Finalists Selected for 2021 Virtual National Festival of Breads

After analyzing, mixing, kneading, baking and tasting, a panel of judges has selected the final recipes that will be represented in the seventh National Festival of Breads, sponsored by Red Star Yeast®, King Arthur Baking Company® and Kansas Wheat. This year’s virtual event is scheduled for June 9, 2021. 

“The National Festival of Breads celebrates the creativity of America’s home bakers,” said Cindy Falk, co-chairperson of the event and nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat. “Join us on June 9 from the comfort of your home as we share the stories behind our finalists’ winning recipes and announce who will be America’s next top bread baker.” 

Three adult and two youth finalists have been named for the biennial National Festival of Breads, the nation’s only national amateur bread-baking competition. In addition to the five finalists, the judges also selected 27 Honorable Mention Awards. Finalists and award recipients represent states from coast to coast. 

Want to help select a winner? Vote for the People’s Choice Award on our website at by May 25.

Adult Division

Finalists in the Adult Division include Barbara Estabrook, from Appleton, Wisconsin, with her Hearty Wild Rice ’n Tart Cherry Bread in the Traditional Breads category; Susan Simpson, from Harrington, Delaware, with her Apricot-Raisin Babka Ring in the Sweet Breads/Rolls category; and Anakkarat Barth, from Long Beach, California, with her Savory Thai Peanut Sauce Rolls in the Savory Rolls category.

Youth Division

Finalists in the Youth Division are Maggie Sleichter from Clay Center, Kansas, with her Strawberry Lemonade Swirls; and Madee McKee from Wamego, Kansas, with her Blueberry Blossom Tree Braids.

Honorable Mention

Twenty-seven entries received Honorable Mention awards from the judges. 

In the Traditional Breads category, honorable mentions include Artisan Beer Bread, Nancy Seeman, Aurora, Nebraska; Grandma’s Golden Babka Bread, Gloria Piantek, West Lafayette, Indiana; Greek Feta, Herb and Olive Oil Bread, Andrew Schoeffield, Towson, Maryland; Honey Heart Challah, Michele Kusma, Columbus, Ohio; Pomegranate Molasses Date Whole Wheat Bread, Marjorie Johnson, Robbinsdale, Minnesota; Rustic Walnut-Fennel Boule, Ellie Mathews, Port Townsend, Washington; Stout Quinoa Loaf, Candy Hornung, Lake Wylie, South Carolina; Sunflower Butter Whole Grain Muesli Bread, Helen Fields, Paradise, Texas.

In the Sweet Breads/Rolls category, honorable mentions include Brie and Blueberry Babka, Michele Kusma, Columbus, Ohio; Chai Milk Bread Rolls with Sweet Spice Crunch, Kellie White, Valley Park, Missouri; Chocolate Almond Croissants, Renee Conneally, Northville, Michigan; Chocolate Marshmallow Cinnamon Rolls, Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin; Southern Sweet Potato & Apple-Pecan Tea Ring, Lanie Smith, Rock Hill, South Carolina; Sparkling Chocolate Bowties, Michele Kusma, Columbus, Ohio; Sweet Potato with Black Sesame Swirl Bread, Carol Adamek, Dallas, Texas; and Sweet Wheat Apple Bialys, Laurie Lufkin, Gloucester, Massachusetts.

In the Savory Rolls category, honorable mentions include Batter-then-Butter Wonder Croissants, Denise Pounds, Hutchinson, Kansas; Bialys with Apple, Shallot, Crispy Garlic, and Manchego Cheese, Elaine Barbee, Saint Charles, Missouri; Cheese Filled Koulouri, Amanda Crosland, Sandpoint, Idaho; Herbed Bocconcini Rosemary Rolls, Mary Hawkes, Prescott, Arizona; Mediterranean-Herbed Heart Rolls, Patrice Hurd, Bemidji, Minnesota; Peppy Pepper Jack Rolls, Janet Gill, Canton, Ohio; Quick “Rose Bud” Herb Rolls, Wilma Olds, Wilson, Kansas; Rocky’s Knockout Rolls, Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan; and Savory Buttery Herb ’N Cheddar Fan Tans, Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, Wisconsin.

Youth Honorable Mentions include Choco-Lot Cinnamon Rolls, Ethan Dethlefs, Omaha, Nebraska, in the Sweet Rolls category; and Rainbow Bagels, Maria Katherine Brennan, Middlebury, Connecticut, in the Creative Bread Shape Category.

The Festival

The virtual festival will premiere on June 9 on Facebook at Like the National Festival of Breads Facebook page or sign up for the festival’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on event details, connect with other attendees, and get notified when the event goes live on June 9, 2021.

Then join the event premiere to see all of the finalists’ recipes, hear from the finalists and sponsors, and find out who will be crowned the “Best of Breads” Champion in America’s bread baking championship. 

Learn more at