Great British Bake Off S12:E03 Bread Week!! Recap

It’s already time for bread week on the Great British Bake Off, WHO’S EXCITED?? ME TOO!!! It’s only two episodes in, have you chosen a favourite baker yet? I did, then I waffled, we’ll see how it shakes out. I may stick with my gut feeling, although I have my eye on a certain young baker with a long drawl. Rolling into my recap of GBBO S12:E03 Bread Week after the break!

We open with hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas fishing in a kiddie pond with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith’s goodies, sure!

Last week Jürgen took home his second Star Baker in a row and we lost Jairzeno to the most GBBO of all pitfalls: time management. Who is left? I’m glad you asked!

  • Amanda, 56, London – experienced and self-contained
  • Chigs, 40, Leicestershire – bit of a mystery rogue
  • Crystelle, 26, London – has quite a lot of anxiety, I find myself holding my breath while watching her
  • Freya, 19, North Yorkshire – our vegan baker extraordinare
  • George, 34, London – he did a FLYING BISCUIT PLANE. FLYING
  • Giuseppe, 45, Bristol – our engineer has been a bridesmaid thus far, will he step into the spotlight this week?
  • Lizzie, 28, Liverpool – what is she SAYING?
  • Maggie, 70, Dorset – I was so sad last week when it looked like we might lose her! You got this, Maggie!
  • Rochica, 27, Birmingham – I can’t get a sense of her! She does lovely decorating but her bakes are either okay or just slightly less than okay

The bakers typically fear the judges equally, but nobody can deny that Bread Week is solely Paul Hollywood ‘Lord of the Loaf’ territory. Everyone is worried about his beady steely blue eyes but I bet Amanda could stare him down, should she want to.

She tough.

Wooooo we’re making focaccia for the Signature Challenge, I know someone who is very good at that! But it takes ages to age, how can you speed that up to a mere 2 hours and 45 minutes?

Giuseppe is feeling extra Italian pressure on him for this lovely bread that must have big and irregular crumb! Lookit all the olives!

I understood a whole sentence of Lizzie’s!! She said she didn’t know nuffink!


She doesn’t trust bread: you don’t even know what bread’s thinking!

…are we supposed to know what the other baked goods are thinking?

I’m not going to argue with Maggie that traditional is best tested but I’m starting to wonder if this is her schtick, like George only making things from Greece.


I used to think sun-dried tomatoes were pure trend but they are insanely flavourful.

Oh hey Jürgen, how’s it going?

He and Noel contemplate a three-peat and I officially throw my hat in the ring for anything other than that, please.

Our first challenge is that the dough is so wet, but is it too wet? Is it? It has to be somewhat sticky or you’ve done it wrong.

Amanda’s bread sounds amazing. Garlic and feta, I’m in!

Rochica is ready for her first proof, all you can hear is the symphony of beeping timers being set. Your bread is so pretty, Rochica!

Oh look, George is doing something Greek for a change.

He’s clearly lost his mind, he didn’t use enough water (it actually looked like dough), so Paul’s face convinces him to start again. He’s fallen to the Curse of The Start Over from whence bakers rarely return!!!

I cannot watch bakers chop food, they can’t use big knives, paring knives, any knives at all.

They dimple their breads, throw them in for the last proof and get at their toppings.

Why is Crystelle roasting grapes…

Chigs has gone to Spain for inspiration, including oooooh chorizo and manchego!

That’s basically a pizza and I would absolutely eat all of that right now while watching a so-so movie and cuddling my pug. Alright, I’d save some for a friend.

More dimpling!

Aww people are being far too precise with their breads, I like a nice rustic loaf. Oh no, we’ve got burnt toppings, get those out! They weren’t deep enough in the dimples!!

Giuseppe’s bread looks amazeballs.

At one minute left, George pulls his out and Crystelle hangs in there for an extra 7 seconds.


George has a lovely bread, even though Paul says his second attempt needed a bit more water as well.

Ah Maggie, those are the burnt toppings I saw. She made a funny comment, though, popping down off her stool to check the oven, we never check them at home, do we? I go by smell and what feels like the right amount of time, at GBBO everyone crouches in front of their ovens like athletic prayer monuments.

Paul picks up the loaf, all those burnt toppings fall right off. She gets middling reviews.

More burnt toppings at Freya’s table

Rochica’s loaf is so pretty! Just an overwhelming garlic flavour, I didn’t even know that was possible.

Too MUCH garlic? Beg pardon?


I don’t like the layout. Amanda’s bread is slightly overbaked and Paul thinks she should have smushed all the flavours together and I can’t argue.

This is also slightly overbaked but I’d still eat almost all of it, Chigs. Except for the part I’m saving for a friend.

Whereas I don’t want to eat any of this at all, Crystelle, more for you! It’s too thin for Paul but it’s ‘beautiful” so what do I know?

Hey! We’re on episode 3 and no Hollywood Handshakes yet! Last year he couldn’t get his hand out of his pocket fast enough! Will Lizzie make him put it there?

