-dried raisins, California golden raisins, California raisin paste and/or California raisin juice concentrate.
Along with receiving industrywide recognition, Charlesworth and Snelgrove will join the professional category winners in receiving a five-day California vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley the home of the world-famous California Raisins.
The mission of the America’s Best Raisin Bread competition is to recognize and celebrate aspiring and working bakers for their skills. To allow the bakers more creativity and to broaden the range of products, this year’s Artisan and Commercial baking categories were expanded to include raisin rolls, pastries and other breakfast breads.
To learn more about the baking and pastry arts major and other academic programs offered by the School of Hospitality at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit on the Web .