Bonnag World Championships: Hopefuls vie for title

Manx bonnag The traditional Manx bonnag will be celebrated at the world championships

Dozens of bakers will compete in the World Bonnag Championships in the Isle of Man later.

Bonnag, a traditional sweet bread, is thought to have been a Manx staple for hundreds of years.

The event had been scheduled for March but had to be postponed after the island was hit by the worst snowfall for fifty years.

Entries are invited in categories for men, women and children and judging will take place from 19:30 GMT.

"This is not an easy recipe to get right - it has to be the right texture with a sour taste," judge John Kennaugh said.

"I grew up with the real thing and I can tell you it is very difficult to keep this tradition alive because you just can't find the right ingredients anymore.

"You can't find real buttermilk anymore. In my day the butter was churned from cream which was gathered over a week, then it was placed in a crock and it would be another week before it was ready for use.

BONNAG INGREDIENTS

  • 300g Manx Soda Bread flour from the Laxey Mills
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 handfuls of sultanas
  • 55g of margarine or butter
  • Buttermilk

"Drinking real buttermilk is quite an experience - think about the tang of matured cheddar cheese and then times that by 10. You never had tonsillitis with real buttermilk."

The championships will be held at the St James schoolrooms in Dalby, with trophies for all classes.

All entrants are asked to bring their creation on a paper plate.

Proceeds will be handed over to the Agricultural Benevolent Fund which helps farmers affected by animal losses during March's extreme weather.

According to the Manx government more than 14,000 animals were lost during the extreme weather.

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