Finalists selected for National Festival of Breads

by Eric Schroeder
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NORWICH, VT. — Eight finalists have been selected from more than 500 entries to vie for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes at the second National Festival of Breads in Wichita, Kas., this June. The finalists were chosen following a recipe taste test held April 6 in Manhattan, Kas.

“These eight recipes encompass an exciting array of flavor profiles, baking techniques and skill levels from amateur bakers across the country,” said Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for the Kansas Wheat Commission and chair of the National Festival of Breads. “We look forward to meeting these contestants in Kansas this summer when they participate in the National Festival of Breads.”

The finalists include:

Ethnic Breads — Mary Allen, Troy, Ohio, for her Tart Cherry Schiacciata, and Teresa Cardin, Valley Mills, Texas, for her Apple Cider Cranberry Bread.

Rolls — Lois Dowling, Tacoma, Wash., for her Triple Tangerine Twirling Treats, and Robin Porter, Lilburn, Ga., for her Jalapeno Cheddar Wheat Hamburger Buns.

Time-Saving and Easy Breads — Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pa., for her Fruit-of-the-Vine and Rosemary Olive Oil Snack Bread with Pine Nuts, and Gale Collier, Redmond, Ore., for her Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls.

Whole Grain Breads — Jamie Swisher, High View, W.Va., for her Sweet Wheat Bread, and Candy McMenamin, Lexington, S.C., for her Charred Lime Ginger Sweet Rolls.

“We are so pleased to see the baking creativity demonstrated in our finalists’ recipes,” said Tom Payne, director of marketing for King Arthur Flour. “These finalists represent some of the best home bread baking in the country, and we look forward to bringing them together to learn and to compete this summer in Wichita.”

Finalists will travel to Wichita to bake their creations at the National Festival of Breads set for June 23-25. While in Kansas, contestants will participate in several additional activities, including a wheat harvest tour and a VIP concert with the Diamond W Wranglers, a musical group.

Finalists will compete in a live baking showdown on June 25. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500, plus a year’s supply of Fleischmann's Yeast and an expenses-paid trip to the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vt.

In addition to the finalists, several Special Award winners were named, including:

Cranberry Award — Robin Haas, Cranston, R.I., for her Sweet Potato Cranberry Bacon Rolls.
Raisin Award — Gale Collier, Redmond, Ore., for her Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls.
White Whole Wheat Award — Candy McMenamin, Lexington, S.C., for her Charred Lime Ginger Sweet Rolls.
Bread Sculpture Award — Jane Fry, Elk Falls, Kas., for her Sunflower and Wheat Bread Sculpture.

Details about the 2011 National Festival of Breads, past recipes, and more are available on the official contest web site,

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