WICHITA, KAS. – Gale Collier of Redmond, Ore., won the grand prize June 25 in Wichita in the 2011 National Festival of Breads bread-baking competition for her “Quick Raisin Granola Breakfast Rolls” recipe. She received a cash prize of $2,500, a year’s supply of Fleischmann’s Yeast, an expenses-paid trip to the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vt., and a $500 special raisin award sponsored by California Raisins.
King Arthur Flour, Fleischmann’s Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission sponsored the competition. Mrs. Collier’s winning recipe was selected from eight finalist recipes bake-tested at the competition.

“This experience was awesome and amazing,” said Mrs. Collier, who is married with two children. “I came away with a whole new appreciation for what goes into that bag of flour I pick up at the grocery store.”

A panel of three judges included Melissa Knific, assistant food editor for Family Circle magazine; Aaron Clanton, baking curriculum manager at AIB International; and Naji Toubia, owner of Bagatelle Bakery in Wichita. When judging, they considered taste, originality, ease of preparation, health and appearance.

The finalists included Mary Allen of Troy, Ohio, for “Tart Cherry Schiacciata,” Teresa Cardin of Valley Mills, Texas, for “Apple Cider Cranberry Bread;” Lois Dowling of Tacoma, Wash., for “Triple Tangerine Twirling Treats;” Robin Porter of Lilburn, Ga., for “Jalapeno Cheddar Wheat Hamburger Buns;” Patricia Harmon of Baden Pa., for “Fruit-of-the-Vine and Rosemary Olive Oil Snack Bread with Pine Nuts;” Mrs. Collier; Jamie Swisher of High View, W. Va., for “Sweet Wheat Bread;” and Candy McMenamim of Lexington, S.C., for “Charred Lime Ginger Sweet Rolls.”

Each finalist received a $500 cash award and an expenses-paid trip to Wichita. The Kansas visit featured a wheat harvest tour, including a visit to a working wheat farm, grain elevator and flour mill.

About 550 people attended the National Festival of Breads and participated in free baking sessions, sampled baked breads and cinnamon rolls and saw a miniature trade show, said Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat and chairperson of the National Festival of Breads.

“The second National Festival of Breads was a tremendous success,” she said. “Our eight finalists were outstanding in every way, and their breads were creative, great-tasting and incorporated a host of top-quality ingredients from wheat flour to raisins, cranberries and cheese.”