It’s all about the #soggybottoms

Sue Perkins, co-presenter on BBC Two's The Great British Bake Off has popularised the above phrase, which spread like wildfire as a topic of discussion on Twitter last night, during the show’s grand finale.

Samantha Edwards Inside View BlogI’m sure amateur bakers are now whipping up a batch of fondant fancies or attempting to construct a gingerbread colosseum to mourn the demise of series three. However, they could be filling in an application form for series four of the show as its producers are straight back on the hunt for their next GBBO champ.

As a word of warning for those looking to apply, one thing that emerged from observing last night’s tweets from those working within the industry was a call for a wider baking repertoire to be included in the show’s future format.

Peter Cook (@Pricesthebakers) tweeted British Baker saying the show gives inspiration but ‘kneads’ more bread – excuse the pun. While GBBO series one winner Edd Kimber (@TheBoyWhoBakes) conversed with patissier Will Torrent (@willtorrent) about the final ‘showstopper’ challenge – a personalised chiffon cake – and whether it was as challenging as it had been in previous years.

These are all personal opinions admittedly, but without overlooking what the bakery contestants have achieved on the show, I would tend to agree with the above.

Of course the contestants have been slogging away and conjured up an array of delectable products. But it was disappointing to see that bread featured in a small portion of the series, while cakes and sweeter treats dominated airtime – something I believe is not reflective of the skill of those in the bakery sector.

From visiting a number of companies over the past year now in my role at British Baker, from artisanal establishments to manufacturing firms, it seems bread remains the mainstay of a baker’s offering.

And while GBBO’s eight-stranded plaited loaf showed off the complexity behind some bakery designs, breads continue to evolve to suit the consumer’s needs. For example, dietary requirements are just one area where bakers are trying to innovate, with low-GI options available, chia bread now coming to the fore, and the industry continuing to lower salt levels without compromising on taste.

Maybe the show’s producers will review areas like this for its future series, maybe they won’t. It might need another revolution from the industry, although I’m sure not in the same fashion as the pasty tax demo back in May, with bakers holding placards outside Mary and Paul’s judging tent.

But just maybe those of you who have downloaded the application form for next year’s GBBO will do one thing – take a visit to your local craft baker. See what breads they have behind the counter, what types of flour and ingredients they are using and if customers are asking for anything in particular.

It could be that edge that sees you through being crowned king or queen of the bakers.

Read British Baker’s exclusive interview with John Whaite, winner of The Great British Bake Off series three, by clicking here.

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