ZOMG ZOMG you guys, it's BREAD WEEK on the Great British Bakeoff!!!! I LOVE bread! I love making it, I love eating it, I stare at it lovingly during quiet moments. Let's get right to it before my punctuation gets any more unruly!!
I had to snip this because it was just too lovely and because I now know how. IKNORITE??? I fink
Paul is super tough on bread week, so Andrew's been prodding his bread in the centre and Kate's doing something unintelligible.
Candice has her Red for Bread lipstick! Val and I aren't worried, every week is bread week where we are! It's true, I make bread at least once a week and my kids won't eat anything else.
Paul Hollywood and his "Digits of Doom" will be prodding the baketestants chocolate loaves this week for the Signature Challenge, woo hoo! I make a lovely chocolate loaf, will try to dig up a picture and yes, I will be doing this all episode. YOU'RE WELCOME. It's Bread Week!
Hmmm, the bakers can use chocolate in any form, including chocolate chip and would I be able to use my Signature Browned Butter Banana Loaf? It has chocolate chips and I won't link to it because that would be tacky, but I've shared the recipe at least one thousand times and it is awesome. Sorry, sorry, back to the show
Candice's Chocolate, Salted Carmel and Pecan Brittle Brioche Bread is typically busy, this one doesn't like simple, does she? It sounds delicious, if a little like an entire coffeehouse meal including bevvie. It's essentially a fancy monkey bread. I made a Monkey Bread Brains recipe for when we group-watched Clue and I just can't seem to stop myself. Brace thyself!
Paul is concerned because she's using half a pound of butter and 4 eggs and only has two and a half hours for everything to bake, but she's not worried. Well, she WASN'T worried, but now she's biting the inside of her cheek again.
Rav's Chocolate, Cardamom and Hazelnut Loaf looks... interesting. He's only making the one tiny loaf, too, but he's hoping for a good rise. Paul and I are skeptical. He reassures Paul that it will be like a babka, which makes everyone but Sue go "oh, okay!" Sue requires further explanation. She asks if it's Middle Eastern, but nope: Polish. Paul gives a little tutorial and rolls Rav's loaf around, interesting.
Benjamina is also doing a babka, FANK YOU PAUL (he insisted it was a couronne, but then touched his nose, so I don't know what else he said because I was tracking if he was going to touch the dough next) and it sounds yummy: Chocolate, Tahini and Almond Babka.
Kate's making a Cobbled Loaf with two kinds of dough, chocolate and white and it's a "dough for everybody."
Tom is windowpane-ing his dough to check the gluten, hmm really? Interesting. Oooh and they have a proofer......oooooh....I have cobbled my own together but a proper proofer is one of the things I miss most about working in a commercial kitchen.
Candice has squatted down in front of her oven to watch the rise and COME ON! It'll be ages yet, it's like watching paint dry at this point!
Andrew's Chocolate Barmbrack Bread looks... different. Maybe because he's only doing a single proof which HORRIFIES Paul and Mary. Paul carefully explains where Andrew is going disastrously wrong, but Andrew is following a traditional recipe, so...
Selasi is so relaxed; he's having a little lay down during chill time
Val's making a Double Chocolate Cinnamon Twist Loaf and I'm sure it's a favourite, I just don't personally like chocolate and cinnamon together. I do make award-winning cinnamon buns and I absolutely will be posting a pic
Tom's Chocolate Orange and Chilli Swirl Bread is Aztec-inspired but doesn't have a lot of chocolate. And what little chocolate he is using is very dark. Now, I like dark chocolate more than milk chocolate, but I don't like the super duper dark chocolate: 70% or higher is just showing off. The chilli in the title is a bird's eye chilli and WHAT? Hard pass
Paul warns him about his flavours; when Tom fails, he fails "catastrophically" and G&T anyone?
First poof is done, let's see yer doughs! Everyone is looking in good shape, but Benjamina isn't happy with hers. They only have one more hour, so I hope things come together quickly. Another 30 minute rise and fast bake? It could work.
