Bakers Turn Up The Heat at Great Reedie Bake-Off

Thirty teams of bakers channel Doyle’s Diner in the first round

A total of 37 teams brought their bakes to the first round of the Great Reedie Bake-Off last Friday, February 15. Only the top 21 teams were able to move on to the next round.

Photo by Paul Molamphy

Photo by Paul Molamphy

For their first challenge, bakers were asked to create “24 portions of sweet treats, nourishing noshes, energy boosts, or comfort foods that help students reset and recharge,” in honor of Doyle’s Diner. The bakes teams made ranged from sweet Rice Krispie treat cookies in the shape of the Doyle Owl to savory “owl pellets” that provided a welcome relief from the sugar rush. One attendant, taking in the litany of treats that filled the Student Union, described the event as a “phantasmagoria” of baking.

Bakes ranged from classics like cookies, cakes, and muffins, to some more uncommon treats, including macarons, profiteroles, and even mini cheesecakes. The teams packed into the SU as guests paraded around their displays, munching on the various treats and voting for their favorite bakes. The winner of the coveted “Crowd Favorite” vote would win five extra points, and almost certainly be guaranteed to win a place in the top 21. In the end, the “Big Ole Jaws” team won the vote with their expertly-made macarons.

While the Pharaoh Llamas didn’t make the cut for next week’s competition, their Zero-Gravity cake turned many heads.  Photo by Paul Molamphy

While the Pharaoh Llamas didn’t make the cut for next week’s competition, their Zero-Gravity cake turned many heads.

Photo by Paul Molamphy

While many of the teams participating were made up of students, other members of the Reed community also got in on the action. Community Safety Officers, staff of the Dean of Students’ office, language scholars, and Peer Career Advisors all put their baking skills to the test. Many teams came up with creative names for themselves, but the team of librarians took their name a step further: they called themselves “HD8039.B2,” the Library of Congress Subject Heading for “Bakers and Bakeries.”

Not all the teams were quite as creative: two teams called themselves “The Soggy Bottoms” and “The Soggy Bottoms 2.” In the words of Shelby Williams '19, one of the hosts of the event, “it’s so indicative of Reed that we have a god damn surplus of bottoms.”

There were three judges at the event: Alystair Augustin '19, Dean of Students Bruce Smith, and Bon Appetit Chef Amy Blunt. Judges rated each bake on a scale from 1–5. While no bake achieved the coveted triple-five, a few received scores of 13 or 14, falling just short of a perfect rating. In the end, 13 teams were eliminated. The 21 teams with the highest scores will  move on to next week’s round, where they’ll create bakes that embody the Life of the Mind.