Loretta McGuire from Co. Mayo wins National Brown Bread Baking Competition 2023
All you need is loaf! Loretta McGuire from Co. Mayo has been crowned the winner of this year’s National Brown Bread Baking Competition, proudly sponsored by ALDI in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA) and Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA).
A fixture of Irish life for decades, the National Brown Bread Baking Competition aims to showcase the best of amateur bakers and promote the Irish tradition of brown bread baking. Since being revived in 2014, it has become one of the most high-profile events at the National Ploughing Championships and this year’s competition once again attracted hundreds of entrants from across Ireland with finalists progressing through a series of heats.
The highly anticipated final took place on September 21st in the ALDI Marquee at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois. Eight bakers competed against one another over the course of a two-day bake off with semi-finals taking place on September 19th and 20th in front of an enthusiastic live audience.
After much deliberation, it was Loretta McGuire who prevailed and was named the overall winner, having wowed the judges with her hearty, delicious loaf, and its unique signature flavour.
Loretta will now receive a prize of €15,000 while her brown bread will be stocked in all 160 ALDI stores nationwide.
Anna May McHugh, Loretta Mc Guire, Eileen Brennan and Sile Seoige pictured at the National Brown Bread Baking Competition Final 2023.
Speaking about her win, Loretta McGuire, said: “I’m incredibly honoured to have won this year’s National Brown Bread Baking Competition. To go from baking at home in my own kitchen to taking part in this amazing event at the National Ploughing Championships has been nothing short of wonderfully surreal. The fact that I will soon get to see my bread on sale in ALDI is just the cherry on top of what has been an amazing experience. Thank you to the judges for selecting my bread and congratulations to all my fellow finalists.”
Commenting on the competition, John Curtin, Group Buying Director, ALDI, said: “At ALDI, we are thrilled to have once again hosted the National Brown Bread Baking Competition at the National Ploughing Championships along with the NPA and ICA. As sponsors, we have a long and proud association with this competition, and we believe it not only upholds Ireland’s iconic brown bread baking tradition but also embodies the best of Irish culture. Our judges were blown away by the number of entries to this year’s competition as well as the baking talent on display throughout every stage of the competition. On behalf of everyone at ALDI, I wish to congratulate our winner Loretta McGuire as well as our runners-up.”
Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association, said: “The National Brown Bread Baking Competition has long been a staple of the National Ploughing Championships and we were delighted to welcome it back to this year’s festival. I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to this year’s winner Loretta McGuire, and I look forward to seeing her award-winning bread on ALDI shelves. We are certain it will go down a treat with the people of Ireland.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Loretta’s winning loaf of brown bread, which will be available in ALDI stores nationwide later this year.
For more information on The National Brown Bread Baking Competition, visit www.aldi.ie/brown-bread-competition.
Slán go fóill.