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Brown Bread Winner 2021 v Download Image


In association with the National Ploughing Association and

The Irish Countrywomen’s Association

Aisling wins €15,000 and the chance to have her bread on sale in Aldi stores for 12 months!

In a year where the people of Ireland baked more than ever before and online searches for ‘bread recipes’ were at an all-time high, Aisling O’Toole, from Monasterevin is delighted to have been announced as this year’s winner of The National Brown Bread Baking Competition, sponsored by Aldi and in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA) and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA).

The announcement was made at the final of The National Brown Bread Baking Competition which took place at Howth Castle Cookery School last Friday 10th September, meaning that Aisling will receive a prize of €15,000, with her winning brown bread going on sale in Aldi stores for the next year.

Due to government guidelines and the cancellation of the trade exhibition of the National Ploughing Championships for a second year, the team at Aldi, NPA and ICA ploughed on and decided to run The National Brown Bread Baking Competition a little differently, once again opening entries to bakers all over Ireland, with hopeful bakers asked to drop their freshly made loaves of brown bread to Aldi stores for a second year. The competition is now in its 8th year with Aldi and has gone from strength to strength as more and more talented bakers from around the country get involved. Aldi is delighted to be able to continue to support local producers and keep Irish traditions alive.

Those who made it through to the final of The National Brown Bread Baking Competition 2021 to have their breads judged by a panel of experts included:

  • Martin Malone, Co. Dublin 
  • Aisling O’Toole, Co. Kildare 
  • Louis Taylor, Co. Donegal
  • Siobhan Hassett, Co. Limerick

Speaking about her award at the final at Howth Castle Cookery School, Aisling O’Toole said; I’m so happy to have won with a recipe that originated in my daughter Catherine’s Autism Spectrum Disorder class of Scoil Phadraig Naofa in Athy many years ago. Myself and my son Michael tweaked and perfected the recipe during his Transition Year when he made and sold the bread locally to raise funds for a charity in his school in Newbridge. My husband Ciaran supported us all the way. Of course my passion for brown bread came from my mam who baked every weekend with my sister Triona. Mam and dad who are still in Tipperary are over the moon and so excited to see my bread on the Aldi shelves nationwide.”

Group Buying Director at Aldi Ireland, John Curtin, said; “We were delighted to champion The National Brown Bread Baking Competition once again this year, despite the challenging circumstances that the Covid-19 pandemic posed for the second year running. At Aldi, we love to support local producers as much as we can, and to be able to do this again in partnership with the National Ploughing Association and Irish Countrywomen’s Association has been a pleasure. The very best of luck to Aisling, no doubt this is only the very beginning of her journey.”

NPA Managing Director, Anna May McHugh, said; “Given the huge popularity and success of the National Brown Bread Baking competition at Ploughing, we are delighted to have been able to continue with the competition and to crown a very worthy winner once again. We want to wish Aisling all the best, and we all are very much looking forward to seeing his/her award-winning loaf of bread on shelves throughout the year – we have no doubt that the people of Ireland will love it.”

Hilda Roche, President of the ICA, said; The ICA is delighted to have been part of this competition which gives our members the opportunity to participate in the search for the best brown bread in Ireland. Congratulations to Aisling on her win, we look forward to seeing what the futures holds for her and her delicious product”

Aisling’s winning loaf of brown bread will be available in Aldi stores nationwide later this year. For more information on The National Brown Bread Baking Competition, visit

For more information, please contact the Aldi Press Office on:
T: 01 5252544 or