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The Great British Bake Off: Challengers Tested On Their Bread Baking Skills


Week three and it’s bread week. All that kneading, proving and baking is sure to get some of the contestants into a doughy mess.

The first signature challenge is for each person to make two quick breads. This is made without yeast and so bicarbonate of soda/baking powder and buttermilk are needed in order to get a rise out of the bread. There were many flavours being tested including walnut and stilton and prosciutto, manchego and balsamic onion plus different flours including rye flour. A couple of contestants tried their hand at sweet instead of savoury breads. I must say they did look very impressive especially Alvin’s prosciutto bread as mentioned above – I could just eat a slice of that right now! Paul and Mary were very impressed too. In fact, no-one really had a duff bread!

The technical challenge this week had never been seen before on the bake off. Four equally sized crusty baguettes were required from the contestants using Paul’s recipe. The group knew exactly what a baguette was but making one proved a little trickier. There was a lot of queries over how long the proving should take with some of the contestants using the proving setting on the oven and others leaving at room temperature. Then the decision as to how to roll the baguettes into shape and using a 100% linen Couche which keeps the dough in shape as they prove again. Then it was into the ovens to cook but only some realised they had to have a bowl of water in the oven to create steam which helps create the crusty outer shell of the baguette. In first place for this challenge was Ian.


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Showstopper time! 3D bread sculptures – the mind boggles. The contestants must make three different breads including one filled bread and then put them together to make a sculpture. We’re treated to the Brighton pavilion, a lion, a bicycle and a flower in a plant pot to name a few sculptures. Dorret decided to recreate Tracey Emin’s unmade bed and she hadn’t even practised this at home prior to baking it in the tent. Brave….or a bit silly?! Alvin went a tad overboard with enough bread to open his own branch. Paul’s lion was a real work of art and “the best thing I’ve seen in bread…ever” said Mr Hollywood. What a wonderful comment!

So who gets star baker this week? It’s Ian! Leaving this week is Dorret. Bye! A special commendation was given to Paul this week for his bread sculpture of a lion. They’ve never done that on the bake off before!

Next week we will be treated to desserts – yay!

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