Baking trends

The judges described most of the recipes entered in the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest as ''the kind of food that would be the family's favorite.'' However, this did not necessarily mean that they were all quick and easy to prepare. Ingredient lists were often long, frequently because of herbs and spices.

In addition to the grand-prize winner, three contestants were awarded $15,000 each and twelve received $2,000. There were a few noticeable trends in this year's bake-off entries. Baking with yeast continued to increase in popularity, often including whole wheat and rye flour, or cereals such as bran and oatmeal, along with all-purpose or bread flour.

There were many entries with cabbage, often paired with onions, and many with spinach, especially in ethnic recipes.

This year, more entries used chicken and ham than the usual favorite, ground beef. Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes were prevalent, perhaps because the bake-off was held in San Antonio.

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