So normal service has been resumed and Sue is back by Mel’s side in this week’s slice of Bake-Off action and the pair quickly started hitting us with the puns about loafers and being on a roll. Yes that’s right everyone it’s bread week and that means that Paul Hollywood is on fierce form scrutinising every bake down to the amount of eggs being used. In fact there was a fair amount of prickly Paul tonight but in a way I don’t blame him because I’d get cranky it I was being served a lot of raw dough over a two day period.
Signature Bake: Today’s signature bake was something that I think I could put my hand to as the bakers were tasked with adding chocolate to bread. However this seemed easier than it looked as Paul made sure to let everyone know that the more filling they added to their creations. Andrew was the first baker to get the Hollywood grilling when he revealed he was only going to prove his love once due to him creating a traditional Irish loaf. After her success last week Candice was looking to impress by going the extra mile however her salted caramel concoction didn’t gel together and separated after being removed from the baking tray. Meanwhile Benjamina got into a bit of a barmy with Paul about what type of loaf she was creating and Rav stuggled to convince both judges that his loaf was big enough. The big thing in the signature to get right was the time, which a lot of bakers failed to nail down which resulted in plenty of uncooked loaves. Top of the pile were Andrew and Rav, both of whom were criticised for their methods, as several others tried to do much and as a result produced uncooked bread. Once again Val was one of the bakers who was already fighting an uphill battle after her bread was revealed to be slightly raw but joining her was a teary Candice who had to comforted by her fellow bakers.
Technical Challenge: Or everything you ever wanted to know about Dampfnudel but were afraid to ask. Of course the technical challenges are always hard but giving the bakers a dish that they’ve never heard of made this seem incredibly harsh. Not only where the steamed German dumpling buns very tricky to cook the bakers had to create both a plum sauce and a custard. Whilst the bakers were busy running around like headless chickens Mel presented a nice little segment about how the Dampfnudel was first created during the time of the Thirty Years War. The best part of the technical challenge came when Candice and Sue tried to calculate just how long her Dampfnudel had to be in the oven. When it came to the judging itself it was Rav who was instantly down the bottom after Paul was able to reveal the dough inside his Dumpfundel was raw to the extent that he was able to unfurl it and roll it back into balls. The maths obviously paid off for Candice as she was third on the leaderboard however in the first of many shocks during the show, Val won star baker. She attributed this to her being the oldest baker in the tent and therefore the person who has made the most dumplings and I’d have to agree with her as this was her best moment in the contest so far.
Show Stopper: Again the show-stopper was something us ordinary home bakers simply aspire to make that being a savoury plaited centrepiece. All of the bakers were going out of their way to impress with Val creating her ode to Noah’s ark, Kate making a corn doll using goats cheese and onion and Michael recreating the Cypriot flag in bread form. Even though all of the breads had to be connected together in some way, Selasi felt he could take the easy way out by shaping three oddly shaped loaves and connecting them use some sort of half-arsed story. A lot of the bakers who had been in trouble going into the day redeemed themselves with the likes of Benjamina and Jane impressing the judges after having a rather iffy first day. Tom and Andrew were both top of the class once again with the former really giving Paul and Mary a lot to smile about after flavouring his T-shaped loaves with plenty of flavours including seaweed. Val’s efforts to impress with her Noah’s Ark centrepiece didn’t come to fruition and once again she produced something that was underbaked with the main issue being that the elephants took so long to cook. Michael also found himself in trouble as his Cypriot flag wasn’t warmly received even with the shot of local grog that was served with it. But I was convinced Candice was going after she was given a thorough dressing down by Paul who basically told her that nothing about her centrepiece was right.
Star Baker: A nice surprise here as Tom was awarded the title after producing his T-shaped showstopper which did look incredibly tasty.
Eliminated: Another shock as I don’t think Michael really deserved to go home just for not being able to plait his loaf. Candice and Val had arguably worst weekends on the whole and I personally think that Paul and Mary have made a mistake.
Innuendo of the Week: I think Candice wins it again as early on in the episode she mutters ‘no one likes small under-filled balls’. Although if we’re going for visual innuendos alone, Tom’s showstopper was quite a thing to behold.
It Seemed like a Good Idea at the time: Selasi’s idea not to plait together all of his showstopper and therefore incur the wrath of Paul who felt he hadn’t received what he’d asked for.
One to Watch: After a slow start I feel like Andrew has proven himself as one of the top contestants and I honestly felt he should have got star baker this time.
Next to Go: Even though she won the technical challenge, Val still produced two underbaked offerings and in my opinion she’s outstayed her welcome at this point.
Next Week: In a Bake-Off first it’s time to get battered as the bakers produce Yorkshire Puddings, pancakes and make a show-stopper without an oven.