The Great British Bake-Off Week Three: The Best Batch

The Great British Bake-Off Week Three: The Best Batch

It is all starting to get a little bit doughy in the Great British Bake-off tent as the bakers enter their third week of the competition.

With expectations from the judges being particularly high during cake and biscuit week, it is now time for Paul Hollywood’s baking domain to enter the tent at full proof.

Last Week: Jürgen was crowned star baker for the second time with his gigantic windmill impressing the tent and the viewers at home. But sadly, biscuit week took Jairzeno’s win from its sails as he failed to meet judges’ standards, leading to his voyage home.

As Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas open week three of Bake-Off, is it time for Hollywood, also known as Lord of the loaf, to take charge and see what bakers are on a roll to be the next star baker?

A Crumbly Signature:

Photo by Iñigo De la Maza on Unsplash

For the first bake of Bread week, the remaining ten were tasked with the challenge of baking a Focaccia.

Focaccia: A flat oven-baked Italian style bread similar to the texture of a pizza. 

This Italian bread should have an irregular crumb structure and take the bakers 2 hours and 40 minutes.

With Giuseppe being from Italy, he made known that the pressure was truly on this week, and he had to impress.

For judge Prue Leith, she wanted the bakers to produce crusty bread on the outside and soft inside. Similarly, Hollywood made the bakers aware that they needed to put a lot of water in for the dough to achieve the correct texture; he also wanted them to focus on the types of flavours they would be using.

Once the signature was on its way, the viewers got the see what the bakers had in store for their signature bake.

  • Bringing Italy into the bake-off tent, Italian born Giuseppe inspired his Focaccia with the taste of his favourite breakfast back at home. Using imported olives and olive oil and tips from his family recipe, his bread was the one to beat, according to bread legend Hollywood.
  • With olives being the classic ingredient in this bread, traditional baker Maggi opted to keep the recipe the same. Using sundried tomatoes and fresh basil as well.
  • For the returning star baker, Jürgen wanted to celebrate his favourite British flavours by adapting his bread to a ‘Kippercaccia’. Something different within the tent.

The consistency of the dough has to be very wet for the crumb and for the hold of the fillings to be achieved. Because of this baker, George found that needing the bread for ten minutes soon felt like an exhausting hour.

After the baker wrestled with their dough, attention quickly turned to the critical proving. A key player within bread week. With this bake, the bakers needed to leave enough time for their bread to prove twice through. The second prove is the most important, as the bakers can use this to help them shape and impact more flavours.

For baker Crystelle, she was trying new flavours for the first time after becoming inspired by the taste of feta mixed with roasted grapes in a previous meal. A flavour combination that worried Hollywood at first…

As the clock was ticking quicker to the end of the signature challenge, Maggi was hoping her bread would be alright for the judge’s standards, and for George, he still needed to get his bread out of the oven!!

And with this, it was judgement time…

  • George and his Greek twist

Up first was George. Paul found the Greek infused Focaccia had an excellent overall finish. However, he felt the bread still needed more water to help it open up a bit more. Prue commented how George made the correct move when he redid the dough.

  • Freya goes fajita style

Both the judges found that Freya’s Focaccia was nice and had a good bake. Prue was relieved that her flavours were the correct temperature of spice for her taste buds.

  • Amanda’s Chasing Grain bows

Sadly, Amanda’s bread was overbaked, and both Leith and Hollywood thought she should have scattered her toppings. Hopefully, Amanda can impress Hollywood in the technical?

  • Giuseppe’s home for home

With bread week being Hollywood’s domain in the competition, it was only fitting that we viewers saw the first Hollywood Handshake of the series. And for Giuseppe, his Italian breakfast flavoured Focaccia was the bake that led him straight to that.

Well done, Giuseppe!

The Tricky, Sticky Technical:

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

As Lucas and Fielding welcomed the bakers back into the tent, it was time for this week’s technical challenge. All kept secret by the dreaded gingham.

With week three being bread week, this week’s technical challenge was set by Hollywood, and he wanted the bakers to make Ciabatta sticks filled with cheese and olives and the side dressing of Greek tzatziki.

For this week, a helpful but not so helpful piece of advice, Hollywood told the bakers that this challenge was a complex recipe. He was advising them to read it carefully and be mindful about how they fill their ciabatta sticks.

With two hours to bake, the judges left the tent, and the technical began…

For us viewers, we can see exactly what the judges are looking for, which isn’t the case for the bakers.

Hollywood wanted all the baker’s ciabattas to be the same size and a consistent lightly browned finish with the airtightly inside the bread to achieve a crisp tear… Known as the ciabatta rip.

Outside the judges’ eye, Giuseppe, the first hand-shaken baker of the series, is left confused as he hasn’t made this type of bread before.

