Challenge Guidelines

Join us in making Maaleipä – bread for the soil!

Maaleipä is a challenge to create bread from ingredients that nurture the soil and are rich in nutrients—improving the health of humans, the land, the sea, and the many creatures inhabiting them.

Change starts with Maaleipä! Intensive cultivation of industrial wheat and other grains impoverishes the soil and pollutes water bodies. At the same time, monoculture farming directs land use towards growing feed for animals instead of producing food ingredients for human consumption, affecting our diet.
Maaleipä breads champion locality, diversity, and nourishment.


  • Maaleipä promotes breads that contain locally grown or foraged ingredients. How do these come together in your recipe? Find out what products local farmers and mills produce in your area. Are there farms near you that practice organic farming, regenerative agriculture, or agroforestry?
  • Are there cooperatives or local food networks in your neighbourhood collaborating with these food producers? These methods help maintain healthy soil through crop rotation and the use of cover crops to naturally sequester nutrients in the soil, instead of using chemical fertilisers. Check out the videos on the website to learn more about these methods.
  • Maaleipä breads vary across Finland because soil and weather conditions vary. Rye grows well in the north and wheat in the south. How could your region’s soil and weather conditions be reflected in your bread, through grain and other ingredients? What plants and ingredients will begin to grow within Finland’s shifting climate and weather?


  • Maaleipä breads can contain as many ingredients as you can imagine. We recommend using ancient and heirloom grain varieties, as well as grains that are at risk of disappearing but would be more resilient than industrialised varieties as the climate changes.
  • Maaleipä encourages breads that also feature a variety of foods found in forests and along coastlines or self-grown plants and root vegetables. Have you tried using perennial crops, vegetables, and seeds in bread, such as caraway, red clover, and alfalfa, or ramsons, chives, and hops? The roots of perennial plants go deeper and remain in the soil longer, keeping the soil healthy and preventing nutrient runoff into water bodies. If you gather ingredients from nature, remember to do so responsibly.
  • Maaleipä breads come in many shapes and flavours. What techniques do you use to bake your own bread, and what cultures, regions, traditions, and origins of ingredients does your bread reflect? Or are you creating something entirely new?


  • Maaleipä breads use healthy, nutrient-rich ingredients. Have you tried baking with sourdough, which provides the bread with a rich microbiome? If you haven’t yet, you can start by using yeast in your maaleipä bread.
  • Maaleipä breads rely on natural ingredients and do not use artificial preservatives, additives, or flavour enhancers. Environmental impacts from start to finish and minimisation of waste generated during baking will be considered when judging maaleipä breads.
  • Maaleipä bread is bread that tastes delicious and supports the health of our gut and the planet.

Have you baked Maaleipä bread yet?

Invent your bread recipe by recreating an old one or trying something new. Submit it to the competition by 1 September 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Fill out the registration form and tell the story of your bread and how it promotes the health of the soil and the gut. Include 1–2 photos of your bread or a video.

The best breads will be shortlisted and then baked to be tasted and awarded at the Maaleipä Challenge finals on 21 September 2024 at Teurastamo Kellohalli in Helsinki.

Inspiration for Maaleipä ingredients

We have compiled ideas below for ingredients for your maaleipä bread. We encourage you to find out what your local grocery store and small farms and mills in your area offer and what you can find in your garden or nearby forest. What kind of bread does your local environment enable you to make? How do you imagine the bread for the future of the soil around you as climate changes?

  • Grains: Rye (ancient varieties like Sangaste), ancient wheats (such as einkorn, durum, emmer, Olympia autumn wheat), spelt, oats (such as naked oats), barley (such as hulless barley), and many more
  • Legumes: Lentils, beans, fava beans, peas (such as snow peas, sugar snap peas, or other garden peas), and others
  • Other vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, root vegetables and others
  • Nuts: Acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, and others
  • Seeds: Buckwheat seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, flax seeds, pine nuts, and others
  • Wild plants and herbs: Clover, chickweed, nettles, dandelion, ground elder, and others
  • Berries: Lingonberries, blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, rowanberries, sea buckthorn, currants, and others
  • Edible Mushrooms: porcini, chanterelles, hedgehog mushrooms, and others
  • Other ingredients can include: Honey, bark, birch sap, lichens, mosses, or tree leaves

Create your own Maaleipä and join the challenge by 1 September 2024!