Now if there’s one thing Bake Off should be proud of, it’s its ability to educate as much as entertain. It may not have the cultural pretentions of its spin off, Crème de la Crème – nobody yet has made a Sâblé Luc Besson or used Pedro Almodavar sherry – but by the end of the programme you’ll be practically fluent in German dough balls and Old Norse nut breads.
Aerobics aficionado Val bounces in to Bread Week with confident gusto – she’s an experienced bread baker, so she says it’s ‘just another week’. Bake Off lesson number one – never say anything like that; you either risk the gleeful malice of the tent gremlins or the gleeful malice of the programme editor.
Paul tells Michael ‘you’re making a right pig’s ear of that’ as he blobs butter onto his chilli, chocolate and chia seed loaf with extra cayenne. Jugs of iced water are on standby.
Andrew’s attempting a chocolate take on a traditional barm brack. It’s simple, a little flat looking and he’s risking the wrath of Paul by adding all his ingredients before one proving. Paul looks like he’s ready to tell him what a huge mistake he’s made. In the end, his flavours are judged to be excellent and Paul says the choice of proving once was probably right. He says it as if he’d have advised him to do that.
Benjamina’s making a chocolate, tahini and almond babka. Paul insists it’s more of a couronne. It’s good to see Benjamina being feistily insistent. Sadly Paul says it tastes like wallpaper paste. Jane’s babka is also judged to be a couronne – though it’s delicious either way.