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The Royal Highland Show holds first Scottish Bread Championships

Real Bread sourdough

This June, Real Bread will be centre stage at the Royal Highland Show for the first time in the Show’s history, and it could be your sourdough in the spotlight. Entries are now being taken for the inaugural Scottish Bread Championships: submit yours before 12th May (for paper entries) or 19th May (online).

Created and convened by Scotland The Bread and the Scottish Food Guide, the awards are open to any baker, professional or amateur, who submits an entry meeting the definition of ‘Real Bread’: bread made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives.

Entries will be judged by a panel convened by Scotland The Bread founding director and Real Bread Campaign co-founder Andrew Whitley, and made up of some of Scotland’s foremost chefs, food experts and artisan bakers.

The six judges are:

  • Fred Berkmiller, chef patron of Edinburgh’s l’escargot bleu and l’escargot blanc;
  • Pam Brunton, chef and co-owner of Inver Restaurant in Argyll & Bute;
  • Gerry Danby, lawyer and founder of Artisan Food Law;
  • Neil Forbes, chef/director of Edinburgh’s Cafe St Honoré;
  • Dr Jennie Macdiarmid, senior research fellow at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health;
  • Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young.

Andrew Whitley said: ‘Scotland The Bread is reviving a proud tradition of local wheat breeding, growing and baking. The Championships are a great showcase for a new generation of bakers who are working hard to bring nourishing (and tasty) bread made from local wheats to everyone in the land.’

Would-be champions will deliver their breads before noon on Tuesday 20th, prior to judging at 2pm.  A formal awards presentation will then take place in Scotland’s Larder Live! cookery theatre at approximately 4pm on Thursday 22nd.

Returning for the third year, Scotland’s Larder Live! shines a spotlight on world-leading artisanal food and drink and committed producers, making it the ideal setting for bakers to gain recognition for the quality of their bread. RHASS Chief Steward John Sinclair said: ‘Scotland’s Larder Live! offers an inspiring platform for the best food and drink producers from both Scotland and further afield. Visitors to the Show have the rare opportunity to meet these makers and give valuable feedback.’

Entrants in each category who have baked to a standard of excellence will receive Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. There will be no limit on the number of awards granted in any class, but conversely if the judges do not consider any entry to be eligible then no prizes will be given. One competitor will also be announced as the overall Supreme Champion and one the Reserve Champion.

In keeping with Real Bread principles, the seven Championship classes emphasise the value of bread baked from locally grown flour, made to traditional, long-fermented recipes.

The seven classes are:

  1. Sourdough bread
  2. Bread from Scottish-grown flour
  3. A traditional or ancient Scottish recipe
  4. A bread excelling in nutritional quality
  5. A Scottish ‘plain loaf’ (the tall batched one)
  6. A gluten-free bread
  7. Certified organic bread

Wendy Barrie, owner of the award-winning Scottish Food Guide, said: ‘This [Scottish Bread Championships] is a great way to support Scotland’s food heritage, growers and bakers. I believe this celebration of quality and provenance is the perfect companion for the Scottish Dairy Championships already held at RHS.’

Entries to the Scottish Bread Championships must be submitted to the Royal Highland Show by 12th May (for paper entries) or 19th May (online). Entry costs £4 per item for RHASS members; and £5 per item for non-members.

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