The Great British Bake Off: Bread Week
September 12, 2019 9:02 AM - Season 10, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The bakers tackle a signature bake designed to be shared; a deceptively simple summer staple in the Technical; and an ambitious Showstopper (Channel 4 description).

For the signature challenge this week, the bakers were asked to make a Tear & Share loaf. For the technical challenge, Paul asked the bakers to make 8 burger baps, along with 4 veggie burgers to go inside half of them. For the showstopper challenge, the bakers were given the task to make a display of artistically scored loaves.
posted by PearlRose (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Not gonna lie I'd have been all over Helena's frosted cinnamon rolls, but they're sort of inline with my tradition. I appreciate that most of the rest of them are savory, though, and I like that Michael's original creation got the first handshake, I think?

I'm amused by Michelle's constant Welshness.

I'm not surprised by Amelia's elimination - she had been struggling to find her consistency. Which seems to maybe be a bit of a developing theme, although I hope they shake it out in the next couple of episodes so we can hit that warm fuzzy middle interval where it's all lovely bakes and a fine line between passing and failing, c'mon GBBO, you can do it.
posted by Kyol at 12:10 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Can't wait to see if they stick with "bap" in the Netflix version. It kept hitting my American-ass ear like a slap.
posted by supercres at 12:47 PM on September 12


Yeah, I definitely had to go look that up.
posted by Kyol at 2:14 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I'm glad they haven't gone for the emotional drama of last season as that would have been the end of it for me. I couldn't take another Rahul.

I Michelle. I would happily watch the all Welsh baking hour.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:03 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


So I followed the Wikipedia link in the OP and learned that there is a kind of Irish bread whose name is blaa. "Soft blaas are slightly sweet, malt flavour, light but firm in texture and melt in the mouth. Crusty blaas are crunchy at first bite, then chewy with a subtle malt taste and a pleasing bitter aftertaste from the well cooked, dark crust."

I'd love an episode where people are judging a series of blaas.

(For anyone who's Irish: is "blah" not a commonly used word in Irish English, and if it is is it pronounced differently than the bread?)
posted by trig at 1:39 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I keep waiting for them to get the Sorting Hat out for Henry
posted by roger ackroyd at 2:37 PM on September 13 [14 favorites]


Can't wait to see if they stick with "bap" in the Netflix version. It kept hitting my American-ass ear like a slap.

I don’t think they’re altering the content of the episodes at all, aside from a different take of the cold open so they can call it The Great British Baking Show. Michael even called it “Bake Off” at the very end.

That said, this American would like all British people to stop saying the word “bap” because I can’t stop laughing
posted by Automocar at 4:10 PM on September 13


Bap. Bap bap bap. Bapbap. BAPPPPPPPPPP
posted by Automocar at 4:11 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Yeah, they kept bap in the Netflix version.

I’d never thought of scoring bread loaves for design purposes before, and I thought the safari-themed one was stunning. Great colors without the painting and they apparently tasted good too.
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:59 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


I thought Rosie’s animals-by-scoring really used the contrast effectively. Good job, bakers!

I really wanted Amelia to stay - bake-off sometimes gets to a point where the judging is ‘this one is better because it’s whiter’ and I always root against that - but she really wasn’t keeping up the standard this week.
posted by janell at 5:45 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I really wanted Amelia to stay - bake-off sometimes gets to a point where the judging is ‘this one is better because it’s whiter’ and I always root against that - but she really wasn’t keeping up the standard this week.

I groaned inwardly when Amelia mentioned she was using matcha in the Showstopper, because I'd just read commentary about Biscuit Week by Series 8 champion Sophie Faldo that had this tidbit about Helena's green witch fingers:

She made an error in her signature as Paul doesn’t like matcha. In my year, we all clocked onto this early. Rose and matcha, just stay away from it because Paul doesn’t like it.

We have two cafes in Seattle that specialize in a wide variety of matcha desserts, and it's considered "an error" to even attempt a matcha dessert on Bake Off.

I know that there was a lot more going on with Amelia. She certainly isn't the only baker sent home for underbaked bread. But it sucks that she was apparently putting herself in a hole just by selecting matcha for her caterpillar bread.

I think the technicals are more often arbitrary spins of the wheel to ramp up pressure on some of the bakers going into the Showstopper, rather than true tests of baking skills. But even by my low expectations, the burger bap/bun felt like a particularly boring challenge. I'm pretty sure most people judge burgers primarily by the burger and topping, with the bap/bun as an afterthought. And apparently Paul agreed with me about the relative importance of the technical this time, because he described Michael's 6th place as "did well in the technical" and said that Henry was in trouble despite finishing first.

Michael looked so nervous when he was being judged in the Showstopper. Not sure if it was just anxiety about whether the bread had baked properly, or if he was really worried about the one loaf that split. He looked genuinely surprised to get Star Baker.

