The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What defines an ORIGINAL formula ?

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BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

What defines an ORIGINAL formula ?

I am very interested in a contest being sponsored by King Arthur Flour and Fleischmann's Yeast. It is really an event called the National Bread Festival and is billed as


"The National Festival of Breads is America's only amateur bread baking contest, celebrating the relationship between producer and consumer in a biennial contest."


I believe this may be a contest event that many persons of this forum may be interested in - the complete information can be found at http://www.nationalfestivalofbreads.com/default.aspx


Now, for my REAL QUESTION:


One of the contest rules reads as follows:


"The Contest is intended for original yeast bread recipes developed by the contest entrant.
"Original" means that the contest recipe has not been previously published in the same or
substantially the same form. Contest finalists will be required to certify that the entry is "original.""


I want to hear other TLFer's thought and ideas on "original" and what does it really mean. Specifically,


- We all know that the actual ingredients of many breads are both very basic and similar and many "new" formula are variations on prior formulas.
How much does a formula have to change to become a new formula - an original work?
- What does "published" mean? I would think for sure it covers being published in a cookbook, but would it includes being shared in a forum such as TFL?


I am very excited about being able to participate in such an event, but as a fairly new baker need some clarification on the true meaning of what truly
defines an "original" formula. I hope this post will serve to (1) inform and motivate TFLers to participate in this upcoming event and (2) foster some substantial
conversation on the definition of an "original" formula.


Thanks,
Ben


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Hey, BakerBen, I know how you feel.  What I've learned about these types of contests is that it doesn't matter how we or our contemporaries in baking interpret rules, it is ultimately up to the board of judges/rules committee to make the final decision.  So anything we suggests in that regard would prove to be speculative.


However, I believe that an "original" recipe would be judged on every aspect of the process including ingredients, how the ingredients are handled, fermentation/proofing times, oven set-up, temperature settings etc.  One thing for sure, you couldn't offer a reciipe for an unleavened bread and hope to get past the first stage in this contest.


Baking times are always a variable that depends on the type of oven, dough ingredients and hydration so I doubt that'd be a factor in the eligibility standard.  But there is one undeniable fact.  A recipe that doesn't list KA flour and Fleischmann's yeast in the ingredients ain't gonna fly.


Best of luck ......

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Thanks for your reply.  The contest link, in addition to naming the sponsors, was intended for information - most recipe contest sponsors would not be sponsoring a contest unless the recipes featured their products.  I agree that only the panel of judges can definitively define, and determine, "originality".  My question was aimed specifically to this one contest, but in a broader sense to baking in general.  I am of the camp that "most" recipes are a twist or extension of a recipe that has come before - a very few are dramatic originals.  With this in mind my question is "what determines the line where you move from modifying a recipe and being able to call it a new creation of your own?".  What I am curious about is what TFLers think. 


Ben

flournwater's picture
flournwater

To that end, I would interpret "original" as meaning it had never been produced or reproduced in text or graphic form in any book, newspaper, Internet post or other textual or graphic medium for public distribution.  I do not believe it means the recipe has to be your own creation (e.g. you could use grandma's old family recipe as long as it has been a closely guarded family secret, never before released for plublic distribution, and hasn't been published as described).