The Great British Bake Off: Pastry
September 21, 2016 6:35 PM - Season 7, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Mary and Paul set three challenges to test the bakers on three different types of pastry, including a technical challenge that sees them baking a classic British tart.

For the signature challenge it is breakfast time, Danish style.

In the technical challenge, Mary asks the bakers to keep their cool, giving them limited time and instructions to bake a classic British tart. Mel takes a shift at a London Turkish bakery making baklava, and she discovers the history of this delicate desert that hailed from the palaces of Sultans.

And finally there is a bite-size showstopper, a fine pastry which notoriously difficult to make and even trickier to bake. Which bakers will impress Mary and Paul enough to keep their place in the tent, and who will be heading home?

description via bbc iplayer
posted by everybody had matching towels (27 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This show is going to be the death of me. I CARE WAY TOO MUCH.

Is there an unusual emphasis on fillings this year? For the past several weeks, the bakers seem to be cooking almost as much as baking, and it does seem to distract some of them.
posted by merriment at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Once again, Paul is utterly baffled by a flavour that is perfectly pedestrian west of the Atlantic.

"The banana and the peanut is just mad. I do like it; I've just never had anything like it before. It's bizarre."

Probably close to half* the calories I have ever consumed came in the form of a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and I don't think I'm especially unusual in that regard.

What the heck kind of country are you people running over there, anyway?

* May contain traces of hyperbole
posted by Sys Rq at 11:49 PM on September 21, 2016 [17 favorites]

Hot damn some of those breakfast rolls looked good. Candace's in particular, yummmm. And also her innuendo was top notch.

The filo challenge was an act of unbridled sadism and I was delighted to see how well many of them did.

I've never had a bakewell tart, and they look like a good awful sugary mess to me!
posted by smoke at 1:34 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

What the heck kind of country are you people running over there, anyway?

One where we are very suspicious of doing anything with bananas other than peeling and eating them, or perhaps turning them into milkshake or banana bread. In terms of combining bananas with other flavours, we invented Banoffee Pie in 1971 and that's quite enough banana-related novelty for the time being as far as the UK's concerned, thank you.
posted by Major Clanger at 2:39 AM on September 22, 2016 [8 favorites]

What the heck kind of country are you people running over there, anyway?

I was baffled by that too. I don't like that combo but I'm well aware of it and don't even consider it a particularly "American" thing, like PB&J would be.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:52 AM on September 22, 2016

In other news Mary Berry is quitting GBBO, following Mel and Sue's decision not to follow the show from the BBC to Channel 4. This was not at all unexpected, and leaves me wondering just what Channel 4 were thinking in paying £25M a year for the format without, so it seems, nailing down the continued participation of at least 3/4 of the show's presenters.

I'm imagining panicked meetings at Channel 4 HQ with accountants screaming "Carry on with a new set of presenters? Did you see what happened to Top Gear's ratings!?"
posted by Major Clanger at 2:54 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

The other half and I were talking about how Rav was last in the tech challenge the third week in a row and was really going to have to pull it out of the bag to scrape through. He pulled it out of the bag!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:54 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

what Channel 4 were thinking in paying £25M a year for the format

Maybe they just really liked that tent.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:55 AM on September 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

I told you in the other thread EndsofInvention, the tent is a rental!

On PB and Banana... yeah who hasn't heard of that.
I had a PB and B milkshake on Monday at Euston station. It's not like..obscure.
Someday soon someone's gonna tell him about salted caramel and he'll go mental.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:33 AM on September 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

SALT and CARAMEL? You can't mix savoury and sweet! This is a REVELATION
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:35 AM on September 22, 2016 [6 favorites]

EndsOfInvention - same here, Mrs Clanger and I thought he was doomed.

Andrew had a lucky escape; it's not you see someone on GBBO forget to turn the oven on - and then get away with it!

We'll all miss Val, but I think her own assessment of herself at the end was right. Her whole baking style wasn't really compatible with what works well on GBBO and she'd done well to keep up as far as she had. But it won't be the same without the little side-trips to Planet Val.
posted by Major Clanger at 4:01 AM on September 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

Val was a sweet little odd lady and I'm sad to see her go, though I agree she had reached the end of her abilities within the show dynamics. Tom was lucky she has been consistently underperforming or he might have gone.

When Andrew realized his oven was off, I was so worried for him and thought maybe one of the other contestants would just throw his into their hot oven (that line would be soooo winked at by Mel and Sue)

This appears to be the season of fillings and the season of Mary and Paul being baffled by things I really thought they would have experienced before like yuzu or banana/peanut butter.

The skill set this season does seem quite a bit lower than the previous two seasons, but it doesn't take away my enjoyment of the show. Oddly enough I don't have a favorite baker this season.

So it is just going to be Paul Hollywood next series? Or are they going to get replacements for Mary, Sue and Mel? Paul needs some type of foil.
posted by Julnyes at 7:04 AM on September 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

For a minute there I was actually worried they were going to pick Tom just b/c Val's good TV, but GBBO don't play like that, thank god. Not that I disliked Val, but one of the things that has set the show apart is that pretty much every time, it's the worst baker that week who goes. There's been a few contestants who've arguably scraped by on charm, but even then it's usually a case of Contestant X and Contestant Y both doing badly one week, and X having show a bit more promise previously.