Rosie has done two really impressive Showstoppers in a row. Hope she gets Star Baker at some point.
posted by creepygirl at 8:59 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


creepygirl- Burger buns are actually a key part of a great burger. People may not think about them, but they are an important part. Personally, i like toasted pretzel buns. And I think people use english muffins for buns are an anathema.

I think the buns goes to a challenge where it's something everyone eats, but few people make, which made it pretty interesting to me. i mean at least with something like this if you know a lot about bread, you have a shot at getting right unlike some other technicals where it's just cross your fingers and hope.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:14 AM on September 14 [5 favorites]


And apparently Paul agreed with me about the relative importance of the technical this time, because he described Michael's 6th place as "did well in the technical" and said that Henry was in trouble despite finishing first.

Henry's other two bakes weren't successful, though. His finished showstopper was visually underwhelming, he had toughness *and* squashiness-related texture issues. He got judged hard for his fougasse concept even before the bake, and having paper stuck to the bottom of it really didn't help -- that's a major flaw. His signature bake leaned heavily on charcoal (which we are learning the judges, especially Paul, are not into) and was one-note/bland with the pesto as the dominant flavour.

Plus the technical results had an enormous pack of essential-ties in the middle, with a few relative successes and failures at either end. There wasn't much to differentiate 3rd from 6th from 8th place, since we didn't have any angel-cake-slice level drastic failures. I think it might have been better saved for a smaller group, because I'd have liked to see people make and shape and cook their burgers. I did at least prefer Bap Challenge to the other kinda-gimmicky technicals we've seen in recent times, though -- calling you out here, Pita Challenge, this is GBBO, not Survivor, I don't care about people's campfire-building skills.

Winning the technical and going home is unlikely, but he didn't have a great week, and if Amelia had done a bit better in the technical and hadn't underbaked her signature, I think it would have been closer than it was. Her signature had some issues with unevenness, both in bread shaping and in the filling, but it was more flavourful than Henry's, so that struck me as near a tie. Her breads really were underbaked, though -- a 25 minute bake-time for a loaf that big boggled my mind. I don't even know that the matcha was much noticed, since the lack of any seasoning in the cocoon bread seemed to overshadow the flavour issue.

I'm going to miss Amelia, though. I found her "do some math to see how bothered you need to be, hope it's going to be okay, get mad at yourself when it's not" bap approach highly relatable.
posted by halation at 10:43 AM on September 14 [5 favorites]


Also I am already annoyed with this damned "ooh two people could go home! AT ANY TIME!" nonsense hype tactic and it's only Week 3. The reasonable thing is to keep a spare contestant on hand in case of accident, illness, or emergency, so I don't anticipate two will be axed until basically endgame, and the constant harping on the possibility to heighten the drama is deeply irksome.
posted by halation at 10:45 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I keep waiting for them to get the Sorting Hat out for Henry

They don't even need to get it out, it's screaming "HUFFLEPUFF" all the way from prop storage
posted by halation at 10:48 AM on September 14 [18 favorites]


I self-identify as a Hufflepuff and I concur with halation

I liked Amelia, but I kind of agree with this. She is a fine baker - but a fine casual baker, kind of like I would be, I think. The judges pointed out that the rolls in her tear-and-share bread were all different sizes - some noticeably so - and remarked that while the taste was good, that that was something they were faulting her for.

And I totally get it; making a tear-and-share for your family and friends at home, or even most people, they wouldn't care if you had different sizes like that. They're happy to be fed, and they're happy with the delicious. There's someone in every year who you can tell is probably a perfectly wonderful baker, but everything they make still looks kind of wonky and homemade, the flavors are still just a little simpler than everyone else's.

I don't think this is a reflection of their skill as a baker - I think it's more a reflection of why they bake. There are those who pursue baking as an art and a skill to be perfected - and then there are those who pursue baking as a way to feed people in a particularly happymaking way. The world needs both kinds of people, fortunately. But the people whose priorities are "oh well, it'll still taste good even though these don't look perfect" aren't necessarily the people who do as well in the tent, even though they're probably just as good a baker as anyone else in the tent.

I sympathize with that because I'm totally on team "it'll still taste as good even if it doesn't look perfect", and I would probably be tossed out of the tent within three episodes myself for the same reason. I'm okay with that, because I don't bake for prizes anyway.

....Dang, if you needed any proof of my being a Hufflepuff...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:24 AM on September 15 [13 favorites]


For anyone awaiting my weekly effort to do the technical challenge I have a confession. I'm afraid I thought the burger baps were not that exciting to do, and given that almost all of what I bake in these challenges goes into work for my colleagues to eat I didn't think a bunch of barristers and their clerks would be very enthused by some plain bread rolls. So, given that the GBBO website also puts up recipes for some of the signature bakes and show-stoppers I did David's Cinnamon Swirls instead, which came out very nicely.

