Start your ovens! The National Festival of Breads is opening its call for entries for the 2019 festival!
The festival, which takes place every two years in Manhattan, has become a mainstay for home bakers in America. Each festival has grown with the number of entries and the activities surrounding the event.
“What better place to hold a baking contest than Kansas?” said Cindy Falk, nutrition educator at Kansas Wheat who oversees the festival. “We’re the Breadbasket of the World here in the Wheat State.”
New in 2019 is an entry category for food bloggers, in addition to home bakers. The two categories will be judged separately.
“We change the festival a bit each time to make it fun and keep it interesting,” Cindy said. “We’ve had some really neat contestants, which is part of what makes this competition so fun.”
Avid bakers from all walks of life have put their recipes to the test. Every two years, eight are selected as finalists to participate during the festival, one of whom is crowned the winner.
Entering the Competition
The real work starts months, sometimes years, before the actual festival as entrants develop their unique bread recipes. The recipes must use ingredients from the festival’s sponsors, King Arthur® Flour and Red Star® Yeast, and must be comprised of at least 50 percent wheat flour (including all-purpose, bread flour, white whole-wheat flour, etc.).
The recipes have to include step-by-step instructions and a photograph of the finished product. Each entry should also include some background about how the recipe was developed.
The festival receives several hundred entries and all submissions are evaluated blind at every stage.
“It’s all fair,” Cindy said. “We read every recipe.”
Judges also check to make sure the recipes are original. The test kitchen staff prepares the top eligible recipes. If the test kitchen can’t reproduce a good bake, the recipe won’t move forward. Recipes that move forward are then judged by panelists to narrow down the field even further.
Advice for Entrants
Recipes that don’t follow the contest’s rules are disqualified right off the bat. That’s why Cindy’s top piece of advice is to read the rules. She says it’s surprising how many people don’t.
“Make sure you create a well-written, easy-to-follow recipe so we can reproduce the recipe in the test kitchen,” she says. “Practice making it and get every ingredient down.”
When asked to name her favorite recipes from past festivals, Cindy said there are too many to choose from.
“That would be like saying which one of my kids is my favorite and I can’t do that,” she said. “We always get some really great recipes.”
To browse recipes from past champions, visit the festival’s website.
If you’re ready to put your recipe to the test, make sure you review the full set of official rules for entry.
What are you waiting for? Heat things up in your kitchen and get baking!