Hi everyone! It's time for some more Great Canadian Baking Show (which I secretly call the Great Canadian Bake Off because I don't know what "secret" means) from 2019, yay! Join me as I roll into my recap of GCBS S3:E03 Bread Week, the Best Week after the break!
Hosts Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor introduce us to the best week with very hot bread that they like to toss aboot, go long!! Wait. Did they say go Long?
I love bread! I've realised that I don't actually eat a lot of bread, but I do bake it every other day. In fact, I baked some today! I've gotten really lazy and just do a couple whole wheat sourdough, eventually I'll get around to making my usual honey whole wheat.
Repeat Star Baker Nataliia (I swear I'll go back in with full names once I have finished and I am not at risk for spoiling) is excited, she just has to keep it up! I remain on the fence about our lovely Ukrainian baker, so far mostly I see some stellar decorating, not necessarily baking.
Colin Asuncion and I are fully Team Bread but we're respectful of those for which it's not quite as awesome.
Judges Bruno Feldeisen and Kyla Kennaley stand by as Carolyn and Aurora explain Bread Week's Signature Challenge: povetitsa. Wat
Oh. Poviticia. Much clearer. Idunno. It's like a babka?
Liam Harrap explains.
They have two and a half hours to make this bread/pastry, sweet or savory as long as it's folded, yo.
Chris Koo is blending his own Chinese culture into his European bread.
I love Colin and he's using cardamom so I shall gleefully anticipate his bread.
Oooh, Liam has a sourdough starter named Petunia that is 24 years old, I also have a starter! She's only one year old, though, and I didn't even think to name her! I feel remiss. This is the most ridiculous thing, but I saw a sourdough starter crock on the King Arthur website and I can't stop thinking about it. It would be a great first birthday present, wouldn't it?? I just have to name her first...
That starter is older than Jasmine Linton, who is using an intriguing combination of flavours in her folded bread loaf.
I didn't even complain about the white chocolate, it's like I'm growing as a person, maybe because I am one year older, just like my starter.
Nataliia has a lot to live up to with back to back Star Baker crowns, how will she do this week?
Liam's using raw chicken and my whole face retreated in horror.
The primary feature of the povewhatsit is the folded layers of bread that really should not be served raw, so the bakers roll out their proofed bread dough as thinly as possible.
Ohhhhhhh I love Jodi Robson's flavours and she's going rogue and doing a round shape, too!
Spoiler alert: this round shape may not turn out to be a great choice.
I don't know Andrea's last name either, but I love what she's making!
Jay Smidt goes to the Black Forrest, do you think he's purposely spelling his name like that?
He's also got a completely casual rolling plan that legit made me gasp.
This is the third week, Jay!! You need to make sure you make it through! You can't rely on a TOWEL!
Okay, apparently this is a thing, what do I know??
With there only being 2 and a half hours, everyone bakes until the very last minute, there's no time for decorating or anything else fancy so I'm interested to see how Nataliia does.
Okay, so there's a tiny bit of glazing/decorating, let's see how we do in judging!
Liam gets all the props for his beautiful looking tasty cake and self-churned butter.
Jay's is a bit messier but the real issue is that the dough is uncooked, probably due to that uneven distribution of filling. TOWEL.
I love the flavours in Jodi's round loaf but I don't know that it looks right.
Slightly underbaked, points out Kyla.
I feel as though Kyla thinks she's there to teach people, she's always carefully visually demonstrating where people failed miserably. Thanks, Kyla!
Nataliia's cake is delicious and looks amazing inside.
Andrea is our first over-baked loaf of the week, but her awesome flavours pull her through.
Jasmine needed a win after last week and she did an excellent job on her loaf. Look at these colours! I thought the maraschino cherry/white chocolate combination might be too sweet and I was unfortunately correct.
Chris also made a striking loaf but the taro is a bit pasty.
Colin's work is gorgeous.
Bruno calls it "almost perfect" and Colin about swallows his tongue.
