AN apprentice baker took out one of the top prizes at the Baking Association of Australia's Tasmanian Baking Show at Country Club Tasmania last night.
Nathan Taylor, of Baker's Delight at Mowbray, won the David Cripps Memorial prize for the champion loaf of the show with his wholemeal loaf.
Longford's JJ's Bakery won the Ian Freeberg Perpetual Trophy with its fruit, white and wholemeal loaves.
BAA executive officer Tony Smith said despite bakeries being increasingly hard- pressed for time, more than 43 exhibitors had entered around 400 products in the show.
Entries included traditional loaves as well as pastries and novelty and wedding cakes.
Each was judged against strict criteria, including dimensions and weight.
For the first time this year, a schools' category was also introduced to encourage junior bakers, Mr Smith said.
"Every second bakery is calling out for tradespeople, so we're targeting the schools," he said.
"We tried it in Canberra three years ago, and we got a few apprentices out of it."
Judge and patissier John de Bont, of the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne, said it was increasingly difficult to attract young people to baking, partly due to low apprenticeship wages.
The judging was conducted on Thursday and winners were announced at a gala dinner attended by 120 people last night.