Mind you, I imported the recipe into MyFitnessPal and apparently those swirls are 630 kcal each.
posted by Major Clanger at 11:22 AM on September 16 [11 favorites]


And those were the healthy ones- think about how much worse the Cinnabon-style ones Helena did are for you.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:16 PM on September 16


I do miss the .. well stereotypical elderly person bake off baker who has been baking for 70 years and really only falls down on new exciting flavours. It seems to me that this season seems heavily focused on the showstopper and making it exciting and instragrammy (and I agree with the 2 people could go hype). I liked it when it was more home baker and less whatever it is now. I still like it but I'm just used to cheering for that older person who you know has never had her baking truly appreciated and finally is getting her due.

As a former commercial baker (bread was my fav before celiac disease struck and now I can't handle wheat flour) I usually love bread week and this just underwhelmed me. Or it could be my winter depression and I'm being mean which I no way want to do because I love this show but it just isn't doing it for me the way it used to. I think I just miss having older people mixed in more. With a more breadth of experience.
posted by kanata at 12:20 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Just caught up with this, and I find is amusing (and a little irritating) how much the younger contestants really go for bold flavors in a heat sort of way (with chilis, especially) and how much Paul and Pru just cannot handle any spice above a wee bit of Cayenne, maybe just half a pinch. It's obvious that bolder, more world-encompassing flavors are very popular, so the coughing and the "Oh my, you did put in spice, didn't you?" and such just makes me sad about how restrained the bakers have to keep things just to please those two. And I say that as someone who isn't all that comfortable with super-spicy foods myself.
posted by xingcat at 6:38 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


Granted I'm not tasting what Paul and Prue are tasting, but there may be a kernel of a point in their complaints about heat. When you're working with spice, the danger is to rely on heat alone as the main focus - at the expense of some of the other flavors in the various kinds of chiles. Some types of chiles have a fruity quality, some are more herbal, some are even floral. And if you balance the other flavors right that brings those other notes out - but if all you are paying attention to is the Scoville units you miss those other elements.

Mind you, I am basing this statement 100% on the preface to a cookbook about hot sauce I have, and to something I saw in an article about Sriracha where they quoted some chefs who sniff at the Sriracha craze because Sriracha is all heat and nothing else, and none of the Sriracha fans seem to know that there are other options.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


I love spicy food, but there is a difference between just heat and spicy with well melded flavors. Some people do use heat to hide other issues. (I certainly did when I was just starting to learn.) But it does seem like Paul and Pru dislike spicy offerings.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:15 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who's giving the cooking-with-activated-charcoal trend some major side-eye?

Granted, I have a background of watching someone who attempted suicide by OTC meds receive activated charcoal in the hospital and vomit Exorcist quantities of black stuff. I don't think it's an emetic per se, but I know it's used for treatment of poisoning because it's a good chemical binder. Does it do that with other nutrients?
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:21 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who's giving the cooking-with-activated-charcoal trend some major side-eye?

lana_nope.gif
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:48 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


I do miss the .. well stereotypical elderly person bake off baker who has been baking for 70 years and really only falls down on new exciting flavours. It seems to me that this season seems heavily focused on the showstopper and making it exciting and instragrammy (and I agree with the 2 people could go hype). I liked it when it was more home baker and less whatever it is now. I still like it but I'm just used to cheering for that older person who you know has never had her baking truly appreciated and finally is getting her due.

I think that Amelia was filling that slot this year. That seemed to be her personality, she was just younger.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


It's obvious that bolder, more world-encompassing flavors are very popular, so the coughing and the "Oh my, you did put in spice, didn't you?" and such just makes me sad about how restrained the bakers have to keep things just to please those two.

I mean... they *are* older white British people. I still remember how earnestly a very kind-hearted server in Dublin once warned me -- repeatedly! -- about how hazardously spicy the fajitas I'd ordered were. Like, she literally warned me three times, and came to check on me out of genuine concern after I'd begun eating. Gentle readers, there may once have been a tin of expired paprika in the general vicinity of those "fajitas," but palates not trained in the whiter parts of the UK and surrounding Irish environs could not remotely have identified said meal as spicy. Not nearly. That really does have to be a little frustrating to younger and broader-minded bakers, as must other similar regional idiosyncrasies, like the prejudices against pandan and matcha and peanut butter.

I am very on Team Spice, but I am not on Team Charcoal, that stuff is some deep nonsense (and is also nutritionally silly).
posted by halation at 8:46 PM on September 19 [4 favorites]


Gentle readers, there may once have been a tin of expired paprika in the general vicinity of those "fajitas"

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posted by joyceanmachine at 11:52 AM on September 20


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