Nope, but he does love it anyway!

Jürgen has overbaked his whatsit and I feel bad that I feel relieved. Then he gets nothing but bad feedback and I see past my own obnoxious self to feel bad for him.

This is what we’ve been waiting for: how is Giuseppe’s bread, our most Italian of Italian bakers of Italian bread?

Giuseppe and I cry.

Literally cry.

The Technical challenge is from Paul, of course, 15 olive and cheese ciabatta breadsticks. Hahahaha this is my friend’s show for sure, I use their recipe for focaccia AND ciabatta, this is awesome!

Ooooooh with tzatziki!! I made that. Once. Badly. I have a blog post about it I can share, okay, have a look, it’s more of a cautionary tale, really. Tzatziki: What Not To Do.

Man do I love ciabatta, I am drooling at the olives and cheese.

Our Italian baker has never made ciabatta so any advantage Paul imagines is just in his head.

Ahhhhh but everyone has to chop things and I can’t watch. They’re miserable at it! It’s also a very wet dough, we’re all looking to George’s station to make sure he’s not overdusting with flour.

Lizzie does WHAT with a cucumber? Did she say put a condom on it and WHAT? I can’t understand anything she says!

Oh nooo George has gone the absolutely opposite way, his bread is so wet that it’s a delightful smelling single blob.

So many different cook times!! How can they all be baking the same things? So much variation and crouching in front of ovens. Crystelle left her breadksticks until the call of 15 minutes. Jaysus Rochica and George didn’t have their ovens on or at the right temperature.

Four minutes!

1 minute!

Crystelle pulls her pale pale breadsticks out, whole olives rolling off willy nilly. Why wouldn’t she cut them?

Time for judging! We’ve got all sorts of underbaked and raw (Crystelle / Rochica) sticks, who was least fantastic to most amazing?

  • 10th place – Rochica
  • 9th place – Crystelle
  • 8th place – Maggie – she forgot the onions!
  • 7th place – George and his great tzatziki (he never would have lived that down)
  • 6th place – Chigs
  • 5th place – Jurgen
  • 4th place – Freya
  • 3rd place – Amanda
  • 2nd place – Lizzie who cannot believe it
  • Giuseppe wins the second Italian bread challenge of the day! Yay!

Crystelle keeps tethering her whole bakes to a fallacy, once it was that jam had to be cooked at (the wrong) particular temperature, now that she needed a long proof and a short bake. I wonder if that goes back to the nerves she shows, perhaps she locks in and can’t see the forest for the trees? As it were?

Woooo and we’re on to the Show Stopper Challenge making a 3D themed display with milk bread! It must be slightly sweet, pretty and soft.

I’m blushing!

The designs!

Is this really where everyone’s minds went??

Jurgen is an extremely aggressive bread kneader, the tent rings with the sound of his dough thumping against his table.

We’re going to eat a baby?

I’m not going to eat a baby.

Aww Rochica’s designs are always so pretty.

But for real, who wants to eat a baby??

Lizzie’s pig looks awful.

Oh wow, Freya is shellacking her fish with agave nectar, that’s sooooo sweet. There are so many beautiful bakes, I don’t know where to look! Amanda, you’re fantastic!

Noel asks Chigs what he does while waiting for bread to proof, he says he reads or goes for a run and Noel tries very, very hard to remember what those long-abandoned activities were like, way back pre-children.

We’re suddenly at judging, let’s check out some sweet milky bakes!

George’s stacked koala went beyond the brief for difficulty but the bread was not structurally sound. He gets middling praise.

That’s not even a pink pig, Lizzie, what are you doing??

Aww she had a pig named Susie that slipped on ice, I forgive everything.

Why is everything so shiny??

It’s great, though, go on.

I fear the end of our time with Maggie is growing ever nigh, but I love her and I think her rustic seascape is fab. When Paul questions her design taking four and a half hours and she quite rightly says: ‘it was for me!’

It’s that her dough is underproofed and it doesn’t have enough flavour.

Why would anyone bake a baby??? And serve it for eating?

It’s underproofed too!

Crystelle has made a turkey? Or a turtle?

Giuseppe is a master of the fruit and veg.

There can be no doubt that Star Baker rests in Giuseppe’s Italian hands this very day.

Now I can go grab a cuppa while the judges discuss who to send home.

Amanda’s octopus is AWESOME. Paul loves it! Is is frowning at me??

Rochica has a lot of problems with her bread, she and Maggie are in trouble and I don’t know.

Hm. All this red bread, though. Our vegan pulls off a lovely milk bread, good job Freya!

Ah no, Rochica cries and it’s awful. I already don’t want to lose anyone!

This week’s Star Baker: Giuseppe OBVS

And going home is: (Maggie takes a breath): Rochica and now I’m crying too! We got to keep Maggie! Rochica, you’re fantastic, you’re top 10 in Britain! You made a birdcage out of BREAD! You’re amazing!!

Until next time, you lot, cheers and hugs. See you for Dessert Week, thanks for reading!