The Great British Bake Off: Pastry Week
October 18, 2019 1:15 PM - Season 10, Episode 8 - Subscribe

This week's challenges all features pies as bakers try to avoid soggy bottoms.

This week, bakers must make a savory tarte tatin, master moroccan warka dough for the technical, and wow with a vertical pie for the show stopper.
posted by miss-lapin (38 comments total)
 
The signatures were STUNNING.

And the complaints of dry bakes are what you get when you harp on soggy bottoms for a decade.

It's so hard during the last half of the season to see really good bakers being picked off.
posted by JawnBigboote at 1:25 PM on October 18 [6 favorites]


Yeah I'm sad about Henry. I really love him. I was a bit surprised Rosie didn't get the axe instead.

I was pissed about the showstopper. They had a first time challenge and all but one of them failed according to the judges. To me, this means it is a BAD CHALLENGE, and the judges need to consider that instead of saying they were disappointed.

Sandi was lovely in terms of encouraging Steph, and Noel's antics were less annoying as he wasn't interfering with the bakers. As long as he isn't getting in their way, I can tolerate him.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:33 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


I thought for sure Rosie would be gone instead. And wow, I often watch before it appears on Netflix so I don't always have subtitles available, and it is so hard to hear/understand what she's saying sometimes.

Got to be Steph at this point, right? Or David at an outside chance? The results chart (possible spoilers for anyone reading this later, since it probably updates after BBC airing & before Netflix) really highlights the remaining bakers' chances as I see em.
posted by supercres at 1:38 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


Steph seems like she would be the favorite. Rosie seems unlikely since she's never made star baker before, but then neither has David.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:43 PM on October 18


And AGAIN with the "Sandi's in this sack" joke.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 4:28 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


Are baking too much to please the Pru and Paul, and not trusting themselves enough?
posted by JawnBigboote at 4:28 PM on October 18


Nooooooooooooooo. Sweet Henry! So sad to see him go.
posted by merriment at 5:03 PM on October 18 [5 favorites]


And the complaints of dry bakes are what you get when you harp on soggy bottoms for a decade.

Jinx! I said the same thing as I watching this tonight.

Thought the judging and/or editing of the Technical was super-hinky. They gave us Paul & Prue noting that Rosie's pie didn't have a base, and then Paul & Prue noting that several of the other pies did have a base. Then Paul & Prue announced Rosie finished second, despite the explosion / lack of the base because her dough was so tasty (which I don't think came up in the initial round of judging comments). If the lack of the base isn't a major issue for the judges, why have so many judging comments about it in the broadcast? If Rosie's super-tasty dough was the decisive factor in her placement, why didn't that come up in the initial round of judging? It just feels like they're trying to be deliberately misleading and I am not a fan of jerking around the audience for no reason.

That said, it was nice to see David finally break through and win a Technical.

I will miss Henry terribly. The bit about "the palate of my mother" was priceless.
posted by creepygirl at 10:04 PM on October 18 [9 favorites]


I also loved Henry’s comment about Paul’s eyes being worse than a shark’s and with less mercy. Oh, Henry, I will miss you.

I thought the showstoppers were interesting but also just really weird in concept. Did the world really need elaborately stacked and decorated pies?
posted by kitten kaboodle at 1:14 AM on October 19 [5 favorites]


I also will miss Jojen Reed.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:14 AM on October 19 [14 favorites]


Nooooo not Tall Harry Potter!!! I'm going to miss him so much!

I just.... British pies, man. They're just so unappetizing to me. And everything this episode was savory which was not at all what I was expecting from pastry week. (Also I have never even heard of a tarte tatain being anything but apple.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:21 PM on October 19 [3 favorites]


Really bummed about Henry, I thought for sure Rosie would go.

I hope everyone wears a tie next week.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:56 PM on October 19 [7 favorites]


So worried for Steph at the technical, though undoubtedly it was edited for maximum drama. I wonder how Steph's life will change after this (even if she doesn't win, but seems like she will win). She is so sweetly and so genuinely surprised by her wins. If nothing else should be an excellent shot of encouragement/self-esteem (which everyone deserves in their life, but many people never get.)

