The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Two for Two Blues

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Two for Two Blues

The competition at this year's Leavenworth County Fair bread division was sparse. As I posted a few days ago, I entered a sourdough and a horiatiko psomi loaf. Because place ribbons aren't handed out for the entrants' self-esteem, I'm pleased that both of my loaves won blue ribbons.


Horiatiko Psomi

The sourdough, I was told by a junior judge, was up for consideration for the Bread division grand prize but it lost points because of the holes in the crumb. The master judge prefers a denser crumb. The winner was an outstanding looking cinnamon roll that made the rating a little easier to take. I wish I could make a cinnamon roll like that one.

I'm not discouraged in the least since no one provides judging guidelines. Armed with the knowledge of how the judges work, one of my loaves for next year will be a Sourdough Kansas Pioneer Bread. I've thought that the bread was a little dense in the crumb so far but I've got another year to see if I can outwit the judges and grab that purple ribbon.

As for the gratuitous goat pictures, I just find goats to be great subjects. When we go to fairs, my wife likes to see the varieties of chickens and I've taken to the goats. It's a fair after all.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.


Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Holes are perty, but like most 'art', it's something that can get over done. For actual eating, a good crumb beats 'air' for me and the people I bake for. Getting an open crumb shows real talent and experience handling dough, but as you found out for these judges, they weren't looking for the best 'technique' (or at least it wasn't a majority of the scoring criteria).

Congrats on the ribbons! I'll end with that, else a crumb debate might ensue... hehe

- Keith

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

BBQ comps are also strongly influenced by the judge's preferences.  Competition teams will often vary their normal techniques to please the local judges.  Problem is, it takes experience to know what they want and that may mean losing a little first.



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I do appreciate your compliments. A little bit of reality check goes a long way. It was still fun, not work, and that counts for a lot. The Fair closes Saturday night, after the Demolition Derby and Tractor Pull, so I'll be able to pick up my ribbons on Sunday morning. I expect that some of the judges will be there to oversee the clean up and clear out process. I'll ask them about the judging guidelines at that time. Chances are that I'll find them in a 4-H book or pamphlet.

HeidiH's picture

Below is the yeast bread scorecard for the South Carolina State Fair.  Note: taste is not among the judging criteria.  Note also: it favors fluffy bread with insubstantial crust.  My rye brick would never make the grade.  All the work we do here to get a toothsome crust would be for naught.   Holes would be dissed.  Sigh.

Uniform Browning of Crust (for Bread and Rolls) or Attractiveness of Decoration (for Sweet Breads and Sweet Rolls)
Tenderness of Crust
Volume - Light in Weight in Proportion to Size
Fineness and Uniformity of Crumb
Uniform Color
Moistness without Sogginess
FLAVOR40 Points
100 Points