The Great British Bake Off: Pastry Week
October 21, 2020 5:17 AM - Season 11, Episode 5 - Subscribe

It's Pastry Week and the bakers put their stamp on a Cornish classic in the signature, go retro in the technical, and make a showstopping classic tart hidden within a cage made entirely from pastry
posted by bitteschoen (24 comments total)
 
I want to eat all the tasty pasties! Even the cauliflower one and I don’t really like cauliflower. The eclairs, on the other hand, didn’t look that great. Is it just me for or there several bakers this season who don’t seem to have the full compliment of technical skills for things like making choux? I think everyone who goes on bake off should just be prepared to make choux pastry any time day or night.

The caged tart challenge was silly because they didn’t eat the cages. But the tarts themselves looked lovely.
posted by mai at 5:14 AM on October 22 [2 favorites]


I found this one oddly dull? I hear Cornwall is irritated, so it sounds like the American pie episode -- they made PIES, but not American ones. (I'm not entirely clear what is so wrong with making a samosa, except that she didn't crimp the edges, because it was otherwise cooked filling in a pastry crust.)

The eclairs were disastrous, and I think that the bakers just seem exhausted, there's not a lot of down time anymore, and living in the bake-off village can't be easy.

The tarts were fine -- fun "look I googled it, the etymology of tart says they don't need a crust" argument -- but I don't understand the point of making a giant pastry cage that no one eats. Why did they not get judged on the flavour of it?
posted by jeather at 6:46 AM on October 22 [3 favorites]


The real problem this week is that it didn't live up to the fanfic I created for GBBO: American week.

Signature challenge: chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles
"I thought they'd be too sweet, so I rolled them in cinnamon and citric acid"
"I wanted to do a little more, so I filled the snickerdoodles with caramel, American cookies are so sweet!"
"I baked until they had a snap!"
"I decorated my cookies with miniature macarons!"
"I wanted them to be very American, so I put peanut butter in the snickerdoodle and squash in the chocolate chip cookies"

Technical: funnel cakes
No one has a clue what they are doing but Paul and Prue can't figure out how to judge them anyhow

Showstopper: fancy cronut
[I haven't figured this one out entirely]

And now they're doing a Japanese week, so American week could be a go.
posted by jeather at 8:04 AM on October 22 [16 favorites]


I would love American week! I want them to try and make American candy, because the Brits always hate on American candy so hard.

My idea of American week:
Signature -- 1 chocolate and 1 non-chocolate candy (preferably, the non-chocolate candy would be candy corn!)
Technical -- pizza
Showstopper -- Thanksgiving dessert spread
posted by rue72 at 8:41 AM on October 22 [2 favorites]


So it's weird I saw comments that lottie had given Hollywood some come back about the crust, but on the version on all4 that didn't seem to be present? I had noticed that it seemed to have changed from an absurdly long 1 hrs 20 to an hour, maybe some editing is done?

Loved the pasties. Love a pasty in general, and there were some delicious looking ones. The tagine and also gobi (I think) looked amazing.

I also adore chocolate exclaims, tragically in the uk pretty much every peculiar you buy has a cream filling rather than chocolate custard, and you have to travel to France to have a proper one.

A tart in a pastry cage has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever encountered to be honest. It's something that almost no one would bake in practice
posted by Cannon Fodder at 9:08 AM on October 22


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I made hungry noises at several of the pasties. I was also continually amused at just how fucked up English is that it's the pahsty filling in the paystry shell and yet they got it right every single time, that I could tell.

I'm also mildly annoyed that the local pasty shop isn't particularly good, and I don't want to drive up to the upper peninsula for one either. For a brief shining moment, we had a restaurant in town that celebrated handmeals in all their forms and it was glorious and I miss it.

And yeah, I think they're starting to wear a bit thin without a week between episodes to recharge and shore up their shortcomings and such. Usually we're past the disaster technicals by now and yet yecch, there were a bunch of variety failures this week.

