The Great British Bake Off: Who Knew Bread Could Do That?

11855650_882563871827271_6234362288869572328_nPreviously on The Great British Bake Off: Marie experienced a spectacular fall, tumbling from Star Baker to second person to go home, while Ian rocked biscuit week.

Bread week! One of my favourites! The Bakewells head to the tent to make two free-form quick breads of any flavour. Paul explains that quick breads use no yeast, so you need to use bicarb and/or baking powder.

Flora is doing rye, hazelnut, and fig breads, which sound like they could be nice, though that rye can be tricky to deal with. Mary notes that it often makes a fairly dense bread.

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The Great British Bake Off: Are You Trying to Get a Rise Out of Me?

gbbo-bread-rollsPreviously on The Great British Bake Off: The Bakewells built some truly amazing 3-D biscuit scenes, and Enwezor’s Bake Off journey came to an end.

Bread week, everybody! This is so squarely in my wheelhouse you can just go ahead and call me pilot. I make bread every week, at least once, so I love bread week on the GBBO.

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The Great British Bakeoff: Shut UP, Ruby!

Kimberleys-toadstool-butternut-squash-spiced-cakePreviously on The Great British Bakeoff: Frances’s fancy work won her star baker, while Glenn reached the end of the line and earned Paul’s derision for his unconventional puff pastry making technique.

It’s the semifinals, folks, and unlike last year, it’s all ladies. They arrive at the tent and suit up, ready to begin their baking weekend. These people must all be sooooo sick of pastry and desserts once the whole thing’s over.

Their first challenge is to make a loaf using unusual flour: chestnut, spelt, whatever, as long as it’s not wheat. Off they go. Paul tells us that every flour has a different gluten level, which can affect anything—rise, flavor, texture. Most of them are using spelt flour. I love spelt flour, but it has a weak gluten structure, so you have to be ready for that. Frances is making a tear-and-share loaf made to look like a bouquet of flowers, decorated with honeycomb and bees. Ruby’s doing a mango and nigella seed spelt cob. Mmmm, sounds nice. She interviews that she’s bettered her stress management over the past few weeks.

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Great British Bakeoff: Hot Buns!

Howards-peach-bunsPreviously on the Great British Bakeoff: It was biscuit week, with the Bakewells producing traybakes, tuiles, and cookie towers. Christine shone with a Bavarian clock made from shortbread, while Rob was sent on home.

Sue and Mel run down the immense amount of food they’ve already consumed, which is a bit mean to those of us at home. Now I want cake. Dammit.

In fake snooty accents, Mel and Sue tell us that the BBC has forbidden them from making puns about buns. Probably more because such puns were kind of crap. I’ll just leave you with that one.

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The Great British Bakeoff: Bread

hi resPreviously on The Great British Bakeoff: Toby crashed and burned fairly spectacularly, Ruby nearly had a breakdown, crème curdled, we remembered that salt is not, in fact, sugar, and Rob was the standout.

Bread day! This makes me happy because I am a very regular, longtime bread baker myself, so I feel like I’m actually on pretty familiar ground. Bread is Paul Hollywood’s strongest suit as well, and he tends to be pretty hard on the bakers on bread day. And it’s only the second week. Ooof.

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Wild Garlic and Goat Cheese Muffins

A few weeks ago, our favourite veggie stall at the farmer’s market started selling wild garlic leaves in bags. I’d never tried wild garlic before, but we gave it a go out of curiosity and immediately started kicking ourselves for not seeking it out earlier. It’s fantastic, and versatile, great straight-up sauteed, like any other green, or torn up into a salad or stirred into … Continue reading Wild Garlic and Goat Cheese Muffins

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a-penny, two a-penny
Hot cross buns!

It’s Easter, which means hot cross buns have been everywhere for at least the last month and a half. Traditionally eaten throughout Lent, these sweet, fruit-filled buns are a special tea-time treat, especially if you give them a quick warm in the oven or toast them up and slather them up with butter. Although there are, apparently, good ones you can get in the shops, as is typically the case, homemade is exceptionally delicious.

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