Bakers are all set to rise to the annual brown bread challenge

Baking enthusiasts can earn some serious ‘dough’ again this year, with details of the 2019 National Brown Bread Baking competition just announced.

Any bakers aged over 16 are encouraged to give themselves the chance of seeing their bread on shelves nationwide. The winner receives a share of the profits from sales of their loaf once it goes on sale in Aldi stores – Aldi is the competition sponsor.

Re-launched five years ago by the National Ploughing Association (and run in association with ICA), the Brown Bread competition has been a huge success, with entries from each of the 26 counties.

NPA managing director Anna May McHugh says:

Given the huge popularity and success of the National Brown Bread Baking competition at Ploughing over the past four years, we’re once again delighted to be renewing our partnership with Aldi and ICA. It’s wonderful to see the long and great tradition of baking in Ireland alive and well

The competition’s open to ICA members but also to non-members. ICA members can participate through their local guilds, with heats taking place nationwide and regional finals held at An Grianán on July 18. Speaking at the launch, ICA president Josephine Helly said: “Members are once again delighted to be taking part in the National Brown Bread Baking competition to find the best brown bread baker in Ireland. There’s been huge interest and the winner will be generously rewarded.”

Keen bakers who are not ICA members can also enter via the Aldi heats by dropping their brown bread into select Aldi outlets at the following locations/dates:

Aldi Ireland Head Office, Newbridge Road, Naas, Co Kildare (June 12, 10.30am-1pm)

Aldi Regional Office, Limerick Road, Mitchelstown, Co Cork (June 12, 10.30am-1pm)

Aldi Store, New Town Centre, Oranmore, Co Galway (June 19, 10.30am-1pm)

Aldi Store, Wexford Retail Park, Clonard Little, Wexford (June 19, 10.30am-1pm)

All entries must be clearly marked with baker’s name, address and contact number.

The four finalists selected through ICA, along with the four finalists selected from the Aldi bread drops, will compete at the national finals — which is due to take place again from September 17-19 at the popular Aldi Marquee during this year’s National Ploughing Championships in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow.

Aldi Group buying director John Curtin said brown bread is quintessentially Irish. Speaking about 2018 winner Emma Ferguson’s bread, he said:

Emma’s Brown Bread has proven a hit with our customers – we hope the winner this year will achieve the same success with their brown bread

If you think you have the recipe for success, log onto www.aldi.ie/brown-bread-competition or www.ica.ie for info on how to enter/more info about the county finals.

The winner’s brown bread will be stocked in all Aldi Stores in Ireland for 12 months and they’ll receive a share of the profits, which could reach €15,000 for the year.

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