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2017 National Festival of Breads Champion, Seeded Corn and Onion Bubble Loaf. (Photos courtesy Kansas Wheat.)

Entries for the 2019 National Festival of Breads, sponsored by Red Star Yeast, King Arthur Flour and the Kansas Wheat Commission, are being accepted through Jan. 1, 2019. The competition seeks the best yeast bread recipes from home bakers and food bloggers throughout the United States.

“The National Festival of Breads builds upon a rich tradition of grassroots support and is the only baking competition of its kind in the country,” says Cindy Falk, co-chairperson of the event and nutrition educator for the Kansas Wheat Commission. “This contest is a way for bakers to be recognized for their baking skills and creativity.”

The 2019 contest will have two divisions: home bakers and food bloggers. Individuals who are avid amateur home bread bakers and do not make the major portion of their income by baking bread may enter the Home Baker Division. Individuals who currently maintain an active food blog and include wheat foods and yeast bread recipes as part of their content may enter the Food Blogger Division. Adult bakers, ages 18 and up, can self-identify their division and submit original recipes online at nationalfestivalofbreads.com. Submissions, which require photos of the entered bread, will only be accepted through the online form.

Judges will evaluate all entries and select eight adult finalists, four from each division, each of whom will receive airfare and accommodations to participate in the national competition on June 8, 2019, in Manhattan, Kansas. In addition, each finalist will receive a $500 cash award, participate in a wheat harvest tour to a working Kansas wheat farm and flour mill, and learn about wheat research at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center. 

Two Grand Prize Winners will be awarded, one from each division. These Grand Prize winners will receive a trip to attend a baking class of their choice at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont, or Skagit Valley, Washington, and a one-year supply of Red Star Yeast. Complete rules are available at nationalfestivalofbreads.com.

The Festival of Breads was established in 1990 by the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas WheatHearts, an auxiliary group of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. In the original “Festival of Breads” baking competition, hundreds of amateur bakers from Kansas submitted their baked products during the biennial competition.

The National Festival of Breads is sponsored by two of the most trusted brands in baking, Red Star Yeast and King Arthur Flour.

Red Star Yeast was founded in 1882 and over the years has developed a complete line of yeast products including PLATINUM Superior Baking Yeast, Active Dry Yeast, Quick Rise Yeast and Cake Yeast. Red Star Yeast also has many tips and tricks of the trade and the science behind yeast on their website, redstaryeast.com.

King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company and premier baking resource, offering ingredients, mixes, tools, recipes, educational opportunities and inspiration to bakers worldwide. For more information, visit kingarthurflour.com.

The Kansas Wheat Commission is a farmer-funded and governed advocacy organization working to secure the future of Kansas wheat globally and domestically through research, promotion, marketing and education. Kansas wheat farmers support the Kansas Wheat Commission with a voluntary 2-cent assessment on each bushel of wheat produced in Kansas. For more information, visit www.kansaswheat.org.

Additional information, full list of rules, past recipes and a summary of the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 competitions are available at nationalfestivalofbreads.com.


Seeded Corn and Onion Bubble Loaf

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Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland

Yield: 1 loaf, 25 servings.

Ingredients:

Dough

1/4 cup milk

1 (1/4 ounce) package RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup cream-style sweet corn

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, divided

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, divided

2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, plus extra for kneading

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour

3/4 cup frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed

1 tablespoon water

Directions:

Heat milk until it reaches 110 to 115 degrees F. Stir in yeast and wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof). Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine skillet mixture, cream-style sweet corn, sugar, 2 eggs, salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds and 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds. Exchange paddle for dough hook. Stir in white whole wheat flour, bread flour and yeast mixture; mix on low speed to blend ingredients. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If dough is very sticky, add in additional white whole wheat flour. Stir in thawed corn; mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes or until incorporated in dough. Place dough in greased bowl. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Generously grease a 12 cup (10-inch) Bundt pan. Deflate dough. Cut into 25 even pieces. Using lightly floured hands, shape dough into uniform rolls; layer in pan rounded side up. Cover; let rise until doubled, 40 to 50 minutes. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush on dough; sprinkle with remaining seeds. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Tent the bread with foil after 25 minutes. The bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted registers about 200 F. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes; loosen edges of bread with knife and transfer to rack to cool.


Southwest Focaccia

Yield: 1 large focaccia, 48 servings.

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Jane Fry, Elk Falls, Kansas

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water (110 F to 115 F)

1 (1/4 ounce) package Red Star Active Dry Yeast

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 cup diced yellow onion

1/2 cup drained pickled jalapeño slices, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup King Arthur organic yellow cornmeal

1 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, to taste

2 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 to 5 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour

6 tablespoons salted butter, melted, divided 

Pinch of chili sea salt or coarse sea salt, optional

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for mixture to foam (proof).  Stir in corn, onion, jalapeño, cornmeal, chili powder, salt and 3 1/2 cups flour. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead 10 minutes with dough hook. Line a 12- by 18-inch half sheet pan with parchment. Generously butter the parchment. Using wet fingertips, gently stretch and press the dough from the center to the outer edge to fit the pan. Brush the top with half of the melted butter. Using your fingertips, press deep dimples at 1-inch intervals all over the dough.  Cover with greased plastic wrap; let the dough rise until light, about 45 minutes. Near the end of the rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. When ready to bake, gently dimple the dough again. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over dough’s surface. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the focaccia from the baking sheet by lifting the parchment onto a rack. Remove parchment and turn it out onto rack. Slice into approximately 1 1/2- by 3-inch pieces. Serve warm. Store focaccia in the refrigerator or freeze.

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