I do find myself mourning it a bit as I watch --- I don't see how it can really continue, now. I mean, they may be obliged to produce something for Channel 4 due to the nature of their contract, but it won't be GBBO.
posted by Diablevert at 7:46 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had to look up banoffee and then I laughed and laughed.

Andre's tart wasn't even the worst!

I think the challenges are getting harder. Or maybe they're setting shorter time limits? I think almost everyone would have performed better with an extra 45 min.
posted by bq at 8:18 AM on September 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

What's funny about banoffee?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Banoffee is actually pretty tasty.
posted by Julnyes at 10:24 AM on September 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have to say that the silver lining of the Bake Off Channel 4 move for me is that the current "rendition" of Bake Off is going out on a high note, i.e. this last season with Mary, Paul, Mel and Sue will go out with a bang (I assume, unless something shocking happens in the next couple of weeks) and while they're still on top of their form.

I could foresee an alternate reality in which Bake Off and the quartet stayed on BBC in which the show gradually declines and becomes a bit tired and stale. I hasten to add, this is no knock on the current hosts and judges or their abilities or the show's current format, but just my belief that 99% of TV shows eventually do fall out of favor as tastes change, fads move on, etc., and I think that this fate would have eventually befallen GBBO too.

I mean, now it's obviously going to have some dramatic changes on Channel 4, and I'm pretty sure viewership is going to drop sharply and the quality of the program will likely be compromised, but at least it feels like a different show. As in, we can look back and enjoy all the seasons of "BBC GBBO" for what it was and we can ignore "Channel 4 GBBO" or at least think of it in a different way.

Does that make sense to anybody else? I feel like it's a bit circuitous, but in a way I'm morosely glad this has happened.
posted by andrewesque at 11:17 AM on September 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

I was expecting it to be some old-timey classic with mysterious ingredients. Nope! Banana+ Toffee.
posted by bq at 1:19 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't go as far as "glad," even moreosely, but I agree that even a beloved format will get stale eventually. Already this season, some of the challenges are repeating fairly specific things from prior seasons --- filo, gingerbread. You can fiddle around with the constraints, but we're definitely getting to a point where pretty much every tricky technique they want them to attempt will have been done before.

I think it could have gone on a couple more seasons, but there's is something to be said for going out on top. Which I guess technically it hasn't, but Paul Hollywood gimacing in a field is def not going to be GBBO to me.
posted by Diablevert at 1:23 PM on September 22, 2016

I was incredulous that they gave them what, three hours to make Danish pastries from scratch? Hollywood's own Danish pastry recipe says, and I quote: "Prep 14 hours, including overnight chilling".
posted by lucidium at 2:42 PM on September 22, 2016 [6 favorites]

 Already this season, some of the challenges are repeating fairly specific things from prior seasons --- filo, gingerbread. You can fiddle around with the constraints, but we're definitely getting to a point where pretty much every tricky technique they want them to attempt will have been done before.

I agree that shows can get stale with time, but I don't necessarily need never before seen challenges to enjoy the show. I mean, that reality show where 11 guys try to kick a ball past another 11 guys hasn't changed it's format in forever, and it's still pretty popular.

I think more staleness is due to casting very similar people, and Val's the perfect example. She's a lovely lady and a great bit of fun, but there's always an older baker with a ton of experience but a very homey style that will just never make the cut.

From the second week when she was close to elimination, it was always a matter of when for Val. And there's one of her every year, and they're delightful and then gone four weeks in once nobody makes a truly disastrous mistake.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:16 PM on September 22, 2016

As a Dane I shouted a fair bit during the first segment. There are just some things you don't do with Danish pastry and most of them involve mushrooms. *shudders*
posted by kariebookish at 8:23 AM on September 23, 2016 [6 favorites]

People seem to be having a lot more trouble this year, and I think it's because the times are shorter. I don't recall quite as much raw dough in previous seasons, as well.

I was very pleased for Rav. Selassi, however, seems to be coasting a bit. He's neither star baker material, nor the bottom of the pack. Although his time may be coming soon, as the less versatile and less experienced bakers get sifted out. He's going to have to up his game or leave, probably next week.

(Anyone see the trailer? Lemon meringue pie! NOM. And rather tricky, because the meringue can weep and or the pudding goes liquid and it turns into a big mess.)
posted by suelac at 9:18 PM on September 23, 2016

Ok I'm making a prediction. I think it will come down to Jane and Candice in the final three. I'm unsure who the third will be, although I'm leaning towards Benjamina. I do think Selassi's time is coming soon. We're getting to a point where middle ground isn't good enough.

I was dying when they said they were "playing a game" in which Val read a grocery receipt from the 70s and they had to guess the prices. That must of been hilarious. Made me wish we could see a bit more of the bakers when they are in between challenges.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:41 PM on September 24, 2016 [6 favorites]

I agree with Jane and Candice and then either Andrew or Benjamina.
posted by peacheater at 5:53 PM on September 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I loved that Val didn't notice the ingredient list for the Bakewell and just started making her own from memory. I almost wanted her to turn that one in.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 6:48 PM on September 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Candice's reaction to the smoke coming out of her oven was perfection.

And now I want a bakewell tart. Or anything with frangipane in it.
posted by kjs4 at 7:39 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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