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Serving: KS

National Festival of Breads names finalists for 2021

Slideshow: Home bakers compete for National Festival of Breads Champion title.

Traditionally, the biennial National Festival of Breads would come to Kansas in June. Where better to celebrate bread than the breadbasket of America?

For this seventh contest, however, there won’t be an in-person festival, drawing thousands of fans of gluten from around the nation to Kansas, in the middle of wheat harvest.

Instead, Kansas Wheat, the lead organizer of the festival, is bringing the contest to an ever-growing audience of national and international home bakers through a virtual experience.

Fans of the National Festival of Breads can also help select the People’s Choice Award on the official website at Voting closes Tuesday, May 25.

Final selection of the Best of Breads Champion, and announcement of the People’s Choice Award will then occur during a virtual event June 9. The virtual broadcast over Facebook can be found at the official National Festival of Breads page, Fans can “like” the page to get notified when the event goes live. The virtual event will also feature each of the finalist recipes, interviews with the finalists, and sponsors with tips and advice for home bakers.

The National Festival of Breads is the nation’s only national amateur bread baking competition and is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Baking Co. and Kansas Wheat. It not only celebrates the creativity of America’s home bakers, but it also showcases the work of wheat farmers during the traditional hard winter wheat harvest season. Kansas farmers harvested 281.25 million bushels of wheat in 2020, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Adults and youth compete in separate divisions by submitting an original recipe that uses King Arthur flour and Red Star yeast products. Recipes are reviewed by a qualified panel of food experts, and category winners then compete for the overall Best of Breads champion title.

This year, three adult and two youth finalists were selected, as were 27 Honorable Mention award winners. Recipes for each finalist can be found at the National Festival of Breads website with links to each recipe in the photo captions.

Adult Division finalists include:

Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, Wis. Hearty Wild Rice ‘N Tart Cherry Bread, Traditional Breads category

Susan Simpson, Harrington, Del. Apricot-Raisin Babka Ring, Sweet Breads/Rolls category

Anakkarat Barth, Long Beach, Calif. Savory Thai Peanut Sauce Rolls, Savory Rolls category

Youth Division finalists include:

Maggie Sleichter, Clay Center, Kan. Strawberry Lemonade Swirls, Sweet Rolls category

Madee McKee, Wamego, Kan. Blueberry Blossom Tree Braids, Creative Bread Shape category

Kansas Wheat contributed to this article.

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