Bakers, preheat your ovens! It’s time to enter the specialty baking contests

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If you read this before Monday, July 25th, you still have time to enter the Lebanon Area Fair’s Specialty Baking Contest.

There are four specialty baking contests to choose from. Pennsylvania residents of all ages are eligible to enter Angel Food Cake, Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Contestand the chocolate cake categories. The fourth category, the Contest for cookies, brownies and barsis restricted to youth under the age of 18.

Unlike almost all other competitive exhibitions at the Lebanon Area Fair, the Specialty Baking Contests do NOT require pre-registration and are free to enter. Simply bring your contribution (including the recipe) to the center of the fair on Monday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Submissions will then be judged and winners will be announced at 2pm

Each of the four competitions has a specific and unique set of rules that must be followed.

“It’s very important for potential contestants to consult the rules so they can follow the requirements related to ingredients and other specifications like size, count, recipe, etc.,” said competition coordinator Rachel Siegel.

The rules sheet also includes the scoring section which will help a baker determine what factors the judges are considering.

“One helpful comment I’ve heard from judges in the past is that bakers should study the scoring rubric to consider the factors and the relative weight that factor plays in the overall score,” Siegel said.

“If someone puts all their effort into decoration, but the product doesn’t taste good, has a bad texture, or is prepared incorrectly, then it doesn’t perform as well as something that does well in those categories but could be polished decoration-wise, before moving on to the state competition.”

Siegel notes that because some of the state-level specialty baking contests are sponsored by a trade organization, individual contest rules may require a baker to use certain ingredients, such as: B. Pennsylvania eggs (for the Angel Food Cake Contest) or at least two PA Preferred™ ingredients (for the Cookie, Brownie, and Bar contests).

“The PA source requirements may sound intimidating at first, but if you go to a grocery store or local market in this area of ​​Pennsylvania, you are probably already seeing and buying products that meet the requirements because there is so much dairy out there. Egg and other food manufacturers in this part of the state have products on our shelves,” Siegel said.

Once the winners have been judged and announced, all entries and the winning recipes will be on display in the West Hall for the remainder of the week. (If visiting the fair after Monday, stop by the exhibit — feel free to copy or photograph the winning recipe for your future enjoyment!) First place winners will win $20, a rosette, representing the Lebanon Fair region at the 2023 PA Farm Show where the first place prize is $500. You can’t win if you don’t participate!

The complete regulations of the special baking competition can be found on pages 72 and 73 of the trade fair catalog or on the trade fair website (PDF). Questions? Call Rachel Siegel at (717) 274-1197.

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