Michael's Chocolate and Chilli Swirl Plait looks gross. Sorry, Michael, more for you! I understand that some people believe chocolate is good with heat, a whole cuisine may have it's basis in a mole sauce, for instance! But I prefer them separate because I'm a philistine.
He's smearing butter with his fingers. Have you not an offset spatula, man??
Selasi's bread looks extry fancy! It's a Chocolate, Orange and Cinnamon Bread and I believe I've made myself clear.
Jane's Chocolate and Cranberry Couronne looks lovely, well, the chocolate spread does, let's see what another 57 minutes will bring!
Everybody's rolling, cutting and twisting now, last chance to dance! Paul thinks Jane's got too much filling and not enough dough, but that's only what Sue THOUGHT his face said. I am not proficient in Paul Hollywood Facial Expressions so I will just say: Jane has a LOT of filling.
Candice and Kate are doing theirs differently, the monkey bread factor and all, but Candice is upping the complication factor even more because of course she is. She's wrapping dough around three different fillings, but amply, as "nobody likes a small, under-filled ball."
Andrew's bread still hasn't finished it's first rise and I'm making a failed-Buddhist attempt at a sign of the cross for him. *whisper* It does not look good
Everyone is playing the proof vs. baking waiting game; that's it, they can't take it anymore, the bread is going in!
I would absolutely murder for a slice of chocolate bread with my cuppa right now!
That is really not a lot of time for baking, given how much filling everyone's jammed in there. How about a nice, lovely loaf with a fantastic rise and deep chocolate flavour? How about that?
Jane's is out and looking burnt, Benajamina's rattled by hers being the right temperature but not FEELING right and I get it. Andrew's looks Forgotten.
Oh shite, Mel's hovering around Selasi's oven
Having the worst time is Candice, who's not even taking hers out until there's only one minute left. Three other baketestants are over helping and that makes me happy-weepy. They're helping her! In a competition! This really is the Anti-American show. Her monkey bread looks a little lopsided, but I bet it tastes delish. I also bet she could have saved a lot of time not doing three separate types of dough filing.
Andrew's Forgotten Looking Bread
Gets rave reviews: Paul loves it! He even gets snaps for the single proove. yay!
Is exceptionally heavy and raw.
Selasi's bread was burned (Paul and Mary hash it out and she wins: burnt indeed)
And tastes...not awesome
Val's twisted loaf
Looks good but it's raw, a victim of too much filling
Kate's cobbled loaf is deceiving, you can't tell at all that it's chocolate and vanilla!
Unfortunately, it's also underbaked because of the chocolate stashed in the centers
Jane's used a LOT of pecans, yeah? For something without pecan in the title?
Raw! Too much stuff
Candice's Complicated Creation
Is the least baked of them all so far, which prompts Paul to make a slinky out of it
She cries when he says he won't eat it, she's really embarrassed. He reminds her that she just needs to reign it in a little, no harm no foul, she has this! Rav gives her a hug after the judges move on, I love how supportive they are on this show!
Is underbaked AND over-spicy, for a change from just raw
But does VERY well, it's one of the only cooked breads so far, even if it is "a bunch of Chelsea buns glued together."
Oh my goodness, Rav's looks GORGEOUS!
10/10 would eat! Paul loves it! Yay! Rav's "slightly smaller loaf" has done better that the big ones and let that be a lesson. Rav just about pees himself he's so excited. PAUL HOLLYWOOD LOVED HIS BREAD!
Its not getting any easier in the big white tent, though, it's time for the Technical Challenge! It's Paul's recipe of course, there's never been anything like it on GBBO! But really, it is super weird, it's Dampfnudel and whut? It's a steamed bread and Paul wants it with two sauces. I have to say: everyone looks dampfounded and I suspect this will not be a great bake for ANYONE.
Paul wanted to do this because they've never steamed bread before and there's a serious landmine in the middle of all this: if the bakers lift the pot lid, the drampfnudel will fall and that will be it. Paul is mean, yes? It's to see if they can recognise when dough is cooked.
