The Great British Bake Off: 8.03 Bread Week
Baz Greenland will be picking up reviews for The Great British Bake Off over the next two weeks while Omar Soliman is on holiday...
"Make both the balls quite tight, then I drive my finger right the way through to the board underneath..."
Yes, there were plenty of innuendos in this week's The Great British Bake Off, which proved that it was still the show we all know and loved. With nary a soggy bottom mention in sight in weeks one and two (though we still have pies to come), this week saw plenty of filth and I'm not just talking about Julia's snail bread that looked like a penis (even my 11 year old son commented on THAT).
Bread week kicked off with that old British classic teacakes and the star baker curse reared its ugly head as twice-crowned Steven made madras cocktail teacakes that were just too flat. Tom meanwhile made orange and cranberry teacakes that were the closest thing to a teacake Paul had tasted. There was no Paul handshake though this week...
Sophie made tagine teacakes without the lamb that seemed to go down well, while Stacey's method of glazing her cranberry and cinnamon teacakes with milk was met with a disapproving look from Paul. Scouse gran Flo made cinnamon and orange teacakes, Kate blueberry buns and James tried Nordic teacakes, leading to a heated tete-e-tete between Paul and host Sandi on Scandinavian daylight hours. Liam made Jamaican spiced teacakes from his grandma's recipe while scientist Yan, this week suffering from an adorable scooter injury tried, her hands at 'Mrs's P's' masala Chai spiced teacakes. Julia's Earl Grey dried fruit teacakes seemed to go down a treat too.
After a brilliant pun about PruePaul's drag race pun and the very unhelpful advice from Paul "we expect perfection" (hint: that's not advice), the team of 10 bakers was set the task of making a cottage loaf. Some were lopsided disasters (Kate) or a bread sculpture resembling a cow pat (James) but three bakers shone. Steven redeemed himself with third place (the star baker curse lasting just one round), Julia came second and a very proud Stacy won the technical challenge.
Then came the showstopper, a multi-coloured bread sculpture using three natural ingredients. Naturally we were all reminded of that excellent lion head bread sculpture from a few years ago. And so amid more dirty language and Noel hiding in a fridge, the team set to work to deliver their very best baked goods.
And there were some great ideas. Kate kraken bread sculpture that used squid ink to make the black centrepiece was almost lion-worthy and tasted good too. but an okay signature challenge and rubbish technical challenge score were never going to put her in the running for Star Baker. James also redeemed himself after coming just ahead of Kate in technical with an imaginative owl brea sculpture, even if his hedgehogs were a bit flat. Liam was in danger of going and while there were some obvious failings in his kneadapolitan bread sculpture, his ice-cream breads tasted good enough to get him into the following week.
Stacey knocked herself out of becoming Star Baker with an Ascot hat bread sculpture that looked elegant according to Prue (I didn't agree and neither did Amy) but didn't have much taste. Sophie's picnic basket bread sculpture was well constructed but ultimately a little dull in comparison, being something we've seen on The Great British Bake Off before. Yan meanwhile made a very tasty 'Basil the vegetarian dragon with his pumpkin hoard bread sculpture, even if the size of the dragon didn't impress Prue. Tom meanwhile made an elegant pink & yellow rose centrepiece bread sculpture.
Contenders for Star Baker were Steven with his amazing the bag I knead bread sculpture that was so well constructed, Paul was willing to swap seats with him, while the dodgy looking snail aside, Julia's the snail under a mushroom bread sculpture excelled in design and taste. With Steven failing at the start and Julia being consistently great, she took the Star Baker crown for week three.
Poor Flo though couldn't save herself, her 40 years of baking experience and intuition resulting in her frankly rubbish looking Davy Jones' locker bread sculpture, or as she called it - Tom Jones' locker.
It was an entertaining week and there was plenty of innuendo running amok. What's clear though, is that even with new judges and the lack of Mary Berry, The Great British Bake Off is still as entertaining as ever. And with the first ever caramel week coming up, I'm already salivating for millionaire's shortbread.
Now excuse me, I'm off to eat a whole baguette!