After ten gruelling weeks, the twelve bakers have been whittled down to the last three and Mary and Paul have lined up their final tests of the series. For a final, the challenges seem simple – iced buns and traditional cakes (the showstopper is still a secret) – but simplicity can be misleading; the judges are after ‘sheer perfection’, as Mary would say, and the simpler the recipe the more important it is to get it right. There isn’t a clear favourite to win this year, and even if there were, it could all change on the day – a mediocre iced bun or insipid cake could spell disaster for an otherwise strong candidate (let’s not forget what happened to Richard with his ‘too simple’ pains au lait in last year’s final). The last three contestants have really earned their place in this final and we are longing to find out who will be crowned the star baker of the whole series.
First the contestants must make an enriched dough for their signature filled iced buns. An enriched dough is one that has had eggs, milk, oil or butter added to enrich the texture and flavour of the finished product. Examples of enriched doughs are brioche, croissants, English muffins, cinnamon buns and doughnuts all of which make delicious treats. Flavours can also be added to enriched doughs for an extra dimension – have a look at Lee Wescott’s Rosemary brioche or Adam Gray’s Warm chocolate doughnuts for inspiration.