Mary looks horrified, but calls it "just like an iced bun without the icing" when she eats it with plum sauce and creme anglais. Every single food shot on this show is GORGEOUS, pour that sauce, Paul! I've been meaning to try a new bread recipe in the crockpot, I wonder if that will be similar?
Everyone works their dough, Selasi slightly more aggressively than everyone else, you thwop that dough, Selasi!
In the interest of full disclosure, that's as far as I was able to watch on Wednesday, so I went to bed and dreamed all night of Drampfnudel.
First proof is in! Time for a history lesson about 17th century Drampfnudel. It rose to prominence in the 30 years war and something something not pretty pictures, so on we roll. Essentially: it led to a Peace Treaty Through Dumplings, Mel thinks that's the way forward. "Yeast-laden heroism" is my new favourite phrase. There is singing.
The bakers have to start the sauces now; plum is up first. Benjamina's never made one before, so she's just gonna juice it, smush it and cook it down. Sounds about right! Except for the juicing.
Dough check point! Everyone is doing the maths: weighing their dough then dividing by 12 to get 12 equal dough balls. I'm only surprised at how exactly equal everyone's dough is: 900 grams universally. 2 pounds for any Muricans reading!
Sue: Kate! How are your balls? Kate: good, I'm just pinching their bottoms! Perfect. I love Kate's attitude; she's never made these before and however badly they come off, they will still be the best dampfnudel she's ever made.
The dampfnudel's second proof is in the poaching liquid, just sitting there, proofing. Here's where I think this is sort of unfair as a challenge. The time constraints make it a balance between proofing and poaching, but since nobody's ever made these before, they are guessing as to proofing and if they don't allow enough time to poach, which of course they won't know, all they'll be able to show Paul is that they know their dough is raw.
Andrew is taking the final instruction as a hint; he's planning to steam them as long as it takes to make the vanilla custard.
They're supposed to be checking doneness through the pan lid, but guess what happens when you heat up a liquid in a pan? There is condensation all over the lid so everyone is flying blind that way too. Do you think Tom has any of that G&T curd laying about for the bakers? I bet they could use it
Dangit and everyone but Andrew and Kate lifted their lids; I can't be the only one that reached towards the screen like "NO!!! DON'T LIFT THE LID, SELASI!!" can I?
It's crisping time now and everyone is intently smelling their dumplings to catch that perfect moment between carmellization and burnt. I had a cooking teacher who called EVERYTHING carmellized, I think Selasi's been in his class as well.
Rav's are decidedly wet and not crispy, he hates them, he hates them ALL. Candice's are uneven, as are Benjamina's balls, but Val loves them!
Dampfnudel testing time! Andrew fares well, Kate's are the frustrating combo of both raw AND burned, but Val's are lovely! Rav's are completely raw. Tom's are under-proofed. Benjamina gets busted for early lifting and too-thick sauce and Candice's feedback is almost worse, because she was very close to right. Selasi's are burned, of course.
Worst to best: Rav, Jane, Kate, Michael, Benjamina, Selasi, Tom, Candice, Andrew and that means Val has redeemed herself! Go Val! It's the closest to Paul's recipe, "a million miles away" he quickly clarifies, but closest. Val aspires!
Day 2 time and that means Show Stopper, woo hoo! The judges are shocked that Jane's foundering, since she's already been Star Baker, but there was a metric tonne of raw dough yesterday, so nobody's sitting well, with the exception of Andrew, who pulled it out both challenges. Go Ginja Ninja!
The Show Stopper Challenge is from Mary: a savoury plaited centrepiece using at least three flours. That sounds AWESOME! I'm not big on plaited bread because it is often quite dry, but we know that's not a problem here!
Oooh Paul says the winner of Bread Week has always gone on to the final bakeoff, "watch this space" and I will! How exciting
Kate's making a Corn Maiden and er-ooh. That looks very complicated for doing in a timed competition. It has goat cheese and cheddar and she's brought a corn doll for reference. Mel wonders if it's a fertility idol; Kate makes me laugh when she answers how I do when asked if I want any more children: "ABSOLUTELY not." We always throw in a "love the ones we have" but y'all know what's up. HAYULL NO.
