New Zealand's best bread baker revealed
Food & Wine
Patrick Welzenbach from Auckland has been named New Zealand's best bread baker.
Welzenbach won the 2017 title in a live baking competition at the Ara Institute of Canterbury kitchens on Thursday.
His rye sourdough with organic New Zealand walnuts and apple was judged best of the nine finalists.
Chief judge Kevin Gilbert said Welzenbach's bread was made with an amazing starter that had been in his family for hundreds of years.
"He completed the bread with an outstanding stencil."
Gilbert said the standard of bread baking was exceptional, and the judging was close. Each baker had baked a different type of bread and each baker had shown off different techniques.
Welzenbach is German and a 22nd generation baker in his family. He is about to open his own bakery in Auckland called Daily Bread.
Gilbert said the bakers could create any bread they wanted for the live bake-off within time limits. Judges were looking for flavour above all, but also took into consideration technical aspects like the crust, crumb, loaf structure, holdability, as well as interpretation.
The other finalists in the Farmers Mill Great New Zealand Bake Off were last year's winner Richard Waite from Crafted and Co in Palmerston North; Ryan Simmons, Volare Bakery, Hamilton; Kristian Thomsen, Copenhagen Bakery, Christchurch; Max Fuhrer, Arobake, Wellington; Lex Roh, Bohemian Bakery, Christchurch; Michael Kloeg, The Clareville Bakery, Carterton; Sam Ellis, Grizzly Bagel, Christchurch; Olaf Blanke, Olaf's Artisan Bakery, Auckland.
Farmers Mill national sales manager Mat Keys said the competition bread was donated to the Christchurch City Mission.