Orange marmalade, dried tart cherries, pecans and maple syrup are a few ingredients Barbara Estabrook uses in her original bread recipe. But the secret ingredient is wild rice, which is the signature texture to Estabrook’s entry in the 2021 Virtual National Festival of Breads — Hearty Wild Rice’n Tart Cherry Bread. The recipe earned her a spot in the June 9 event as the winner of the Traditional Breads category of the Adult Division. 

“I purchased a loaf of wild rice and cranberry bread several years ago and because I love wild rice, I decided to create a bread that would be a ‘healthful’ addition to my diet,” Estabrook, who lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, said. “I use naturally grown hand-harvested wild rice because it remains soft in the bread, unlike black, cultivated wild rice that can be chewy.”

Estabrook said her bread doesn’t require a stand mixer and encouraged home bakers to mix the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough by hand. Her recipe also incorporates two types of flour — KING ARTHUR® Stone Ground White Whole Wheat Flour and KING ARTHUR® Bread Flour — to give the bread its great texture. Adding RED STAR® Quick-Rise Yeast shortens the bread’s required rising time and the other diverse ingredients add a different twist. In the test kitchen, evaluators said the result is a hearty bread with a nice-pleasing flavor that is sweet, yet not too sweet. 

Evaluators said the bread would be great for toast, which is how Estabrook likes to eat hers, lightly toasted and spread with maple-laced butter.