Hi! Welcome back to Canuckladia for the Great Canadian Baking Show! I'm kind of mad at myself for not starting this show earlier, but I'm super happy to have found it now, especially since it's BREAD WEEK! WOOOOOOO! Rolling into my recap of GCBS S2:E03 Bread Week after the break!
Megan Stasiewich is all in for Bread Week, she bakes it a lot. Mengling Chen is feeling the exact opposite of that.
Hosts Dan Levy and Julia Chan introduce our Signature Challenge with judges Rochelle Adonis and Bruno Feldeisen, our baketestants will be preparing a free-form quick bread with a homemade spread. Ooooh I make a BUNCH of these!! But not homemade spreads, I haven't figured out how to make butter yet.
Ann Marie Whitten is making a soda bread, I will be watching her butter closely.
Timothy Fu has gone with a jalapeno cheese bread, I'm listening...
Megan's doing a similar loaf, a bread I've made too with beer in the batter.
DEVON STOLZ. What are you doing?? Why would you ruin a perfectly good loaf of bread with BEETS?
Sadiya Hashmi is not making a loaf like all the others, she's serving 12 slices of yeast-free naan.
I don't understand why anyone would use apricots in anything, but here we are and here's Sachin Seth's bread.
Mengling had me with the chocolate and hazelnuts but then lost me with the rummy cranberries, but maybe that whole flavour combination will knock the judges' socks off.
She's aiming for second last, yay for gunning for not the worst! That feels like an extremely Canadian goal.
Andrei Gorgova is serving up 100% Russian realness in bread form.
Megan felt ashamed of using storebought butter so she's now switched to homemade, "whipping the crap out of heavy cream."
The loaves are mostly out of the oven, Mengling is adorably clueless. She sees Megan sticking a wooden skewer in her loaf so sticks one in hers too. There are a few ways to tell if bread is done, you can thump it on the bottom, or go by smell, or stick a wooden skewer in it, whatever works for you!
There are only five minutes left, but most bread is still in the oven, plenty of time! It's not like you have to decorate it, man do I love bread. I shall say a moment's non-denominational prayer for those that cannot or will not.
With one minute to go, spatulas are flying everywhere and I LOVE that two other bakers come running to help Timothy get his bread onto his serving platter. LOVE.
His is up first for judging! He doesn't do badly, he's got good flavour but it's not fab either.
Oooh Ann Marie, look at that RISE!
Megan's bread looks insane and tastes just as good.
Devon used a super wet dough, it didn't cook all the way and the walnuts sunk to the bottom.
The judges like Sachin's very dark loaves.
All the flavours and added ingredients in Mengling's bread made it not rise well.
But Sadiya did a fantastic job with her naan.
I would 100% eat all of Andrei's bread, Dan can have all the chilled vodka.
We move into the Technical Challenge where Rochelle tells the bakers to "not be cross" and "rise to the occasion" and these judges are super bad at this! If the challenge isn't hot cross buns, I'll eat Rochelle's half-scarf-choker-thingy.
And that's what it is, two and a half hours, go!
Hot cross bun dough is rich and sweet, that's the tricky bit. You're balancing the fat with the rise.
The bakers activate their yeast in warmed and sweetened milk, Sachin says "see you later, yeast, have fun in there!" and I'm starting to think he's not shamming, this is just him!
Everyone assembles the same ingredients in different ways, I'm with Megan in that it's easier to get a sense of how ready your dough is when you're kneading by hand. Devon forgets to add sugar and adds it after kneading, yikes. There is no way his dough won't be overworked.
Of course Sachin's are perfect. So are Megan's and honestly, I think most people did well on this challenge. Megan's are maybe a little pale, Mengling's a tad too dark but Sadiya has glorious buns.
I think Julia regretted this as she was saying it.
And it's time for judging!
From least best to most best, we have:
- 8th - Devon - his dough was super tough, Rochelle wouldn't even eat one
- 7th - Ann Marie - under-proofed and under-baked
- 6th - Timothy
- 5th - Sachin - under-baked, under-spiced and under-raisined.
- 4th - Sadiya
- 3rd - Megan
- 2nd - Mengling
- and Andrei wins the Bread Week Technical Challenge! This man can bake.
So. So. SOOO Canadian in our puns.
We move on to the Show Stopper Challenge, which is a savoury sandwich cake. That sounds as nasty as Julia's chartreuse eyeshadow. I can't even look directly at her.
*I need one of those "Oh Sweetie Nooo" shirts from the You're Wrong About podcast.
That's...not a thing, Julia and Dan. I do love how you explain the sandwich cake, it's layers of bread with sandwich fillings and what? That's not a thing. Who would eat that much bread? I adore bread and I'm tapping out, my gluten free friends are probably breathing into a bag right now.
I love muffeleta but this is an abomination, Sachin. I am watching in protest.
I admire Andrei's creativity while I am totally grossed out.
The judges are astonished by his plan for a jellied koi pond on top of his whatsit. Literally mouth agape.
It's not you that I am disgusted by, Devon, it's your disgusting sandwich cake.
Bruno questions whether Sadiya's bread is too simple, but she defends it as "simple done well." I am just sad that now I have this association with some of my favourite flavours.
Oh sure, Timothy, your meat cake with prosciutto flowers sounds totally "delish."
If I get through this showstopper without barfing, I'm totally giving myself a sticker.
And then Ann Marie debuts her salmon icing and it's all over for me, folks! Save yourselves! Skip ahead to the ending!!
Oh oh oh apparently we still have to do this, hai Mengling's SUSHI CAKE. Because that's an association you want with room temperature. Who would willingly use FAKE CRAB as an ingredient?????????
Making a cuppa, we still haven't seen everyone's 'cakes' and I need to pace myself.
Speaking of weird choices, why would you use POLLOCK in your revolting cake, Megan? That's like using fake crab, nobody CHOOSES pollock, they're left with it when all the fish is gone.
Someone's gonna make a tuna cake and I'll have to fast forward. Oh. That was Ann Marie's.
Hahahahaha yay! Mengling and I are on exactly the same page!
Andrei's fishpond layer is clinging stubbornly to plastic, so he just whips out a hairdryer, like you do IN A KITCHEN.
Am I yelling a lot? I feel like I'm yelling a lot.
Five minutes to go and Ann Marie is piping her pink salmon icing and I need everyone to form a non-denominational prayer circle for me to get through the judging, where someone is going to put that in their mouths.
Sachin's looks very pretty and I'm just going to take pictures so I don't have to talk, okay?
Moving on to Timothy's, which is not as precise-looking.
Ann Marie does not get good feedback.
Mengling's cake looks like sushi, but the bread is no bueno.
Sadiya is having an excellent week, she's completely redeemed herself after substandard results the last two weeks.
Instead it's Devon on the chopping block, how did he do?
He did an amazing job, Bruno is excited by his excellent bread! Two types of bread too, it must be noted, which nobody else attempted.
So where do we stand? Ann Marie is in trouble, we're sure of that, who is in line for Star Baker?
Holy shite, it's Sadiya Hashmi as Star Baker! What a comeback from the last two weeks! Yay!!!
And leaving the tent is our Ann Marie, which was unfortunately as expected. You know what? You were Top 8 in Canada, young lady, nothing to shake a stick at. You are an amazing baker!
Until next time everyone, cheers!