Likewise, baker George was on the same boat, yet he has experience making tzatziki with his Greek background.

“If I get this wrong, I’ll never be allowed to step foot in Cyprus again!”

Halfway into the challenge, the tremors of the technical became too much for Maggi as she had forgotten to put her onions in before she began to prove the bread. With the judges being particularly strict about sizes, stressing the bakers had to have even ciabattas. Lucas told Maggi how this might be an issue if some sticks were not even with the rest.

But the feeling was mutual in the tent as baker Rochica began to struggle with the timings of her bake, with her ciabatta sticks slowly getting flatter and flatter as her cheese started to melt out of the dough. Her technical started to look like deflated dough.

With seconds remaining, baker Lizzie announced she was ‘so over bread week’ and with that, the technical was over.

Judgement time:  As Hollywood and Leith slowly made their way through judging the contestant’s ciabatta sticks. It was baker Rochica that didn’t make the grade this week, as she failed to have cooked and well-shaped ciabatta. She had clearly gone massively wrong when reading the recipe.

With bread being a solid point for Giuseppe, his sticks won the blind bake, as they had both good colour and a good taste all the way through.

A Spectacular Showstopper:

Photo by Oriol Portell on Unsplash

As a new day begins within the tent. Both the judges and presenters take the time to reflect on bread week so far. Lucas made note that star baker Jürgen might have hit a little bit of trouble in bread week. Yet Hollywood sees bakers Maggi and Rochica being the ones that need to prove they can stay in the competition another week as they both go into the showstopper.

For bread week’s showstopper challenge, the bakers were asked to create a themed display of milk bread.

The ten remaining bakers were instructed to make their bread three-dimensional, light and tender, and sweet in flavour.

Being a new recipe for a showstopper, Leith was excited for the challenge as it was infrequent the bakers had used milk bread within the tent.

This showstopper entitled the bakers to make multiply doughs that were to be of different shapes and tastes, showing the judges they can bake well under pressure and master the skill of the painful proving.

The tent was filled with all kinds of displays, in hopes, it would show off the bakers’ individual skills for the final time this week:

•With a trip to the ocean by bakers Maggi, Amanda and Freya.

•Food inspired displays with a roast by Crystelle and a Tudor banquet by Lizzie.

•Food baskets filled with fruit and veg by Giuseppe and Chigs.

•Jürgen presenting a baby to the judges 

•George was leaping over the wild side with a panda and Rochica flying high with a bird’s nest theme.

With milk bread using mainly milk instead of water to make up its dough, Lizzie opted for condensed milk to add an extra level of sweetness into her bake.

As time was ticking, we started to see each of the bakers displays come to life within the tent.

So far in the competition, construction has either been the make or break for some bakers’ showstoppers. *like last week with Amanda’s rocking horse.

Like every episode, it wouldn’t be bake off if we didn’t have their tense bit of music when the bakers have seconds remaining till judgement as the baker’s bread displays come together. The bakers rush to get finished to present their bakes after a tense four hours.

As the showstopper ends, Giuseppe says: “everyone’s bakes are just so stunning!”

As the judges came face to face with baker’s bread displays for the first time, Hollywood was highly impressed with the baker’s designs.

For baker Chigs, Hollywood felt that his bake was made very well, with a light, fluffy texture. Both the judges felt like his design was simple but very effective.

However, bread week was not a fan favourite for Maggi and Rochica who’s bread displays were under proved and lacked flavours. For four hours within the tent, their displays got criticised for looking too rough and ready, especially when the standards were set so high by other bakers. 

For Amanda and Giuseppe, Hollywood congratulated them as their bread was full of flavour and very effective in how they looked.

Both the judges felt there are many of the bakers that are sitting on middle ground.

Tough Goodbyes:

With each baker completing the signature, technical, and now the showstopper, it was time to say goodbye. A challenge that gets harder for Fielding and Lucas each week. With this Lucas mentioned how week three is hard as the bakers are starting to get to know each other.

This week, awarding star baker was the task of Fielding. With his Italian twist and expert taste and bake of bread, Giuseppe became star baker of bread week.

Sadly, Lucas got the more challenging job of saying the tough goodbye to one of the ten bakers. With her lack of flavours and under proved batches of bread, it was time for baker Rochica to leave the tent.

Rochica said, “It is really sad to leave, but not everyone gets to bake in the bake-off tent. I am proud of where I have got to, and I’m just going to keep baking.”

For the well-deserved star baker, Giuseppe is unbelievably proud of his achievement, especially winning star baker in bread week and securing the first Hollywood handshake.

Next Week: It’s dessert week. Who will stand their ground in the tent, and who will see their hopes slip away…

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