FRESNO, CALIF. — The California Raisin Marketing Board (C.R.M.B.) said it has expanded the Artisan and Commercial bread categories in its “America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest” to include rolls, pastries, scones, coffee cakes and any other breakfast bread containing California raisins. The C.R.M.B. is accepting applications for its third annual contest through Aug. 16.

“As interest in America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest grows, we decided to open up the competition to include a broader range of delicious California Raisin bakery products,” said Larry Blagg, senior vice-president of marketing, C.R.M.B. “While adding the new category, we are staying true to the competition’s original purpose — to recognize aspiring and working bakers for their skills and to celebrate one of nature’s best baking ingredients, California raisins.”

Preliminary judging will be made in September to choose nine finalists from each professional category and three finalists from each student category to participate in the final bake-off. The finalists will receive an expenses-paid trip to the American Institute of Baking International at Manhattan, Kas., Oct. 14-16, and will bake their formulas in front of a panel of distinguished judges from both the artisan and commercial baking industries.

Twelve winners will be selected based on their formulas’ taste, appearance, originality and value. The winners will receive a five-day California vacation with visits to the Culinary Institute of America, Yosemite National Park and the San Joaquin Valley.

Formulas submitted may be for raisin bread and raisin bakery products currently available in the market or products planned for sale in the future. Applications must be filled out in baker’s percentages, and applicants also must provide color photos of the whole finished loaf and a cut cross section.

In the United States, the legal standard of identity for raisin bread is 50% of raisin content to dry flour weight, while other raisin bakery products must include a minimum of 25% of raisin content to dry flour weight. This is the minimum acceptable content level for all contestants.

Application forms and a full set of rules are available on-line at Applications may be submitted by mail to Contest Administration Office in care of Theresa Cogswell, president, 14740 West 159th Street - Suite 100, Olathe, KS, 66062.