Peter Cooks Bread, Wessex Mill and Cookie Jar were three of the businesses to top the list of baking industry winners at the 2018 Great Taste Awards.
They were among the 192 products which achieved the highest rating of three stars from the nearly 13,000 products entered. A further 1,207 were awarded two stars and 3,254 products given one star, meaning 37% of all products entered gained Great Taste accreditation.
Commercial wheat growers Craggs & Co scooped a three-star accolade for its Spelt Flour – Wholegrain, while Wessex Mill gained a three-star rating for three of its products: Wessex Cobber Bread Flour, Six Seed Bread Flour and Mixed Grain Bread Flour.
Ingredients, such as flour, are presented to the judges in their raw form to allow them to feel, smell and look at things like grain content. It’s also presented alongside something that has been made to taste, such as bread, and the producer will usually give guidance on how to serve it.
When it came to finished goods, Peter Cooks Bread was also awarded the top rating for its Spelt & Honey Sour, alongside Cookie Jar for its Traditional Wheaten Bannock and Hillside Foods for its Oat & Seed Savoury Biscuits. The Unusual Pork Pie Company also received a top-tier rating for a Pork, Chicken Ham & Apricot Pie, as well as a Chunky Steak with Caramelised Onion and a hint of Balsamic.
The panel of judges this year included MasterChef 2018 champion Kenny Tutt, eco chef and food writer Tom Hunt, baker Tom Herbert and former Bake Off contestant Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.
They have tasted and re-judged the three-star winners to agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion, to be awarded at a dinner on 2 September.
Elsewhere, pastry supplier Pidy celebrated its second successive year of awards receiving a gold star for two of its newest products – the Black Mussel Shell and 4cm Gluten Free Neutral Mini Tartlet.
Scottish bakery Brownings the Bakers also added to its accolades with a one-star award for its Sweet Potato & Lentil Korma Pie and a two-star award for its Steak & Black Pudding Pie.
Other two-star winners included Cinnamon Shortbread from Scotland’s J G Ross (Bakers), a Seeded Sourdough from Pullins Bakers and Toast Purebread Pale Ale 5% from Toast Ale, which is brewed using surplus bread.