Meanwhile, Henry is amazingly likable and surely we are not the only ones to have noticed. Perhaps some smart tv-person will get him on another show. At minimum I would totally love to see some reunions down the road with Bake Off contestants.
posted by Glinn at 6:51 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


I hope everyone wears a tie next week.

I'm willing to bet that David will, at the very least.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:33 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Re: savory tarte tatins, i just pulled this one out of the oven and I dramatically failed on multiple counts on my first attempt, so I would not want to make one for a competition.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 11:02 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


Perhaps some smart tv-person will get him on another show.

Or perhaps they will replace Noel with Henry who will certainly not get in the way of the contestants and would bring back some warmth.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:14 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


They had a first time challenge and all but one of them failed according to the judges.

It didn't seem to me that anyone failed because of the challenge per se - the problems were in the dryness/thickness of the pastry crust, not in construction of the pie towers.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:00 PM on October 20


The crust was thick because of the weight it needed to support. It's unsurprising that so many of them ended up with thick dry crust. It's tied to the nature of challenge.

They have done other pie challenges before with far better success.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:52 PM on October 20 [5 favorites]


I was pissed about the showstopper. They had a first time challenge and all but one of them failed according to the judges. To me, this means it is a BAD CHALLENGE, and the judges need to consider that instead of saying they were disappointed.

See, I take it the other way - I really want the bakers to be challenged, and if it breaks down that only one one or two bakers are ultimately capable of meeting the challenge, it helps focus their capabilities. If everybody skates through and produces a perfect bake, the challenge isn't there. _Especially_ on the signature and showstopper where the bakers nominally have the opportunity to practice a few times in the week leading up to the taping. Can they step up and meet the challenge or not?

That said, in the past they would've focused more that this is a challenge suited to a hot water crust and which bakers did or didn't do that, and how it differs from a traditional pie crust and all that and.. Yeah, I don't really remember the show being edited that way.

It does feel like we went from a gaggle of underprepared bakers to oh hey there's 5 left and they're all pretty decent, though.

And yeah, I don't know what's up with all the Sandi in a sack jokes, unless if she's getting overbooked and her availability is turning into an issue?
posted by Kyol at 9:32 AM on October 21 [3 favorites]


I don't know what's up with all the Sandi in a sack jokes, unless if she's getting overbooked and her availability is turning into an issue?

Maybe she's getting sacked, and this is their way of telling us?
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:45 AM on October 21 [1 favorite]


Echoing everyone who is sad to see Henry go (although, really, the problem with this damn show is that after about week three you love all the baketestants and don't want any of them to go) and that Noel was less irritating this time around. He might have toned it down, but I suspect it's more likely to be a combination of two things. First, editing. Nuff said. Second, it's possible that what we see as "annoying" the baketestants see as "I'm about to lose my freaking mind over here" and Noel jumps in with his brand of idiocy and, by diverting their attention, helps them to calm down.

Two things I don't like about this season:

1. We know nothing much about the baketestants. Previous seasons had "Claude lives with his husband Nigel and their daughter in Ipswitch" and we get 30 seconds of domestic bliss. This season: nothing.

2. Long shots on baketestants who are having a bad day. No. Bad. You are not a US reality show. I don't want to see one of them fighting back tears during the competition. It's okay, in moderation, in the exit interview (but by then they've had a chance to compose themselves so it's usually not as bad), but not during the thing itself. It's gross.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:58 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


I think they talk about fussy baking techniques a lot less than they used to. I learned a lot about cooking from this show, or at least was exposed to pretty detailed discussions of, the mechanics of gluten development, preventing crystallization when making caramel or a chocolate for mirror glazes, relative merits of rough puff vs. laminated pastry, fierce arguments about the appropriate use of royal icing, italian vs. french meringue, how long to proof dough, when to punch it back or not, proofing in the drawer or on the counter, strong flour or bread flour, how to keep choux pastry light, etc., etc.