And I agree, only a few of the caged tarts looked good. I was mildly annoyed with Laura's because it had a lot of the sort of ridiculous pretty but inedible frippery around it that I don't usually associate with bake off.
posted by Kyol at 9:42 AM on October 22 [1 favorite]


I found Matt pretty irritating this time. Was he right last episode? Has the shine come off? Maybe it was just the weird editing of putting "delish delosh" (which I would be happy to die never hearing again) twice in as many minutes, roughly. Also overemphasizing plosives as a joke when mouth noises give me the heebies in the best of times. The host duo needs at least one straight-man (idiomatically not literally).
posted by supercres at 8:23 AM on October 23


All, or most, of the above but also why do they keep showing clips of the disasters in the runup to the show so that we recognize things like: "oh , those bits of pastry baskets are going to collapse somewhere along the way" or "wow, Paul is glaring at that samosa, someone's in trouble." I don't need to know that and more in advance, they have spoiled the surprise! Sigh.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 11:36 AM on October 23 [5 favorites]


It is wierd to me that the bakers don’t seem to prepare for the show-as-contest. I mean, just having the shows on while practicing baking would remind you to memorize and practice choux, Creme pat, genoise sponges, and the various meringue techniques. And caramel, ffs! And to moderate the booze, load up on (real) bananas for Paul pandering, and never ever expect the judges to enjoy matcha, rose, lavender, flavor essences, or actually-hot chilies. Never make a chocolate collar for a cake.
posted by janell at 12:57 PM on October 23


Yeah I was also disappointed they didn't eat the cages. With other structural challenges it's about function AND taste. So what happened here?
posted by miss-lapin at 2:08 PM on October 23 [3 favorites]


Boy, that joke Matt made about putting someone in a cage sure does play differently in the US right now, doesn't it?

I also don't understand the cage thing, I've certainly never seen or heard of that and it seems as made up as the giant tower of pies, but I assume they got it from somewhere. It just feels like they should have at least eaten a portion as part of the judging, if they're asking them to take so much time to make them.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:25 PM on October 23 [1 favorite]


Just a side note. Whenever I see them make pastis, I want to make them too. I am nowhere near as gifted as these people so does anyone have like a pastis for dummies recipe I could try?
posted by miss-lapin at 4:23 PM on October 23


Pastry week always makes me hungry, especially when they do a savory pastry challenge. My husband made chicken pot pie a couple weeks ago from scratch and now I'm daydreaming about it. The pasties were a relief after last week's brownie episode--I like seeing the bakers succeed!

Of course then that was followed by a disaster technical (except for Hermine and Peter) and a pretty dumb showstopper, though it was not nearly as dumb as the time the bakers had to make sugar "glass" boxes in last year's semifinal. Ugh. At least you could eat the pastry cages, and like the rest of you I'm sad we didn't see the judges taste them.

I'm always interested to see who seems to be friends. I know it's filtered through a lot of editing, but it made me happy to see Hermine and Mark (the younger) cheering each other on. There were also a couple clips of Dave encouraging Laura, which I think is the first time I've seen any sort of warmth from him. He sure is good at making pretty bakes, but I thought his caged tart was cold and sterile. Hopefully it's just bad editing, or just awkwardness in front of the camera, but Dave is the one baker left whom I haven't gotten attached to.

I think this episode had a couple firsts, or at least I don't remember other occasions. One is that Noel actually got excited about a food, in this case Linda's tart (though I won't repeat the name). He'd been doing this weird schtick in recent weeks about not eating or being into baked goods at all, so it was nice to see him excited about a bake. The other first is someone made a pear flavor combination that didn't get panned by the judges (Mark had other problems, but I was relieved that the sage worked out). If I'm ever on bakeoff I'm making freaking banoffee or coffee hazelnut everything, never touching matcha, pear, lavender, or rosewater, and making curry fillings but avoiding most of the chili.

