Happy Tuesday! Or, as it shall be known forthwith, Great British Bake-Off today! It’s time for episode 2, and as many ‘loafing around’ and other bread related puns as the BBC can fit into one 60-minute show.
A quick recap of last weeks premiere episode, cakes, more cakes, and poor Toby goes home, while Rob, Lucy and Frances excel.
BUT WAIT! It’s bread week! Paul Hollywoods life mission is great bread and he’s going to be on those contestants like white on rice. Let’s do this!
First up, and the contestants are eased in (relatively) gently with breadsticks. These aren’t your average perfectly spherical supermarket offerings though, we’re talking about artisan style grissini which are crisp, evenly coloured, and delicious too! Our bakers compare their kneading style and we get some biographical info on them – they all love baking! Rob is a space satellite designer!
Frances has decided to go a bit quirky (as is apparently her forte) and make sweet breadsticks with a chocolate and chilli flavouring, so they look like matchsticks. She’s also made an eerily professional looking matchbox to present them in, which….. is that not cheating?
Crunch time, and several of the bakers are nervously prowling around their ovens willing their breadsticks to cook. I can already tell Mark won’t be long for this series (well, I called it in week one) – he just can’t seem to get organised.
Ali does great with his twirled garlic and parmesan grissini (which look very tasty!), as do most of the other contestants – there’s some effusive praise being thrown around! Frances, Christine, Lucy and Howard are some of the unlucky few whose breadsticks don’t work.
I am the muffin man, I come from far away
Time for the technical challenge! The contestants are making English Muffins, the best thing to ever be toasted and spread with butter. The dough is a little tricksy, a bit like last seasons focaccia, it’s a very wet dough. As ever, the instructions have missed out some key information, leaving the contestants agonising over their muffin sizes.
We learn about the muffin man, which apparently the police, or health and safety drove out of business. Someone who brings freshly baked muffins to your house? Let’s bring this back!
Contestants are very confused by baking their muffins on a griddle (I made mine in a large saucepan). JUST DO AS YOU’RE TOLD DAMNIT! Knowing when they’re cooked also causes a bit of confusion (bubbles should appear when they’re ready to be flipped). Then Sue ONLY BLOODY LEANS ON Howard’s muffins, poor Howard! At least he’ll have a good excuse with Paul and Mary as to why one of his muffins is as flat as a pancake!
Time for the blind judging – so whose muffins are the most delicious? Most of the muffins are judged to be sub-standard, with Kimberly, Rob and Ruby doing the best. Lucy is in last place, putting her worryingly in the drop zone as we go into the final challenge of this weeks show.
The perfect loaf
It’s time for the bakers to make a showstopping decorative loaf – Paul wants innovative flavours, great colours and shapes – bread with personality. And that’s on top of it being perfectly baked and tasting great.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen contestants going this mental in their creativity – there’s a yin and yang loaf, an octopus loaf (!), a peacock loaf, and I can foresee some of these going very, very wrong… although Beca’s cinnamon and honey plait sounds delicious!
The moment of truth, and Kimberly does great again – she’s looking like a safe bet for star baker this week! Beca does less well with her underdone plait, and Mary as ever finds something nice to say in the face of a poor bake! Howard, Ali, Frances, Christine and Glenn hit it out of the park, while Deborah also fares poorly with underdone bread.
So what about Paul the octopus loaf? Rob falls slightly short of his previous standard with a loaf that’s more style than substance, and Mark also does badly with his corn leaf/slug loaf. Lucy mooches up to the table with her disappointing tomato loaf – I can see the judges point with the lack of creativity in her cake. Uh-oh. Finally, Ruby’s loaf is also excellent, with Paul almost falling over himself to praise her… but will it last?
So who will be star baker, and who will we lose on week two? Ruby is crowned star baker, narrowly nipping it out from under Kimberley’s nose, and then the camera pans over to Lucy…
who is indeed going home. She showed such promise in episode 1! It just goes to show how unpredictable the Bake-Off really is!
This weeks Great British Bake-Off link roundup
- Mel reveals that she puts on a stone per series of GBBO thanks to the amazing baking!
- I DO NOT believe this Bezza blasphemy for one millisecond
- Fancy making some English Muffins? Follow my easy recipe here!
- If you’re inspired to experiment with bread, take a look at Paul’s bread recipe book, which has great reviews
So what do you think readers? Was Frances cheating? Did Lucy deserve to get the boot? Who’s pulling into the lead after week two?
Next week – desserts! Macaroons! Meringues! Petit fours! Be sure to have some hob nobs handy to stave off those sugar cravings. See you next Tuesday for the next recap!