It’s bread week on Bake Off and there’s not a gluten-free loaf in sight! I am ecstatic. There is, however, a rather phallic-looking snail, an adorable baby dragon and a wise old bread owl.
To be honest, were it not for the incredible bread sculptures in the showstopper, it would have been a rather dull episode. Up until that point, I was bored and uninterested. After all, watching people make teacakes and cottage loaves is dull.
Paul, obviously, disagrees, declaring this week the “best bread week ever”. What was he watching? Has he forgotten the other Paul’s bread lion of 2015 so quickly?
There was one good part about the teacake challenge – watching Steven mess it up. He has become a bit smug over the last two weeks, having been named star baker on both occasions. It’s time someone knocks him off his perch. His flat teacakes certainly helped with this.
Paul also seems to have taken a dislike to teacakes – at least that’s the impression he gave by aggressively prodding each one to see if they were baked properly.
On to the technical and there was more prodding, this time with a floured finger, to give the cottage loaf its shape and stability. Kate found out the hard way what happens when you neglect this step. Stacey, meanwhile, did everything to perfection and rightly came first in this challenge.
Also, a quick shout out to the use of the phrase “PruePaul’s Drag Race”! The internet has been going crazy for this pun, and for those of you not in the know, it’s based on the greatest reality TV show ever to grace our screens – RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a fierce and fabulous competition in which drag queens battle it out with costume, singing, acting and comedy challenges to become America’s next top drag queen. Watch it. Now. But I digress.
Throughout the showstopper, all I could think about was bread. I want it all – focaccia, rye, breadsticks… but not the squid ink. Never the squid ink. The resulting two octopi made with the squid ink bread were terrifying. Luckily, James’ bread owl and Yan’s baby dragon offered some comfort… but not as much as Julia’s suggestive snail under a mushroom. Paul – and, I suspect, everyone at home – literally had to calm himself because he found it so funny. But a good rise and a bit of humour was enough to clinch Julia the star baker badge, and deservedly so.
That was despite a late surge from Steven and his handbag, which was so good Paul used phrases such as “unbelievable” and “ridiculous”, prompting him to sit down in the place of the contestant. Steven won’t win, though. Let’s not forget Richard Burr, the loveable builder from the 2014 series with a pencil permanently behind his ear, who secured star baker five times, but was not crowned the series champion. He totally should have been, though. Three years on and I’m still not over this.
Back to 2017 and it was beloved Flo (pictured) who was given her marching orders. She’d gone as far as she could go in this competition, but it’s still heartbreaking to know she won’t be gracing our screens any more. Can’t she just stay on and offer the others words of encouragement? The tent would definitely be a better place for it.
Here’s my predictions based on this week’s episode:
Most likely to win: Julia
Who should have been sent home: Sadly, Flo
Most fun to watch: Stacey
Quote of the week: “The only thing that could beat that is a gluten-intolerant unicorn” – Noel