THIS is why I love Colin. Not because I like him to entertain me, but rather that I feel that someone who can say so much with one eyebrow can probably also read eyebrows and I'm dying for a bit of bantz.
Onward to the Technical Challenge which is. Wait. They have to make brioche and they only have two hours???? Nobody can make brioche in two hours! And they can't use their mixers?? What kind of sorcery are they expecting????
Wait. Is brioche a tête different? Sort of?
Brioche is a super rich dough, how are they going to mix in butter by hand? Madness. Two hours. Oh and there's a chocolate inside, okay!
Watching people smush warm butter into kneaded dough is barfalicious. Nataliia has some serious guns!
Once they finally get it incorporated, they have to go back to slapping and folding, a la Liam here. I like how Jodi full-on wrestling slams it.
Because this is a special brioche, there needs to be a head, or tête on top, meaning the dough gets rolled into two different sizes with a chocolate shoved in between.
Time for judging!
In 8th place: Liam with his disconnected head and body
Jasmine is in 7th because she added too much flour while kneading
Jay is 6th
Chris is 4th because he didn't push his chocolate down far enough
Jodi is third because her heads were popping off
Nataliia is second because she had inconsistent sizing; I don't like that she blamed it on following other people. Own your choices!
Which means Colin won this week's Technical Challenge!
That means he's definitely in the running for Star Baker this week, woooooooo!
So is Nataliia, who's in the bottom? I have to put Jay in there and I have my eye on Jasmine, but other than that: not sure.
Let's see what happens in the Show Stopper Challenge before I get too carried away. Speaking of carried away, our baketestants will be creating a bread sculpture out of at least two different kinds of yeasted bread. Ooooh.
Andrea is worried, bread is tricky and anything could happen! That's not true at all. Bread is the turkey of baking, slow and steady and difficult to make inedible, unless you undercook. Once you get the hang of it, a loaf or two of bread and anything with yeast is your friend.
They have four and a half hours, go!
What are we making, bakers?
Huh. Focaccia in a hurry.
I COULDN'T LOVE THIS MORE
Jodi's husband is Thrillin' Dylan!
Proofing the dough properly is the first hurdle, you really wanna know your dough going in. You don't want too wet or too dry, over or under proofed. Pretzel dough is the WORST, you have to blanch it in baking soda water and it's a mess. I do love pretzels, though, I forgive them.
Assembly starts at the 4 hour mark, sculptures of baking are always tricky but bread is hardier stuff so I hope they're able to keep it together!
Keep it together.
Oh no Jay.
I like Jay, he's a good baker and I admire someone who can stay calm under pressure. This is unfortunate.
Judging! Liam is first and gets only good reviews.
Next is Jodi and the best bread sculpture ever that tastes delicious.
I don't think Andrea's bread vase is baked through and neither do the judges. Her breadsticks are awesome.
LOOKIT THE CRAB SHELL!!
If it had wrestling, it would be #1 but Colin has given us a solid second place finisher here. "Good bake, good taste" is decreed.
I don't know what's off about Jasmine's panda but I don't like to look directly at it. It tastes good and is only slightly overbaked.
Mermaid. Why does Chris's mermaid look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters? The challah is dry and overbaked.
Ah Jay. I still like your floppy butterfly.
Wow, Nataliia, look at this fantastic sculpture! It is just a tiny bit too bland, she needs bolder flavours.
I keep expecting that I will run into some of these people on the streets of Edmonton, there is a huge Ukrainian community here and I really feel as though I should trip over Nataliia any time.
The judges deliberate but I think I can say with confidence where things will land tonight:
Star Baker: Colin, wooooo!! Well deserved, bestie!
Going home: the lovely Andrea.
There's no shame in being in the top 8 in Canada, Andrea! You got miles ahead of where most of the rest of us are and with awesome hair to boot. Enjoy your achievements.
Until next time, everyone! Happy new year! Here's hoping for 2021. Cheers!