It's BREAD WEEK on The Great British Bake Off, my favourite!! You need to brace thyself, I bake a lot of bread and have All The Opinions. All of them! Let's roll into GBBO S10:E03 without any further ado, since there are baaaaakes to be baked!
Why....are hosts Noel Fielding an Sandi Toksvig wearing the same hideous shirt? AND judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith?
Who cares?? It's Bread Week and Paul and I are 'CITED!! Also: almost out of bread so I'm hoping this will inspire me to get cracking on my usual batch.
We lost young Jamie Finn last week in an epic biscuit battle; his guitar just wasn't up to snuff. We wish him well and remind him that there's no shame in being in the Top Twelve Bakers in Great Britain.
Another one of our young fellas, Henry Bird, has only learned to back bread in the past four days, so all my fingers are crossed for him. It's just flour, water and yeast, what could be hard about bread?
AND Paul Hollywood loves making bread even more than I do (he doesn't, really, but I'm trying to be polite) and knows quite a lot about it so the baketestants will have to be all the way on their toes.
It's time for the Signature Challenge already, the judges want to taste a filled tear-and-share loaf with yeasted bread dough. It can be any type of flavour, that's almost harder, isn't it?
Paul explains that simple will be the key to winning this challenge so we immediately cut to Henry, who's doing something untoward with charcoal in his bread dough.
Look, I know everyone's got to be video'ed doing interesting things, but watching Henry rollerblade and feed his dad cake is, erm, a little snoozy.
Welsh Michelle Fecci-Evans is using seaweed in her dough, okay. Plus cheese so she now has my attention.
Michael Chakraverty is a fitness instructor? Really? He and David Atherton ought to be getting on like a house on fire then! He's making an untested recipe for no reason I can tell, why would you do that, Michael??
Veterinarian Rosie Brandreth-Poynter earns my love for her two French Bulldogs at her home and use of Manchego cheese in her bake.
Paul's concerned the wetness of Rosie's dough, but I'm more concerned about her Moaning Myrtle voice. We can't choose our voices or our height, though, can we? We cannot.
Pretty much everyone is at the kneading stage with their dough, but I am perplexed by Phil Thorne's choice to make foccacia bread in a timed challenge. I have a couple of favourite foccacia recipes and they all involve letting the dough sit overnight. His bread sounds amazing!!
Steph Blackwell is planning to stuff her dough with pesto, like young Henry, who will stuff it better?
I cannot stand watching these bakers chop anything with knives. Why are they so slow? Why do they use a paring knife when clearly a chef's knife is indicated? Surely they've stumbled across a vegetable to be chopped before this first time on the show? Priya O'Shea, help me out here!
The judges are checking everyone for spice heat, Amelia Le Bruin with the cool hair is right up against their threshold.
First prove out of the oven! Everyone fills their dough bits, mostly savory except for teacher Alice Fevronia, who is making a baklava-inspired tear and share.
But. Baklava is puff pastry and honey and more honey and nuts then some more pastry and I don't see how that's going to be possible, but since Alice was Star Baker last week I shall reserve judgement.
David is making a twisty type of cinnamon bun, these look fun!
Helena Garcia's cinnamon rolls are super messy, but thicker and less precise than David's, I have to wonder how that will shake out. I'm just happy it's not Hallowe'en based.
Second prove with the filled dough! Noel is inexplicably doing time calls as though his bait and tackle requires footwear.
Time to take the dough out of the prover! There has to be sufficient time to bake, and you don't want it to over-prove, it's a delicate balance!
All Amelia can smell is Michelle's baking cheese, she can't stand it because she hates cheese. Michelle and I just stare, confused. Hates.cheese. What does that mean, exactly?
On to the de-panning, we all held our breath when Rosie swung her pan over that massive cutting board, yes? Then we're on to Amelia with her tiny ring that she thinks looks good. Does anyone know if lack of cheese can affect your eyesight? Anyone?
One minute left, the bakers fan their bread frantically and I stare at Michael's beautiful bread. It's so lovely!
Our Henry is up first! It looks great, but all the judges can taste is pesto and Paul's not impressed with the bread itself.
Steph's looks great! But it's a little dry from overbaking.
On to Rosie and her Manchego! Prue loves it, she could eat a lot of it.
Ahhhh orange peel on Alice's whatsit! It's also a little bit dry.
I'm afraid Amelia's ring still looks quite flat to me and now that I know there's no hope of cheese in with that chorizo, I'm not even sure I want to try it. Paul picks up on the size differences immediately, and everyone chokes on the strong chili flavour.
Hallo David's pretty buns! The bake is perfect, but somehow it didn't come together properly.
On to Helena's cinnamon buns, which I assume are under all of that. Paul calls her out for that right away - how is this a tear and share? You can't see where to tear for sharing! It's overbaked a teensy bit, which she blames on Paul, as you would.
Michelle gets only rave reviews for her bread, good job!
Lookit how nicely Phil's arranged his bread? And his flavours are beautiful, says Paul, so we all sigh in relief. We get to keep Phil for another week! He calls himself a real baker now that Paul has liked his bread and honey: you were always a real baker.
I'm concerned that Priya has overbaked her beautiful bread, it looks darker on one side than the other, but Paul says it's perfectly baked. Slightly over-proved, but the flavours are excellent.
Look at Michael's gorgeous bread! It looks like a flower! HE GETS THE HOLLYWOOD HANDSHAKE!! On BREAD WEEK!! I am so excited for young Michael, whom I think maybe peed his pants a tiny bit. His knees for sure got weak. Paul's never had anything like this before!
Michael is STILL excited, he can't wait to tell everyone! On to the Technical Challenge! Is everyone excited?