Finally, I'm sad to see Linda go but I think she hit her limit. On the other hand, Hermine was robbed of star baker; I just hope she makes it to the final and also crushes French patisserie. Her cage was so pretty and original! I like Laura a lot but her bakes this week were basic, plus Hermine's eclairs were much better.
posted by j.r at 11:21 PM on October 23 [4 favorites]


Does anyone else feel that they're omitting parts of the baking process this season? Like Hermine's showstopper tart -- I'm assuming she made the macarons on top. I feel like we'd usually see that process, plus it's an opportunity for the show to add drama by discussing the added level of difficulty. Where did that weird topping for the raspberry eclairs come from? What the heck was it? Last week, did Lottie make her sugar geode from scratch?
posted by Rora at 11:49 AM on October 24 [4 favorites]


My idea of American week:
Technical -- pizza


Technical needs to be something that will break their brains. You want me to make gravy out of all this stuff that doesn't make gravy? And put it on... biscuits?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:52 PM on October 24 [4 favorites]


I’d go for cornbread in the technical for American week - the savory kind, with cornmeal as the only grain, and baked in a cast iron skillet.
posted by expialidocious at 2:05 PM on October 24 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely clear what is so wrong with making a samosa, except that she didn't crimp the edges, because it was otherwise cooked filling in a pastry crust

They were supposed to make pasties and that's not a pasty. It's one thing to fuck up a brownie by putting cheesecake on top, but if they ask for a pasty, make a pasty.

Definitely disappointed that Hermine didn't get Star Baker.

They made such a thing about saying the cage should be edible as well as stable that I assume they edited out tasting the cages because it wasn't particularly interesting.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:31 AM on October 25 [1 favorite]


I ..... in what way is the symbol of yin and yang a "karma symbol"?! Also, the name of Linda's showstopper. Am I missing something about the British context, or should the editors have found some ways around some of this stuff?
posted by brainwane at 7:00 PM on October 25 [1 favorite]


They were supposed to make pasties and that's not a pasty.

But what's the distinction between a pasty and a samosa, other than shape? One of the Marks did a bunch of Indian spices and stuff in his pasty, if Linda had made her samosa in a semicircle with crimps instead of a triangular pyramid would it have been a pasty? I'm really not clear about the dividing lines between savoury food stuffs in a carb shell.

Brownies with cheesecake (usually called cream cheese brownies ime) on top are, or can be, excellent, though the example last week was not.

I’d go for cornbread in the technical for American week - the savory kind, with cornmeal as the only grain, and baked in a cast iron skillet.

Oh yes, that's a good technical for American week, I'll change my imaginary fanfic accordingly.
posted by jeather at 6:00 AM on October 26 [2 favorites]


never touching matcha, pear, lavender, or rosewater

I think I've seen them like lavender and rose flavors occasionally, although I agree that it might be dangerous. NOBODY likes matcha.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:43 AM on October 26


The technical this season have been really basic stuff, which I have enjoyed. I'd rather see contestants skills put to the test by having their ability to do traditional "expert" baker stuff with a minimal recipe than try to figure out a dish that they've literally never heard of.

I was dumbfounded that they didn't test the cages. Did they know that going in? If so, why in god's name would you try to make a cage out of puff pastry?

The pastis looked delicious. They should always do two pastry weeks, though I guess they kinda just have them do extra pastry-based signatures and showstoppers instead. Also, I really wish they would go back to the older style where they talk more about technique. They throw in a random "you want a v-shape drip" now and then, but you really don't learn anything about baking from the show anymore, which is too bad.

Anyway, I can't stand Matt. I used to like Noel, but pretty much have no use for him. Did Mel and Sue leave on bad terms? Is there zero hope for a reunited GBBO someday?
posted by skewed at 7:00 AM on October 26


Also, the name of Linda's showstopper. Am I missing something about the British context, or should the editors have found some ways around some of this stuff?

That word used fairly commonly here and is not known as a slur as it is in the US. You can find that type of tart in supermarkets, and there was this reality TV show, for example. I was wondering if it would be edited/censored in the US.

But what's the distinction between a pasty and a samosa, other than shape? One of the Marks did a bunch of Indian spices and stuff in his pasty, if Linda had made her samosa in a semicircle with crimps instead of a triangular pyramid would it have been a pasty?

It needs the crimping. Using Lottie's "I looked up the definition..." reasoning, I looked it up, and crimping is serious business.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:40 AM on October 26 [2 favorites]


Technical -- pizza

It's worth noting that they actually had pizza margherita as a technical about three years ago, during their "Italian Week". Probably too soon for that to come around again.

My vote would be for "New York Cheesecake" instead. For added difficulty, have them make their own graham crackers for the crust.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:11 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


You could make s'mores be the technical and stump the lot of them it seems
posted by miss-lapin at 10:54 PM on November 11


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