Winner Elaine born and 'bread' to be a top baker
A GARRISTOWN woman has been awarded with the title of Best Brown Bread Baker in the whole of Dublin.
Elaine Finnegan, who has been baking brown bread for her family and for local coffee mornings for many years, was crowned the Dublin winner at the regional finals in The National Brown Bread Baking Competition at ICA headquarters at An Grianan in Co Louth.
The judge on the day was Edward Hayden, Ireland AM chef.
The competition, sponsored by Aldi and in association with the ICA and the National Ploughing Championships, saw 27 bread makers take part, with eight going forward to the finals at the National Ploughing Championships in September.
Although Elaine was crowned Dublin champion, she unfortunately did not make it through to the national finals.
'I am absolutely shocked and thrilled that I won the Best Brown Bread Baker in Dublin,' Elaine told the Fingal Independent.
'I have been baking brown bread for a long time, but just for my family and for local coffee mornings, and I never thought I would end up winning a competition like this,' she said.
Elaine and several other members of Garristown ICA were asked to enter the competition by their president Nora Carolan.
'I volunteered to enter it and was delighted with the result,' said Elaine.
Elaine believes adding three small eggs to her ingredients is the secret to making a good brown bread.
'I think the eggs keep it soft and there is a nice crust on it. I sometimes decorate the top with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.'
As well as achieving the honour of being crowned Best Brown Bread Baker in Dublin, Elaine was presented with a €100 Aldi voucher and tickets to the National Ploughing Championships.
'I'm still baking away and brought some of my bread to family in Roundwood and they loved it too,' said Elaine, adding that her husband Mel and their children Rebecca, Daniel, Ben and John also love eating the bread.
According to Joanne Byrne of Presence PR, the brown bread baking competition at the Ploughing Championships has not been held since 1973.
'Anna May McHugh of the Ploughing Association suggested that the competition should be brought back and so now we have the finals taking place in September,' said Joanne.
Aldi sponsors the competition as their brown flower is milled in Wexford.