The National Festival of Breads – I get so excited for this bi-annual contest and cook-off!
The contest is back for 2017 and I encourage all of you to roll up your sleeves, bake something special and enter. Hurry, the deadline is January 16th 2017. These inside tips and insights will help you enter and hopefully win the National Festival of Breads!
This contest is divided into two divisions, Adult and Youth.
The adult categories are: Holiday Breads, Rolls, Time-Saving and Simple Breads, and Whole Grain Breads. Eight finalists in the adult division will receive a $500 cash award and a trip to the cook-off in Manhattan, Kansas. There, one winner will receive a grand prize consisting of $2,000 cash, a $500 credit towards baking classes at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont as well as expenses toward travel and lodging (airfare, rental car, and hotel) to and from Vermont (up to $1,500).
In addition, there are special awards in the adult category. These awards are chosen from all eligible entries and will each receive $200 cash. Best Recipe Using King Arthur Flour Sprouted Wheat Flour (50% or more sprouted wheat flour in recipe). Best Recipe Using White Whole Wheat Flour (50% or more white whole wheat flour in recipe). Best Recipe Using Soy Ingredient i.e. soy flour, soybean oil (also called vegetable oil or soy oil), soynuts, tofu, soymilk, soynut butter, soy yogurt, soy cereal, soy grits, soy cheese). Best Yeast Bread Recipe Using Corn ingredient i.e. cornmeal, corn syrup, fresh, frozen, canned corn, creamed corn, corn cereals, corn flour, cornstarch, grits or corn oil.
The youth division is for ages 8 to 17 and is divided into two categories: Yeast Breads and Quick Breads. The overall grand prize winner in the youth category will receive a $500 scholarship and two runners up with each receive a $250 scholarship.
There are also special awards in the youth category. Each of these winners will receive $100 cash. Best Recipe Using Soy Ingredient i.e. soy flour, soybean oil (also called vegetable oil or soy oil), soynuts, tofu, soymilk, soynut butter, soy yogurt, soy cereal, soy grits, soy cheese. Best Recipe Using White Whole Wheat Flour (50% or more white whole wheat flour in recipe). Best Quick or Yeast Bread Recipe Using Corn ingredient i.e. cornmeal, corn syrup, fresh, frozen, canned corn, creamed corn, corn cereals, corn flour, cornstarch, grits or corn oil
For the full rules and to upload your entry, visit http://nationalfestivalofbreads.com/
The contest was last held in 2015 and the grand prize winner was our very own Lisa Keys! Her recipe for Smokehouse Cranberry Cheese Bread is perfect to serve this time of year. I asked Lisa to share some insight on this contest with her fellow CCC members as well as some tips for success!
What are some of the reasons you would tell fellow CCC members as to why they should enter the National Festival of Breads?
“The NFOB is a very well run and respected cook-off. All ingredients and utensils are provided for you. It has a warm family feel to it as well as a great educational program about the wheat industry. They are genuinely happy that you are present and baking bread. I personally love learning where my food comes from and about the people behind the products I already love and use. I have also become a much better bread baker as my experience there taught me so much about yeast and flour production. It’s quite scientific and the farmers are so well-educated and love what they do. It’s generations of family that all work together and I just encourage everyone to get behind what’s made in America.”
What should someone think about when developing their entry? Do you have any tips for creating a recipe that will (hopefully!) get you into the cook-off?
“This is a tough question because one never knows what the judges are looking for. What I would suggest is to bake your flavors, something from your heart and not overly complicate it. Make it truly your own and present a pretty loaf.”
Do you have any tips for finalists when they are competing in the cook-off itself?
“Bring an instant read thermometer to make sure your loaf is properly baked as ovens are not all the same. Also, take the time to get to know your hostess. These are real, generous people who know so much about baking. Mine was so lovely and helpful. She answered so many questions and concerns I had about the baking process. It was so very reassuring to have her in my kitchen.”
Thank you so much Lisa!
I hope all of you are convinced that the National Festival of Breads is a contest that is not to be missed. This is baking season! Get those creative juices flowing and enter your masterpieces ASAP. We hope to see CCC members at the cook-off and in the winner’s circle again in 2017!