Growing up in the midwest, I looked forward to the fair all summer long, knowing that it was a great way to kick off the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.
Much to my surprise here in Texas, the county fair is run a bit differently. There are no carnival rides, but instead, everything focuses on the students who enter county fair events – from show cows to show pigs and chickens, and especially wonderful recipes.
As a Family and Consumer Science teacher, which many people still call Home Economics, I am in charge of the recipe area. Some of the categories we have include bread, jams and preserved foods, two categories of cakes (decorative and edible), cookies, and candies.
I figured I would share some recipes from each category, breaking this blog post down into a few different posts. Today's post focuses on Bread and Jams.
Award-Winning Recipes for Bread
1. Honey Wheat Bread
Adding the potato water would be a very interesting taste to this honey wheat bread. The only thing that I would change is I would not add the vital wheat gluten, instead, I would use high-quality flour such as Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur Flour.
The recipe can be found at The Columbus Dispatch.
2. Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
One of the best things about the fair that we enter is they give feedback. This year I had a student enter a loaf bread similar to Red Lobster's Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.
The judges said they liked the taste, especially the hint of cayenne that we added.
Given that information, it should have been no surprise when the blue ribbon came from a Cheddar Jalapeno loaf.
If you would like to do something similar, here is a rendition of that recipe created by eat.drink.love.
3. Sourdough baguette
I chose this recipe because it's a little bit different and I've been told that the food taster at County fair, prefers something a little bit different. It makes sense after texting several recipes you probably want something that strikes your taste buds for the tasting like everything else.
This recipe comes from Bewitchingkitchen.com.
4. Award-winning Zucchini Bread
Anything that comes from Sally's Baking Addiction and we know it's going to be good. This bread has oats, zucchini, and chocolate chips. If you have never had zucchini bread, I highly recommend you go out and grab you some zucchini, shred it up and make this recipe as soon as possible no matter if you're entering a fair or not.
5. Award-winning Pumpkin Bread
I have a hard time doing a pumpkin bread recipe in January, however; I think this one would be a winner if you could do it in the middle of the year or during the pumpkin everything season.
If pumpkin bread is something that is right up your alley and you could eat it any time of the year, then check this bad boy out here.
6. Sheepherders Bread
This recipe is fairly simple to make and a good basic recipe to put into your repertoire anyways. However, it is good enough to be worth noting so if you're looking for a simple recipe for your judges to try, this would be the one and you can find it here.
7. Purple Ribbon Banana Bread
The idea of doing a sweet bread is a very good one. As a matter fact, in the junior contest, we did have a banana breadwinner. I like this one because it has the crunch on top and I think it adds to the texture of the bread. If you agree with me, then you can go here to read the recipe yourself.
8. Chocolate Starter Bread
I'm sure the judge would prefer something a little bit different when they're in a tasting of bread and what more different than a chocolate bread? Even if this is not an award-winning recipe, slap a little bit of strawberry butter on it and you'll consider being an award winner. You can find the recipe here.
9. Easy Apple Butter Bread
This easy apple butter bread is a sure-fire winner. It is very quick to make, and it has Apple butter and yogurt in it as well. It is going to be a very moist soft bread that I'm sure the judge will like. If you want more tips on this recipe, head over to Recipe Lion.
10. Soft Hawaiian Sandwich Bread
The original recipe for this bread came with the bread machine. However, it is easily adaptable by using a KitchenAid mixer where it says to mix it in the bread machine. Put it in a bread pan and bake at 350° until a fork comes out clean.
We should be sure to win the judges over with this recipe, because of the pineapple juice that is used. Most people really like the Hawaiian bread rolls, and this is a similar recipe to that. Go here to find the recipe in full detail.
Award Winning Recipes for Jams and Canned Goods
11. Cranberry bacon jam
I love the idea of the saltiness of the bacon and the tartness of the cranberries.
I still need to do a bit of research to find out what kind of canning method you would use to can it. That being said, I think it should be a definite award winner because of the unique aspect of it.
To get all of the great details head over to What's On The List?.
12. FROG Jam
Just a heads up if you live in the Johnson County area of Texas – one of my students will be making this next year for the fair.
Frog stand for fig, raspberry, orange, and grape. To me, that sounds like a blue ribbon award winning recipe. Slap that on a peanut butter sandwich, and you're good to go.