The show has always mostly been about the performances of the bakers, and less about the actual cooking, but I think they've tilted it even more toward the former and less of the latter. I don't feel like I've learned much of anything new about cooking this season. I still enjoy it though.
posted by skewed at 2:35 PM on October 21 [7 favorites]


Also, is it just me, or is Henry the only baker you can hear swear? I thought I heard him drop an F-bomb in an earlier episode and thought I surely was mistaken, but then I was sure I heard him say “shit” on this episode!
posted by chainsofreedom at 4:31 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


I think they're also sort of suffering from ten-season-itis. I learned a lot about what the various treats in the local patisserie were from prior seasons, but if they have the bakers make a mille-feuille in every season's patisserie/pastry episode, does that help or hinder things? Me, I'd be more than happy to see the same sorts of things over and over again, but maybe the producers are worried that people would get bored and stop watching.
posted by Kyol at 6:59 PM on October 21


2. Long shots on baketestants who are having a bad day. No. Bad. You are not a US reality show. I don't want to see one of them fighting back tears during the competition. It's okay, in moderation, in the exit interview (but by then they've had a chance to compose themselves so it's usually not as bad), but not during the thing itself. It's gross.

I heard that in earlier seasons, Sue and Mel would go to bakers on the verge of tears and start swearing so as to ruin the footage and save the bakers from having their meltdowns end up on the show.
posted by acidnova at 9:08 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


Supposedly Mel and Sue would also cover the bakers with a coat to prevent them from getting a shot and Mel would yell the names of corporations so they wouldn't use the footage. They went a long way to protect the bakers from being exploited in that way, which is one of the things I was concerned about when they left the show.

if they have the bakers make a mille-feuille in every season's patisserie/pastry episode, does that help or hinder things?

This season they got a little silly trying to come up with new things like "roaring 20s week." After 10 seasons it's difficult to come up with new things, and honestly I think they have enough of a backlog of challenges now that I would be ok with them focusing less on new things and going back to some old challenges.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:59 PM on October 21 [2 favorites]


The montage of pies being unmolded was one of the most thrilling and suspenseful pieces of cinema I’ve seen since Hitchcock.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:03 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


Supposedly Mel and Sue would also cover the bakers with a coat to prevent them from getting a shot and Mel would yell the names of corporations so they wouldn't use the footage

I'd heard the rumor of them swearing to make the footage unusable, but the idea of Mel shouting "The iPhone is shit. Exxon-Mobil. Brought to you by Mars Bars" while a baketestant fights back tears is making me chuckle.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 2:43 PM on October 22 [6 favorites]


A little part of me wonders if they're just going off the deep end on ridiculous challenges so that next season (or the one after that) they can talk about getting "back to basics"
posted by sleeping bear at 3:18 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


Geez, the Mel and Sue mythologizing is a bit much.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 2:00 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


It's not a myth if they actually did those things.
posted by acidnova at 2:59 PM on October 23


Yeah, big if true, and all that.

Look, Mel and Sue are the best, no doubt. I’m just not buying this idea of a weird Manichean struggle between Mel and Sue and the producers of GBBO.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 3:14 PM on October 23


Except, Don.Kinsayder...it seems that was exactly what happened
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 9:18 PM on October 23 [2 favorites]


Whoaaa! I was wrong.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:46 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I certainly sympathize though - it absolutely sounds implausible on first blush!
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 6:59 PM on October 24


Aw, thanks. Wrong on the internet? What, me?
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:34 AM on October 25 [2 favorites]


I'd actually really like to see a week (or a season!) of, say "the toughest challenges we've had" and show comparisons between previous seasons. Not sure if that's possible any more given the difference in production companies, but it'd be very interesting.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:55 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


Not specifically about this episode, but I'd love to know more about the bakers who start over - like everybody else in the tent seems like they're _just barely_ finishing in time and there you've got someone going "well no I think I need to make this for a third time because it didn't brown just so" and they still somehow have time? I mean sure, if it's 5 minutes to beat up a quick batter and a another 10 minutes in the oven, I guess, but it always seems somewhat miraculous that bakers manage to rebake so often and still have time.
posted by Kyol at 9:10 AM on October 25


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