My ideal world is basically made up of bread and until very recently, it consisted of most of my diet (until I realised that that much bread is probably not good for anyone). So as you can imagine, last night’s episode of The Great British Bake-Off was like heaven for me, as the contestants tackled a range of bread tasks, from Foccacia to gorgeous bread baskets. Highlights definitely included the exploding flour experiment, and Mel accidentally eating some bread dough and suffering a scolding from Paul! I won’t give away who went home just in case any readers have not yet had the chance to see it, but it definitely proved that no-one is safe, as one of the contestants who left performed very well in last week’s pastry challenge.
The signature bake saw a range of flavours that only the most talented could think of to work in a bread loaf. Without a tin, the contestants had to bake ‘free-form’, which sounded more like an Olympic sport than a baking contest! My favourite by far was Jo’s Stromboli, packed with mozzarella and parma ham. It looked so gooey and literally had me wanting to lick my screen! Other treats included a Plougham’s Loaf by Mary-Ann, and a beautiful Swiss Zupfe Loaf with Gruyere by Janet.
The technical bake tackled Focaccia, and for this it was Jo who triumphed and Ian who came bottom of the heap (as he did not add all of the required water, hence his did not have lots of uneven bubbles on the inside, which is the first thing that Paul and Mary were looking for).
The last round saw all contestants having to make a bread basket and 2 types of bread to fill it. Yasmin produced a beautiful leaf basket (proving Paul wrong about the type of flour used), and Rob and Ben both pulled out some yummy looking treats such as Cinnamon Rolls and Blueberry Brioche. Salt seemed to be everyone’s enemy, as Rob forgot to add some to his dough until the last-minute (resulting in a bland taste), Avashi didn’t add enough and poor Jason acidentally added too much salt inside of sugar (which killed the yeast and meant his rolls didn’t rise). Janet had her whole-wheat basket fall apart at the last-minute, but ever the trooper, she soldiered on (highlighting how these sorts of things are sent to try us in life!).
All in all, another successful and yummy week which has no doubt spurred on a lot of bread making today (I know what I will be up to this weekend!)
A few recipes to highlight:
For Jo’s Stromboli recipe, visit http://josblueaga.blogspot.com/2011/07/breads.html
For Paul’s expert Focaccia recipe, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/focaccia_08389
For more delicious recipes from GBBO, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/programmes