Dunedin woman makes top four in NZ


A Dunedin bread baker hopes to rise to the challenge to win next year’s Young Bread Baker of the Year competition.
Hilary Faul, who works at Gilbert’s Fine Foods, reached the final four of this year’s young bread baker of the year competition, which took place in Auckland over two days last week.
The competition is for apprentice bread bakers throughout the country and Miss Faul, who has two years still to serve in her apprenticeship, will be eligible for the 2017 and 2018 competitions.
Apprentice bakers from around the country were first nominated before a final eight was selected, to go to compete in Auckland.
The competition involved a presentation, written examination, and a practical test in which competitors were tasked with baking a selection of different breads.
Bakers were whittled down from the initial eight on the first day of competition to a final four.
The ultimate winner was Matt Watson, from Nelson.
Miss Faul said she was “very proud and happy” to be among the final four.
Asked about how her interest in bread had arisen, Miss Faul said, while she had baked cookies and brownies with her mother during high school but it was only when she started working at Gilbert’s Fine Foods that she began to bake bread more seriously.
She said the great thing about bread was its versatility.
“It’s such a huge part of everyone’s diet in New Zealand. There’s so much you can do with it and so much variety.”
Miss Faul said home bakers often went wrong when they didn’t use scales and ended up with imprecise measurements.
“Weighing the ingredients is very important because it’s so precise. Even using cup measurements there can be quite a variation in weights.
“If you’re interested in baking bread at home then get yourself a set of scales _ it will help a lot,” Miss Faul said.
She said her favourite bread options to bake for friends and family were either a nice “tasty” and “crunchy” baguette or a focaccia with herbs and olives.