Great British Bake Blog 2018: Episode Three

Barely two minutes into this week’s Bake Off and I’m giggling like a school girl. Why? Because they’re making buns. And, as we learned last week, it’s impossible for me not to giggle at that word.

The contestants are making 12 tear-and-share Chelsea buns, to be exact. And I want to eat them all. Although I can’t help but think I’ve been served a lot of sub-par Chelsea buns because I didn’t know they were supposed to be super-soft all over, according to Paul Hollywood’s exacting standards.

Most of all I want to eat Antony’s breakfast buns – in theory at least – which are flavoured with boozy caramel sauce, cinnamon peanut butter, pecans and bacon. A healthy start to the day. The judges were less thrilled, proclaiming them to be dry and overbaked, even if the flavours were good.

Dan, meanwhile, secured yet another Hollywood handshake for his “annoyingly perfect” spiced orange buns, while Rahul’s spiced mango and cranberry creations were “baked to perfection”. Even Terry, who has languished at the bottom of the pile for the last two weeks, pulled it out of the bag with tangy citrus treats, despite a minor mishap in the baking process.

On to one of the shortest technical challenges ever – creating eight non-yeasted garlic naan breads. Great, now I want to eat ALL the naan bread. It’s impossible not to get hungry watching this show.

“If nothing else, it’ll be over quickly,” says Dan. That’s one way to look at it. There were mixed reactions to the technical, but Terry seemed noticeably happier as a result of a good first round. Rahul, as usual, seemed terrified and unsure of just about everything he was doing. Clearly he had more of an idea than Kim-Joy who came in 10th place in the technical with “inedible” naans.

Side note: Kim-Joy has really blossomed this week and it’s lovely to see. She’s representing the geeks out there and we love her for it. Plus, I’ll never be over her showstopper (more on that later).

Briony followed Kim-Joy in the technical, coming ninth, followed by Antony, Ruby, Dan, Karen and Rahul. “At least I’m not the worst Indian in the room,” joked Ruby.

Manon secured third, Jon was second and Terry (below) knocked it out of the park, grabbing first place.

Terry’s winning streak was not to last, though, as the bakers were tasked with making a tiered korovai – that’s an Eastern European bread often presented at celebratory occasions such as weddings.

Six of the 10 contestants created wedding korovais. Kim-Joy’s certainly stood out. Why? Because it was for the wedding of Ruffles and Raffles, the cats. Obviously. “Just nestle the cats in various places,” she says, placing felines made from dough on her loaves. “Some of them are grumpy.”

If that weren’t kitsch enough, Ruffles and Raffles were sat under a banner that said “just meowwied”. Words cannot express how much I love this. Even Prue and Paul were impressed, albeit slightly concerned about the morality of the situation. “This is a shotgun wedding isn’t it? There are an awful lot of kittens already,” joked Prue.

Ruby’s wedding korovai flavoured with apricot, almond liqueur and cherries, dedicated to her parents, also impressed - with Paul going so far as to declare it “perfection”.

Rahul (below right) was also showered with compliments for his garden wedding showstopper, complete with intricate decoration. “You’re a little genius, Rahul,” beamed Paul.

Dan also celebrated marriage with his korovai. “Obviously I’ve got two boys on top of mine – this is gay bread,” he said. You could practically hear Jonathan from Queer Eye shouting ‘yas queen’ in response. The flavours weren’t quite as fabulous though, even if it was beautifully baked.

Not all were showstoppers. Antony’s bread was underproved and overbaked. Oh dear. Terry’s, meanwhile, was underproved and underbaked. But his performance over the rest of the weekend meant he was safe from elimination. Unlike Antony (below left).

His leaving interview nearly made me cry though. “I don’t think I’ll stop smiling because this is, for me, the best opportunity ever,” he said through tears. Why must you do this to me?

As did Rahul’s reaction to getting star baker for the second week in a row. Maybe, now, he will have faith in his baking abilities.

Here’s a few titbits based on this week’s episode:

Most likely to win: Dan

Who should have gone home: Antony

Most fun to watch: Kim-Joy

Quote of the week (predictable but funny): “Do you want to see my buns?” – Manon

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