It was Bread Week in the Bake Off tent and Mills & Boon’s own Grace Thiele is here to round up the action.
Well helloooo Bake Off lovers! Are you sitting comfortably? (Or, quite possibly, stood up on a train, uncomfortably squished between a door and someone who smells like cats?) Then I’ll begin!
On a side note, this week our leading fashionista has emerged. Candice’s lipstick has been overtaken in the style stakes. News flash: this season, colour co-ordinating with the landscape is in!
Now, to my mind, chocolate loaves, this week’s Signature, are just a shortcut to a Nutella sandwich. However, it was apparently not so simple. I think this one was a bit overly difficult… everyone’s seemed to be underbaked. More time needed, perhaps?!
(Looks anxiously up at the sky, waiting for the force of Paul Hollywood’s wrath to smite me at my desk.)
Having said that, Candice, when your cake comes out of the oven still bubbling, it might possibly be a bit raw?
No? Perhaps Shakespeare really meant
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and choc loaf bubble…
(Cracking baker, Shakespeare. You wouldn’t believe the size of his loaves.)
My clear favourite chocolate loaf was Tom’s! Paul Hollywood, be gone – there’s nothing wrong with a load of Chelsea buns stuck together! Lots of any good thing all stuck together is wonderful!
Except book pages. Obviously.
Next up was Dampfnudel! Cue lots of opportunities for Mel and Sue to speak in German accents. Try saying Dampfnudel in a German accent, loudly, without smiling. Actually, try shouting it. Especially if you’re in the office. Or, even better, put on white tie, go to your local pub and start singing it…
Then challenge whoever’s next to you to divide 900 by 12 while you’re singing about Dampfnudel in a German accent at the top of your voice…
Finally, get them to identify a cooked Dampfnudel through what can only be described as a thick fog.
What’s with things bubbling this week?! I’d even call this a froth.
No food should ever, to my mind, froth.
Or, for that matter, need scraping off a pan before eating. Candice’s fourth place in this challenge was, apparently, due to it being edible. I repeat: it was edible. At what point did this become a mark of success in a baking competition?!?! I think it highly unlikely that these will be appearing on British dinner tables any time soon.
On the other hand, Val rose like a phoenix to first place in this round!!! YAY!!!! (Although please, Val, stick to herby dumplings in beef stews. Yummmmmm. Sorry, people of Germany.)
Finally, we had the showstopper: a savoury plaited centrepiece! Emphasis on savoury. Finally, bread that actually tastes like bread! What could possibly go wrong?!
Val’s ability to remember the number of animals that went into the Arc, for one thing…
Now, no rude jokes. No innuendos. Let’s temporarily forget that this is a Mills & Boon blog, and pretend that Tom’s bake looked anything like a hammer. Or a letter T. (Insert carefully concealed snigger and raised eyebrow.)
My favourite of these, however, was Kate’s Corn Maiden, a beer-flavoured (yum) rye bread with goats’ cheese (yum) and onion (yum, but only with cheese!) focaccia, and spelt ears of corn filled with cheddar. YUUUUMMMM!!! Literally, perfection. Who needs sandwiches? Just have a whole one of these for lunch!!
I particularly appreciated Michael’s approach to this round: 90% proof Cyprian alcohol that burns away all sense of taste.
However good (and I thought it looked quite delicious!) Michael’s bake may have appeared to be, it was apparently rather lacking in flavour, texture and shape. Hmmmm.
Sadly, this spelled the end for Michael’s time in the tent. Tom, to everyone’s surprise, mostly his own, was star baker. Who knew that a giant hammer (cough) would be so popular with Paul and Mary?!
Next week (and I cannot possibly convey my excitement about this) is BATTER. Which apparently means Yorkshire puddings, pancakes and churros. I’m literally drooling. Bring on the gravy.