NORWICH, VT. — Eight finalists have been selected in the first-ever National Festival of Breads bread-baking competition set for June 17 in Wichita, Kas.

The competition, which was organized by King Arthur Flour and Kansas Wheat, is looking to find the best original bread recipes in four categories: whole grain bread; time-saving and easy bread; ethnic bread; and rolls.

Each finalist receives airfare to and accommodations in Wichita to participate in the national competition events June 15-17. Finalists will bake their recipes on site on June 17, and judging will be based on taste, originality, ease of preparation, healthfulness and appearance. The grand prize winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to a baking class of her choice at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, plus $2,000 cash.

In addition, each finalist will receive a $500 cash award, as well as a Wheat Harvest Tour and a visit to a working Kansas wheat farm, grain elevator and flour mill.

"We were pleased at the number of home bakers who entered from across the United States," said Cindy Falk, Kansas Wheat Commission Nutrition Educator and contest coordinator. "We had bakers from nearly every state. There was such a variety of flavors, herbs and other ingredients; everything from green tea to crystallized ginger and many different types of cheeses and meat fillings."