The Baking NZ Christmas Competition 2022 has found its winners!
Judged at ARA Institute of Canterbury bakeries from around New Zealand flew, couriered and hand delivered their entries for this year’s comp.
Competition manager Dave Bradley thought that adding a couple of different products as well as the traditional fruit mince category, which has been previously been held for the Christmas rush, could help businesses with those extra sales around Christmas time. So croissants and Stollen were added for 2022.
This years’ judges were Marcus Braun, brand ambassador for Anchor Professional, Bruno Falco NZ Bakels apprentice tutor and Mat Keys channel manager for bakery at Goodman Fielder.
The Fruit Mince Tart category was won by Buntha Meng and Ketaka Lao from Wild Grain Bakery in Silverdale, Auckland.
The beautiful design and presentation caught the judges’ eye with the perfect balance of flavour and texture helping seal the win for the team at Wild Grain Bakery.
Very closely in 2nd place was Simon Bruce from U Bake in Timaru with John Thomsen from Copenhagen Bakery in Christchurch coming in 3rd .
The Stollen category was won by Frank Janssen and the team at Rangiora Bakery in North Canterbury.
“An excellent all-round product” was the feedback from the judges.
A well-balanced flavour, excellent shaping, crust and crumb and fantastic almond log, is what made the team at Rangiora Bakery’s stollen stand out.
John Kloeg and his team from Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery and Café in Masterton came in 2nd place with Patrick Welzenbach and his team from Daily Bread Auckland in 3rd .
The Croissant category was won by Patrick Welzenbach and his team from Daily Bread in Auckland.
Outstanding lamination, excellent volume, beautiful presentation, and flavour is what set Daily Breads croissants out from the rest.
Jeremy MacCormack and his team from Bellbird Baked goods in Christchurch came in 2nd place with John Thomsen and his team from Copenhagen Bakery in 3rd place.
Congratulations to all the winners, place getters and entrants in this year’s competition. The quality was outstanding!
Judging this competition or any competition is not an easy task so a big thank you to the judges for doing an excellent and tough job.
Christmas mince tarts win national award for Wild Grain Bakery
Talented pastry skills and the best New Zealand ingredients are what make Wild Grain Bakery’s Christmas mince tarts winners in the Baking New Zealand Christmas Competition 2022.
The competition, held in October, was divided into three entry categories: Christmas mince tarts, stollen and croissants with bakeries across New Zealand sending their entries to Christchurch for judging.
Wild Grain Bakery in Silverdale, north of Auckland, is owned by Buntha Meng and Ketaka Lao, who are no strangers to baking competitions. They’ve won multiple awards including the 2021 Vegan Supreme Pie. But they thought their Christmas mince tarts had failed to impress the judges until they got a phone call from Bernie Sugrue, president of Baking New Zealand.
He explained to Ketaka that it was their beautiful design and presentation that caught the judges’ eye followed by the perfect balance of flavour and texture that sealed the win for them.
Ketaka says: “To win this award is a massive success to our bakery, truly a dream come true, the greatest honour, and to get recognised by many people around the country. Every time we win something our business is booming and people come from all over the place and tell us they heard about our win so they come to try our baking. We are so happy to bring this great honour to our
And Ketaka says she’d like to thank the community for their part in helping develop the winning recipe which started with a basic fruit mince filling that they added extra ingredients to make it a bit more special.
“My husband and I tasted it with each additional ingredient and we adjusted it many times until we were both satisfied. Then we asked our customers for feedback and they told us they loved it because our Christmas mince tart was not too sweet, just delicious. I think one of the key things with flavour is not to make it super sweet, just nicely balanced with spices. After people eat one of our Christmas mince tarts, they want to eat another one. That is what we want to achieve.
“We use eggs and butter for our pastry, however, every year when it gets closer to Christmas we also make Vegan Christmas mince tarts made with our Supreme Winner Vegan pastry. We want everyone to be able to enjoy our Christmas mince tarts.”
And with that in mind, Ketaka says if you don’t live close to Wild Grain Bakery, why not come for a drive and experience some of the beautiful coastal area near Silverdale.