Michael's Cypriot Dove and Olive Plaited Loaf with Houmous sounds AMAZING. He has no idea how to cut things, does he? Watching him chop food is painful.
Candice's Italian Light and Dark Rye Twist has spelt or kamut or one of those other substances that trendy food blogs cover. Mozarella is kind of a bland cheese for a savoury loaf, isn't it? She's got a complicated kneading plan because of course she does.
Andrew's large Braided Harvest Bread Basket sounds like a fun project, but terrible to eat. Wait, I spoke too soon! There's a pesto-filled rim! Hmmm
I have no bloody idea what Tom's making: Jormungandr and Mjolnir but I thought I heard him say Thor's Hammer. It sounds grosssssss
Val's making a plaited Arc hymn. Whut? Okay, it's Val's "And They All Went Into The Arc To Get Out Of The Rain" and you can always tell when people get too wrapped up in their titles, can't you? Candice?
Selasi's Bedouin Escape Tear and Share bread is at least sounding edible. I like edible! I can deal with pretty plaited bread, but it has to be edible and I don't know about some of these other breads. No, wait, it has cured beef and chilli again.
This plaited bread challenge is making me sad.
Benjamina is making pesto too! She's switching out some of the ingredients, and her Braided Bread Heart looks fancy.
Everyone is very worried about raw dough.
Rav's pesto ALSO has weird pesto, spiced and his Three Tier Diwali Bread Centrepiece has chutney that Sue refuses to sniff. She's played "Guess That Smell?" with Mel before and NOT TODAY, FANKS!
Jane's Chorizo and Chilli Flower with Parmesan and Pesto Centre tells me I shouldn't have gotten so excited about pesto earlier: it's everywhere.
2 hour time check! Time for second proof! Jane swears she's cutting back on fillings...but it looks....very full...and Candice's looks wet.
Braiding time! Tom's looks "very male" and Mel's snorting while he chides her: his mum's gonna watch this! I actually think it looks like ovaries, tells you what I know.
Wow, Tom's looks lovely. I have no idea how Andrew is going to assemble. Michael's looks....Forgotten. Assembly time! Time to Put This Challenge To Bread!
Jane is first:
And gets great feedback, yay!
Val's looks underdone to me:
Mary is so kind: "it's not a mess, it's Informal" but it's also raw in spots.
That is an unfortunate looking set-up. The bread is very well cooked, however and he only gets knocked for not having quite enough cranberries and walnuts.
Andrew's bread basket
Does fantastically! He'll be one to watch for Star Baker this week.
Gets a "gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous" YAY!
Is either very spicy or not enough flavour and the bread doesn't have enough spring.
Plaiting has gone awry, lacking definition and his flavour is too weak. Paul also doesn't think it's a centrepiece either, it's three loaves on the same rack. I love how Mary says "it looks very tempting! I want to eat it" and she's just so lovely and encouraging.
Michael's looks underdone to me
It gets panned all around for it's lack of plaiting definition, it's muted coriander flavour and it's lack of glaze.
Kate's looks well OVERdone to me
She's so worried that she covers her face during judging, but they love it! An absolutely "gorgeous loaf" and they want to come with her next time!
Does not do well.
So that's it! Who won! Who has to leave? The judges deliberate while Mel and Sue make me laugh "Curse of the Star Baker! Keep talking about it as though it were real. Curse of the Star Baker OooooH!" I'd gif it but I am sooo tahred.
Tom is Star Baker and he looks as confused as I am! How could it not be Andrew? In all three challenges he was right up there and Tom struggled a bit yesterday. Sorry, sorry, good job Tom, your ovary hammer truly was magnificent! Er
And going home is Michael, oh I'm sorry to see him go, even if he doesn't know how knives work. He's Top 10 in GBBO and that is AMAZING. All the best, young 'un!
THEY'RE DOING YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS NEXT WEEK!! Oh Violet, that is YOUR challenge! I have been known to order yorkshire puddings while not having anything remotely related, so you know I'll be watching. Until next time!