Head over to Bran Appetit to get the full recipe.
13. Spiced Pickled Carrots
I made sure to take notes of everyone that won at our county fair. This was one of the winners and it kind of surprised me. However, when most of the canned goods are jams and jellies and sweet things, then it is nice to have something a little bit different and this one definitely qualifies for different. If you like this idea as well, head over to Putting Up With The Turnbulls.
14. Award-winning Dill Pickles
If you are a pickle fan this would be a good one for you to make. But make sure that you can enough for the judges and enough for yourself as well.
If you are a big pickle fan, then I'm sure you need the recipe, and it can be found at the Genius Kitchen.
15. Low Sugar Triple Berry Jam
We did a raspberry jam for the fair and it was equal parts sugar to raspberries. I don't know about the fairs you go to, but ours requires the recipe for the foods as well. If they see the jelly has less sugar and tastes just as good as the rest, there is a good chance you might be the blue ribbon winner!
To see the full details, check out the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog.
16. Wine Jelly
The teacher that taught at my school before me now teaches at a school in the same county as me. Over the last half year, we have become good friends, talking on the phone several times. She told me as we were picking up our fair goodies that our judges like wine jelly.
I was a bit surprised because these are high school students who are not able to purchase alcohol; therefore it should be forbidden right? No- not at our fair. So next year I might make something similar to this. Actually, my heart is set on a particular pie recipe that has alcohol in it.
I understand the concept of wine jelly, I mean they are made from the same fruit. So if this is your thing, the recipe can be found over at Genius Kitchen.
17. Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly
While this is another berry jelly, this one is nice because it adds that kick we were talking about in the beginning. My co-worker was telling me that our judges like anything spicy. So I took notes when we found out who the winners were. Some of my notes included who all won, what they made and ideas for next year.
A jalapeno jelly was definitely on my list. I like this one though because you get the spicy along with the sweet. This recipe can be found at Foodie With Family.
18. Roasted Tomato, Black Bean, and Corn Salsa
I debated about this one because I think an excellent traditional salsa would do well at the fair just like something a little more unique such as this recipe; however, I eventually chose this one because corn is a big deal here in Texas. It's not unusual to see a corn stand, complete with mayonnaise and chili to add to the corn as you eat it.
If something chunky and unique is what you are looking for, this is the recipe for you, found over at PractiGanic.
19. Peach Basil Jam
The idea of a peach basil jam is great because you have a pop of green color in with your golden, which brings beauty to the jar. But, as with most things, it's what is on the inside that counts and believe me, this one would win too. The earthiness of the basil along with the sweetness of the peach makes for a winning combination. Even better, they are both in season at the same time so you should be able to grab them at the peak of perfection.
And if you live in an area where these things are in abundance right about the same time as the fair, that's even better.
To see the full recipe, check out Diana's post over at Bear Hugs & Blanket Forts.
20. Pear Vanilla Jam
This is a jam that would have to go on a perfectly melted buttery biscuit because I think the peanut butter would be too overpowering if you were to make it as part of a sandwich.
I do feel this recipe would win because it is mild and sweet. Something unexpected and yet delicious together. It's a recipe that would make people go, “Hmmm, I've never thought about that. Why not?” At least, that's what I did.
To see the full recipe and start canning this jam for yourself, head over to Flour on my Face.
21. Caramel Apple Jam
I saw this one, and my eyes perked up. I jumped on this one immediately thinking how delicious it sounded. Yes, I have already archived it both here, and on Pinterest so I can quickly retrieve it next November when we begin plotting the winning recipes for the 2019 County Fair.
I am so in love with this stuff and with this recipe. To see it for yourself, check out the post at A Latte with Ott, A.
Concluding 21 Award Winning Recipes for Bread and Jam
I was not kidding when I said I love what I do. From the students I interact with on a daily basis, to the people I write to – you. I hope that the recipes I give you inspire you to get in the kitchen and try something new, maybe even to be brave and enter a recipe contest.
I will tell you the same thing I said to them- if you put your heart and soul into it then I am proud of you. You are all winners in my eyes, and I mean it.
Be sure to check back soon for the next part in this segment where we discuss cookies and candies.