Posted June 7, 2018
The popular expression, “The best thing since sliced bread,” conveys the importance of this everyday convenience to the general population, but what is the “best thing since sliced bread” for bread itself? The answer for creative cooks may just be bread sculptures!
This year the Kansas Wheat Commission is partnering with the Kansas State Fair (KSF) to host the inaugural Bread Sculpture Contest.
“Bread sculptures are a beautiful way to mix art and science,” said Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for the Kansas Wheat Commission. “The options for shaping are nearly limitless, so what we’re really looking for are unique creations that showcase the versatility of bread.”
The contest will be comprised of six categories: County Class Youth, County Class Adult, County Class Team, Open Class Youth, Open Class Adult and Open Class Team. The first round for county class entries will take place during county fair season, so contact your local county or district agent to learn if your local fair will be hosting a primary round. Winners of the local contests will be eligible to advance to the KSF competition. But don’t fear if there was no local contest offered or your bread didn’t make the top spot! Entries will be accepted in open class divisions at the Kansas State Fair.
Participants are encouraged to think beyond a loaf of bread. Whether you create cute-as-a-button bunny rolls, a regal turkey for a Thanksgiving centerpiece, a literal bread basket or a wintery snowflake, an imaginative and detailed product is a must. Creativity and originality are the top points in the competition’s scorecard. Judges will also be looking for execution, visual impact, color palate and finally, the completeness of provided instructions.
“This project is a great way to get kids in the kitchen over the summer to hone fine motor-skills, practice writing composition, integrate STEM concepts with real-world skills and maybe even get some prize money for their creations,” said Falk.
All participants must pre-enter with the Kansas State Fair no later than August 15, 2018. There is one entry per participant, per class, and youth entries should follow the ruling for 4-H age. Sculptures may be constructed from frozen yeast dough or a yeast dough made from scratch. Sculptures will not be tasted, but seeds, herbs and other edible decorative toppings and icings may be used as artistic flourishes. Items may be brought into the KSF contest during normal food receiving hours (please consult the KSF website for details) or extended receiving hours will be available for this contest only on Friday, September 7, 2018.
Entries must include a typed, detailed recipe including shaping instructions with step by step photos or sketches on an 8.5 x 11” sheet of paper. While there are no size restrictions, small entries (i.e. rolls) must be presented with 6 individual sculptures.
“We want these sculptures to spark the imaginations of fairgoers,” Falk said. “Each entry should have a complete list of instructions so people can take these ideas home and recreate them.”
Premiums awarded in each class are: 1st - $50, 2nd - $25 and 3rd - $15. One Overall Grand Champion at the KSF will be selected from the (6) 1st place winners (County and Open Class divisions) and will receive an additional $100.
By Jordan Hildebrand