What was the most difficult challenge that you faced during any bake? And how did you overcome it?
The most difficult challenge was finding the time to do the bakes, especially the week we were up north. I did two of the bakes the same weekend in order to accommodate this. Also, the British show really emphasizes genoise, which isn’t as popular a cake in Wisconsin, and buttercream – which I hate. I tried to avoid those choices when possible. But I was happy to learn to bake a genoise.
Which Wisconsin twist were you most proud of, and why?
I am most proud of using my homegrown ingredients. We grow much of our food for the year on our farm which makes the summer a VERY busy time. We raise chicken, lamb, eggs, most of our veggies and much of our fruit. I buy local dairy and cheese (we still have at least 10 cheese plants within 30 miles) and even some locally grown and milled flour for my bread and pancakes (Lonesome Mill).
If you were to draft a baking challenge for Wisconsin bakers, what would you like them all to make? And what would you be looking for if you were the judge?
If I were drafting the WI baking challenge I would emphasize more WI culture type foods: WI ethnic breads like Swedish Limpa, Bavarian Rye, Pumpernickle, Lefse, Pretzels, or breads using local ingredients like Cheese bread, herb bread, or rhubarb bread. And this is WI – how about doughnuts or cinnamon rolls. I would have preferred pie category that allowed more creativity: any 2 crust fruit pie, a meringue pie, or a single crust chilled pie. On the savory side perhaps quiche or pasties. Perhaps a gluten-free bake, as that is always a challenge.
If I were judging: I’d want to taste the offerings as "the proof is in the pudding." Secondly, I would be looking for perfectly baked, creativity, appearance, and perhaps complexity.
How did you do?
I participated in all 10 Great Wisconsin Baking challenges this summer – I’m a Star Baker!