|The last Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, 2012.|
Last year, the Bake-Off was held in Orlando, with the grand prize awarded on The Martha Stewart Show. For many years, the Bake-off is held once every two years, in the spring. And, it's often in Orlando. So I was surprised to hear that the there was one taking place this November.
That's not the only change. For the first time in its 64-year history, America will vote from among entries selected by the Bake-Off® Kitchens to determine all 100 recipes to vie for the grand prize. Those 100 finalists will compete at the Bake-Off® Contest finals, November 10-12, 2013, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
To give creative home cooks more chances to enter, the Bake-Off® Contest now features three recipe categories with separate entry periods. To encourage simpler, original recipes, submissions must include no more than seven ingredients, not including table salt, ground black pepper and water, and take 30 minutes or less to prepare, not including baking or cooling time.
To be honest, I don't know how the Bake-off could come up with more simpler recipes that would still be original and unique enough to win $1 million. If you only have seven ingredients and at least two of them are a sponsor product, it's pretty hard to still be original. Maybe that's where the challenge lies.
“We’re excited to roll out changes to the ever-classic Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest,” said Jann Atkins, Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager in a press release.
“We know consumers crave recipes that are delicious, yet easy to make, so adding an ingredient limit allows us to provide inspiration for even the busiest families and novice cooks. And with voters selecting all 100 finalists, we hope to rally excitement and friendly competition across the country as people choose their favorites.”
Other sponsors of the 46tth Bake-Off® Contest are The J.M. Smucker Company, GE Appliances and Green Giant.
Consumers can submit recipes during each of the three entry periods. Judges will select 60 recipes from each category for public voting at www.BakeOff.com. During the three voting periods, consumers who are 18 years of age or older as of March 14, 2013, can select their favorites in these categories:
Amazing Doable Dinners: Your family loves them, and you love to prepare them. These simple main dishes are true weeknight wows. Examples: pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, savory pies. This category is open now. Entry period runs from January 3 (Noon CST) to February 7 (11:59 a.m. CST), 2013. Voting is open from March 14 (Noon CST) to March 28 (11:59 a.m. CST), 2013.
Simple Sweets and Starters: These sweet treats and appetizers are the hit of any party. And even better, they’re a breeze to prepare, making entertaining easier than ever. Examples: cookies, bars, pies, tarts, bite-size appetizers, tartlets, pinwheels, puffs, bruschetta or focaccia. Entry period runs from April 4 (Noon CST) to May 9 (11:59 a.m. CST), 2013. Voting is open from June 13 (Noon CST) to June 27 (11:59 a.m. CST), 2013.
Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts: These are the recipes that make mornings rock. Whether you’re hosting a casual brunch, fixing breakfast for the family or enjoying a lazy weekend morning, these dishes are the ones you turn to first. Examples: sweet rolls, pull-aparts, pastries, breakfast breads, egg dishes, breakfast sandwiches. Entry period runs from July 4 (Noon CST) to August 8, 2013 (11:59 a.m. CST). Voting is open from September 12 (Noon CST) to September 26 (11:59 a.m. CST), 2013.
Voters will determine 33 finalists each from the Amazing Doable Dinners and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts categories and 34 finalists from the Simple Sweets and Starters category. These 100 recipes will advance to the Bake-Off® Contest event in Las Vegas, where final judging will be conducted by a panel of food experts.
I've covered every Bake-off since 1998, and it's quite an event. Even those contestants who don't win go home glad that they were able to be a part of the competition. They meet a huge variety of people — TV hosts like Martha Stewart or Sandra Lee, other contestants, and yes, even some of us journalists who cover it. I'll admit I'm always rooting for the Utah contestants, and there have been many over the years. In fact, Janet Barton, Erin Mylroie and Gloria Rendon have each gotten to the Bake-Off twice. There's a "three-strikes" rule that after three Bake-Offs, you're done.
Each Bake-Off® Contest entry must include at least two different eligible ingredients from the lists below, with at least one ingredient from List A and one from List A or List B. Lists are available at www.BakeOff.com and may change from category to category:
Primary List (List A)
• Pillsbury® Grands!® Refrigerated Biscuits
• Pillsbury® Grands® Jr. Refrigerated Biscuits
• Pillsbury® Grands!® or Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Classic or Thin Pizza Crust
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Bread Sticks
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crusty French Loaf
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pie Crust
• Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cookie Dough
• Pillsbury® Frosting
• Pillsbury BEST® Flour
Secondary List (List B)
• Green Giant Vegetables
• Jif® Peanut Butter
• Smucker’s® Jams, Jellies, Preserves or Fruit Spreads
• Crisco® Cooking Oil and Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
• Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk