Great British Bake Off: Episode Two, Series Four
The bakers had to make bread this week, with many of them rising to the challenge.
Last week’s star baker Rob brought his scientific precision to the art of rising dough- although not as successfully as his showstopper chocolate gateau- and the tasks went much smoother for youngest contestant Ruby, who had a spell of misfortune last week.
Signature Challenge- Breadsticks
Kimberley said she made 200 breadsticks in preparation for the challenge, which evidently paid off, as her nigella seed and parmesan breadsticks were a hit with the judges.
Ali admitted to Bread King Paul that bread was not his speciality, but his Italian Grissini had a nice snap and beautiful curls.
He tried to contain his beams of delight after the judges gave their verdict. The only thing awry with Ali this week is that we were told he worked for a marketing company, but last week that he was a charity worker…
Howard, who is emerging as a creative triumph in both his flavouring and bakes, didn’t have such a good bake on his Moroccan themed breadsticks and Glenn ran out of time resulting in an uneven colour.
Horticulturalist Lucy’s were declared too plain, which was the beginning of her downfall. But Ruby triumphed with her two-tone breadsticks and looked to be regaining confidence.
Frances went all out with sweet breadsticks (the only baker to do so) in the shape of matchsticks, complete with a handcrafted matchbox.
Her baking is certainly cool, but if she survives a few more weeks her concept cooking might get too gimmicky.
Technical Challenge- English muffins
The technical challenge separated the wheat from the chaff, with most bakers unable to identify how long to have kept the dough on the hot griddle for the muffin to have fully cooked.
Howard looked to falter again on this task, not cooking his dough all the way through and leaving it too yellow. He came in 10th place, with Beca an (unfair) 11th due to the mismatch of her muffins’ sizes, and Lucy in 12th as her muffin were raw.
Rob didn’t manage the same level of detailed precision as last week, with Kimberley coming first for her beautiful looking, regular sized, even and nicely browned muffins. She was the only baker to test a bit of dough on the hot griddle and it paid off.
Clothes designer Frances came in second with student Ruby in third.
Showstopper Challenge- Decoratively Shaped Loaf
Ruby continued to sparkle during the showstopper challenge, producing an ornate white chocolate peacock-shaped loaf, which she hand kneaded herself (much to Paul’s admiration).
The judges said they were looking for a creative shape which they had never seen before, and Ruby ticked that box.
But Lucy sadly didn’t, pressing on with a simple tomato and garlic cob in the allocated four hours, despite the judges’ obvious noises for her to make something more elaborate.
Rob tried to go all out with his ‘psychic octopus tribute loaf’ but was shown a yellow card for concentrating too much on the aesthetics and not enough on the bake. Mary said, in that polite blunt manner she has, ‘It looks like a white loaf and it is just a white loaf.’
Howard was under pressure to recover from his poorer first tasks, and aimed to wow with his oregano and orange loaf in the shape of the sun. Luckily, he managed to do so, with Paul telling him he’d pulled off a fantastic combination of flavours and ‘more importantly’ an excellent bake.
But it was Kimberley who (I felt) truly excelled in this task, producing a stunning looking tear and share roll with influences from Jewish and Arabic cooking.
The bread itself had characteristics of a doughy Jewish challah, with Arabic zatar and saffron spices used to flavour the loaf.
Ruby was named Star Baker. I thought Kimberley would’ve been given the crown, but Paul was particularly taken with the white chocolate chunks hand-kneaded through Ruby’s loaf.
Lucy was predictably sent home. She seemed strong after her performance last week but the tricky yeast got the better of her.
Next week the bakers will be battling it out to perfect petit fours, floating islands and trifles.Tagged in: Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood
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