Breakfast bread

This prize-wining bread that was part of the National Festival of Breads will provide you with a satisfying breakfast since it is packed with healthy rolled oats, pecans and raisins. It is a delicious bread that goes well with a salad or in a sandwich as well. It is definitely a prize winner.

Have you ever thought about entering a recipe of yours into a national recipe competition? These contests provide an opportunity to win some valuable prizes and there are many different ones to select from. You may be most familiar with barbecue contests or the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but General Mills, International Dairy Competition, the National Festival of Breads, and the Home Baking Association are other large options. You can find the many choices available to you by checking the internet for “recipe competitions.” Entering any of these is a way for you to share your skills and your favorite recipes with others.

March is national Bake and Take Month, which is your opportunity to give a boost to others and to share your baking talent. This is also an excellent way to teach your children to do things for others. How about trying out some of your favorite recipes you might want to enter in a competition on your neighbors to get their feedback? Following are some examples of recipes that have won in previous contests to give you an idea of what a winner looks and tastes like.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

This prize-wining bread that was part of the National Festival of Breads will provide you with a satisfying breakfast since it is packed with healthy rolled oats, pecans and raisins. It is a delicious bread that goes well with a salad or in a sandwich as well. It is definitely a prize-winner.

Makes: 1 (9x5-inch) loaf


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (120–130 degrees)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup maple syrup (can substitute honey)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose flour)

1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup raisins


Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, cinnamon, salt, and oats in stand mixer bowl; stir to combine. Add warm water, vegetable oil, and maple syrup to flour mixture; mix with paddle attachment for 4 minutes on medium speed. Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add pecans and raisins, kneading on low speed just until combined. (Note: If mixing by hand, knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Knead in pecans and raisins.) Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about an hour. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up lightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and taper ends to seal. Place in greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching with fingertip, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until instant read thermometer inserted in center registers 190 degrees. Remove from pan after 5 minutes; finish cooling on wire rack. Source: Harvest of Breads, Red Star Yeast.

Dilly Casserole Bread 

This may be a familiar recipe to you since it is one that has been around since 1960 when it was one of the national prize winners in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. It has remained popular through the years. It is a batter bread which does not require kneading. It can also be made using a food processor if you wish. If you would like smaller breads, you could bake the bread in smaller casserole dishes.

Makes 1 loaf


2 -2½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 – 3 teaspoons instant minced onion

2 teaspoons dill seed

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 package active dry yeast

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened

¼ teaspoon coarse salt, if desired


In large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda, and yeast. In small saucepan, heat water, 1 tablespoon butter, and cottage cheese until very warm, (120 – 130 degrees). Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture. Beat with electric mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand or with dough hook on mixer, mix in remaining 1 to 1 2/3 cup flour to form a stiff batter. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes. Generously grease 1½ or 2-quart casserole. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover dough; bake 30 to 40 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped. If necessary, cover with foil to avoid excessive browning. Remove bread from casserole; place on wire rack. Brush with 2 teaspoons softened butter. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Source: "Pillsbury Bake-Off, 41 Exclusive Recipes,” 2004.

Neighborhood Bean Soup

A resident of Ontario won for this soup recipe in The Taste of Home competition. The winner said she makes this soup as a way to get to know her neighbors which fits in with this month’s theme. It also would be a great one to share with Lenten Soup lunches or suppers if your church is having those.

Servings: 10


2 cups dried great northern beans

5 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1 large meaty ham bone

2 to 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon rubbed sage

¼ teaspoon dried savory

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil


Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle, add water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour; drain. Add broth, water, ham bone, bouillon, and seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours. Sauté carrots, onions, and celery in oil; add to soup. Cover and simmer 1 hour longer. Debone ham and cut into chunks; return to soup. Skim fat. Source: “Taste of Home, Prizewinning Recipes,” 2018.

Bernie Mason writes the Local Flavor column for Lee Montana Newspapers. She was a Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.