Second place in the Christmas mince tart category went to Simon Bruce from U Bake in Timaru with John Thomsen from Copenhagen Bakery in Christchurch coming in third.
Daily Bread wins ‘best croissant’ in NZ
Auckland bakery, Daily Bread has done it again winning a national competition, this time for their traditional croissant – all be it with a bit of added glamour to attract the judges’ attention.
The recipe ‘underneath the frills’ is Daily Bread’s traditional croissant recipe. Patrick Welzenbach and the rest of the team collaborated to laminate a fine layer of cocoa on the outer dough, allowing a little modern creativity to level up their competition croissants.
Daily Bread entered the Baking New Zealand Christmas Competition 2022 in October with the hope of repeating their successful win in the Great Hot Cross Bun Competition in March this year. That win saw thousands of their hot cross buns fly off their bakery shelves in their six Auckland stores.
This time the competition was divided into three categories: Christmas mince tart, traditional croissant and stollen.
As well as winning first place for their croissant, Daily Bread also came third for their stollen.
Patrick says everyone at Daily Bread is thrilled with the win. “It’s amazing. We’re so pleased. It’s really great to be recognised as we head into such a busy period, it’s moments like these that remind our team that dedication to the art doesn’t go unrecognised. It’s easy to lose sight of our goals when it feels almost mechanical rolling croissants for hours.”
Daily Bread is known for its sourdough products, but as Patrick explains when it came to their croissants they decided to do things traditionally. “We started out using sourdough in our traditional croissants, but working with sourdough can lead to incredibly varying results. After months of product testing, we found our croissants tasted the best and were the most consistent with fresh yeast as the rising component–in traditional French fashion.
“It’s all about the dedication and skill of our team. Time, technique and passion are the main ingredients in any croissant or pastry. Sidh, Moni and Lorenzo (in our lamination team) are masters of the art and help drive us in our quest for perfection.”
And as Patrick points out, with that amount of energy going into the perfect croissant, they should be eaten fresh rather than stored for special occasions like Christmas Day. “That’s why we started offering our frozen croissant range which can be readily made at home. Our croissants and pain au chocolat are laminated by our dedicated team, ready to be made fresh in your home oven. You can find them in our stores, on our website or in your local Farro Fresh.
Second place in the croissant category went to Jeremy MacCormack and his team from Bellbird Baked Goods in Christchurch with John Thomsen and his team from Copenhagen Bakery, Christchurch in 3rd place.
Old family recipe wins Rangiora Bakery ‘best stollen’ award
Rangiora Bakery in north Canterbury has taken out first place for its stollen in the Baking New Zealand Christmas Competition 2022.
Stollen is a traditional European, festive, enriched sweet bread and to bake a champion stollen, Rangiora Bakery general manager Frank Janssen went back to an old family recipe used by his forefathers at their bakery in Holland. With the help of the Rangiora Bakery team they used the original recipe as a starting point to create their own signature stollen.
“That recipe is very traditional and lovely to eat. For the competition we wanted to enrich it a bit more with more spice and nuts. We wanted a nutty flavour and the warmth of the spice to come through. We’re a 100 percent scratch bakery which means we start with all the basic ingredients and bring them together to make crafted goods. Even the marzipan core of our stollen was made from scratch in the bakery,” says Frank.
The competition, held in October, was divided into three entry categories: Christmas mince tarts, stollen and croissants with bakeries across New Zealand sending their entries to Christchurch for judging. The winners had to wait for the Baking New Zealand AGM in Auckland on November 21 to find out if their product had impressed the judges.
Rangiora Bakery’s stollen certainly had. “An excellent all-round product,” was their feedback. “A well-balanced flavour, excellent shaping, crust and crumb and fantastic almond log; this is what made the team at Rangiora Bakery’s stollen stand out.”
John Kloeg and his team from Ten O’clock Cookie Bakery and Café in Masterton came in 2nd place with Patrick Welzenbach and his team from Daily Bread Auckland in 3rd place.