In September, in the Aldi marquee at the National Ploughing Championships, Margaret Sexton, a community nurse and Mum of two from Roscommon, won the National Brown Bread Baking competition, which was run in association with the NPA, ICA and Aldi. Margaret’s winning brown bread ‘Margaret’s Loaf’ hit the shelves of all 122 Aldi store on Saturday 5th December, priced at €1.49.
On September 24th, four judges, including former National Brown Bread Baking Competition Winner Eileen Brennan judged Margaret’s bread to be the best brown bread in the country. Eileen said, “As all four breads in the final were presented on the table. We all stood back and pointed to the same bread, everyone was in total agreement. Margaret’s brown bread was visually very attractive, its texture was beautiful and it was delicious. It ticked all the boxes“.
Margaret’s brown bread is being made by Stapleton’s Bakery in Roscrea, Co Tipperary with ingredients that include honey, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Margaret said, “In the run up to the competition I must have baked over 100 loaves of bread. I was feeding my entire neighbourhood! I think the brown bread is a celebrated symbol of Irish cuisine. How I serve my bread is dictated by the occasion. It complements a warm bowl of soup, works as a lovely starter with smoked salmon or just topped with butter, jam and enjoyed with a cuppa!“.
Being a community nurse, Margaret said that her brown bread recipe was influenced by health considerations. “I think my bread marries tradition with modern influences, it brings elements of the traditional brown bread but delivers on the demands of the modern day dietary requirements“.
Commenting on the process of taking her brown bread recipe from her kitchen in, Co Roscommon to the shelves of Aldi stores Margaret said, “To be transported from the world that I know into the world of food, bakeries, labs and packaging has been such an adventure for me and I am very grateful to everyone involved who has helped my brown bread along the way“.
James Deeney, Buying Director in Aldi said of Margaret’s brown bread, “We are delighted to have a new premium bread product to offer our Aldi customers. Margaret’s bread will be sold in all our stores for €1.49“.