April 8, 2019
Flour. Yeast. Water. These are the basic ingredients in a bread recipe. So how can you make something so timeless and universal unique? The National Festival of Breads (NFOB) is a biennial contest that encourages home bakers and food bloggers to do just that. The 2019 NFOB received almost 300 entries from around the country, and while not every recipe could be a top eight finalist, there were plenty that deserved merits in their own right.
This year’s special award winners are Lucky Five-Spice Cloverleaf Rolls, created by Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah, in the Soy Award Food Blogger Division, and Sicilian Star Bread, developed by Brenda Watts, Gaffney, South Carolina, in the Soy Award Home Baker Division.
Shauna Havey is no new face to the NFOB. She was a finalist in the 2017 competition with her Butternut Romesco Braid and will be returning to Manhattan, Kansas, for another shot at the championship title this June with her Beetroot Amaretto Rolls.
The Kansas Soybean Commission has been a sponsor of the National Festival of Breads since 2013. The creation of the soy award has exposed hundreds of bakers around the country to the value and versatility of soy products in the kitchen, and particularly in baked goods.
“The wheat farmers of Kansas are proud to partner with their soybean raising counterparts to help this event happen,” said Cindy Falk, co-chair of the National Festival of Breads. “A big part of this event is to earn the trust of bakers around the nation, and to help bring them into the Heartland where their food is grown. Our partnership with the Kansas Soybean Commission has helped this contest grow and further our farm-based messaging with bakers and festival attendees.”
Honorable Mentions for the 2019 NFOB include Gimme S’more Braid, Kelsey Byrnes, Ankeny, Iowa; Gold Goddess Bread, Lanie Smith, Topeka, Kansas; Hawaiian Blossoms, Elke Roby, Lincoln, Nebraska; ‘No Knead to Fret’ Cranberry Almond Brunch Bread, Mary Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina; Orange Hazelnut Cocoa Twists, Jane Fry, Elk Falls, Kansas; Peppery Southwest Beer Bread, Janet Gill, Canton, Ohio; Russian Red Rose Bread, Sarah Featherstone, Salina, Kansas; Strawberry Sorghum Sticky Buns (White Wheat Award), Sharon Ricci, Carthage, North Carolina.
The top eight finalists will travel to Manhattan, Kansas, from June 6-8, to bake their creations on June 8, at the National Festival of Breads, sponsored by Red Star Yeast®, King Arthur Flour® and Kansas Wheat. While in Kansas, contestants will participate in a host of additional activities, including a Wheat Harvest Tour with stops at a wheat farm, research facility and flour mill.
With hands-on activities, free food samples, fun kids’ zone and a live baking competition featuring eight finalists from around the country, the National Festival of Breads is an event the entire family can enjoy!
Expert bakers will be giving demonstrations on the stage in the ballroom. These demonstrations will be led by “Chef Tess” Stephanie Petersen, sponsored by Kansas Wheat; author and baker Brian Hart Hoffman, sponsored by Red Star Yeast; King Arthur Flour’s Libby Treadway; and Kansas Soybean Commission’s Charlene Patton.
Attendees will get the opportunity to sample the finalists’ breads and vote on their favorite in the People’s Choice Awards. The judging will also be open to the public for the first time during the 2019 contest.