Paul tells the bakers that it's not as easy as they think but that's pretty much every.single.Technical.Challenge, so. Helpful.
It's Floury Burger Baps! Which are..burger buns.
Awww I miss when Mel and Sue would do the history thing, okay okay I swore I wouldn't dwell in the past! There are two key elements the bakers will have to focus on, one is developing the gluten properly with lots of kneading, and also giving the buns a good long prove. Hm. I'm absolutely sure he gave not one clue in his notes.
Amelia reads the instructions: make a dough. This is a perfect time to reuse last week's gif with its helpful instructions read by Michael.
That still makes me laugh every time I look at it.
Helena says something about "vegetarian lard" and makes me squint. Does she mean vegetable shortening? Saying vegetarian lard is like saying vegetarian chicken breast.
Oh I'm worried, David kneaded his dough in a very efficient manner, that's probably not long enough, nor is his prove. He's running middle of the pack right now, but he's a favourite and I wouldn't want to lose him.
Oh. They're making veggie burgers. I must have missed that.
Amelia has extra dough and we're all confused. 7 grams extra per bun, but she decides to say sod it.
David! You're killing me!
Literally everyone is proving for half an hour at the end, I'm surprised because they have much more time than that. They look really good, though! Everyone has great looking buns! Except that Amelia's burgers are much bigger than her buns, so.
Time for judging!
Henry does a great job! From worst to best:
- 11 - Amelia and her tiny underproved buns
- 10 - Phil
- 9 - Rosie
- 8 - Helena
- 7 - Alice
- 6 - Michael
- 5 - Michelle
- 4 - Priya
- 3 - Steph - she's one to watch
- 2 - David
- 1 - Henry! Yay Henry!
Henry liked when Paul looked deep into his eyes and told him nice things; I just need a full moment to process that sentence. Were they torturing him this morning? Deep into his eyes?
Meanwhile, the judges talk about maybe sending two people home this day. Booooo
On to the Showstopper! The judges want a themed "display of artistically scored decorative loaves" including TWO big loaves.
David's going big so he doesn't go home, making THREE African-inspired loaves.
What is this charcoal powder that is everywhere all of a sudden, hm? Paul's more skeptical of the scoring of the bread, it's supposed to be quite delicate. See above: not delicate.
Scoring rears its head in Henry's creation as well, this type of bread isn't typically scored at all.
Kneading montage! Then the dough is for the first prove for most. Some of the other designs:
So much brightly coloured bread!
Omigod GBBO, we KNOW Rosie is a vet! We know that! Presumably she also likes things other than animals so please stahhhhp. Oh fine, she's doing an animal safari theme, as you were.
She said there was a safari park by her house when she was a child, hands up everyone who thought of S2:E03 of Car Share!!!! Aww, I loved that series.
Okay, where were we?
Oh. More Hallowe'en baking from Helena.
Thanks, Phil. I was getting stabby.
Michelle's gone right off the rails!
Amelia's is sort of similar, with bugs.
Time to score!! (Like, if only)
So many shaky hands holding razor blades! Nobody knows if they're deep enough, or too deep and it's not helping that Paul is literally watching their every shaky move.
Amelia's looks fab! And so does David's bread scoring. Nice and plump. Unfortunately, it was too deep and split and it's all bad. Rosie scores her next round quite deeply, I'm WORRIED.
Amelia's look so good, I love her round baby loaf caterpillar! David smiles as his loaves split.
5 minutes!! And suddenly we're at judging and I am worried that we're about to lose Amelia.
First up is Rosie with her great scoring. Slightly undersalted but beautifully baked.
Now Alice with her pretty good, recognizable loaves. Good bake, slightly bland.
David's loaves look brilliant, starts Prue, and hope leaps into our throats until it is dashed by "but that wasn't the challenge." David and I blush ruefully and try not to throw up. I love how it looks inside, but Paul triumphantly cuts off a chunk to show how the bread is barely baked.
So far, every single baker has undersalted their dough!
Helena sure is creative, in that one specific way. It's dense and bland, though, and her cuts didn't have enough emphasis.
On to Henry and his herb garden, who's apparently used the wrong type of bread and nothing else is good.
Look how pretty Steph's flower bouquet is! That scoring is beautiful, but everything else is ALSO perfect, yay Steph! I said she was one to watch and she's proving that, along with her bread. (ba dum tish)
Now Priya's pretty loaves are on the hot seat, they're a good blend of creativity and baking, if not quite deeply scored enough.
Phil gets rave reviews for the look of his display, the bread is baked beautifully and it's delicious. You ARE a real baker, Phil!!
Did you know Michelle is from Wales? Me either! I wish she'd said something. It's so beautiful and intricate, the bigger bread is yummy too, if slightly stodgy.
More whimsy in Amelia's effort, but Paul is not impressed. He calls the bake "terrible" while Prue attacks the clumsy scoring. Yikes. Our young people are dropping like flies! Hang in there, Henry!
And Michael! His blowouts are to his detriment but the flavour and bake are all right.
So that's it, judging is done and there's nothing left to do but wait for the chop. I'm still at the point where I'm worried about who we'll lose as opposed to who's ahead, so no clue on Star Baker. Maybe Steph? Henry?
Never mind, the judges are all mad at Henry's showstopper, so whatever. Let's find out!
Star Baker this week is:
Steph Blackwell!! What. I mean Michael. Really?
And going home is: Amelia
Ah she cries, so sad, she thought that would be a strength. But you're Top 11 in all of Britain, Amelia, you're amazing!
We switch to Michael, who thinks he's done Bake Off now, box ticked! Cheers, everyone, see you soon!!