‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Sweet Dough

At the end of last week’s episode of The Great British Baking Show, Christine was declared Star Baker for her tasty trio of traybake, tuiles and biscuit tower. Robert, on the other hand, was ejected from the tent when his Dalek tower failed to exterminate the competition. If you’d like to refresh your memory, come this way for a full recap.

But even as we mourn the losses and celebrate the triumphs of the previous round, Paul and Mary have devised three more tests of skill and baking ingenuity all to do with sweet dough. Who will emerge victorious and who will face a tearful exit? It’s any “bun’s” guess! Sorry, Sue and Mel already warned us that, according to a new BBC rule, there are to be no puns about buns…


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Biscuits and Traybakes

As you may recall, last week’s installment of The Great British Baking Show ended with Ali departing the competition defeated by a round that was not as easy as pie. Kimberley came out on top as the queen of tarts though she remarked that winning Star Baker didn’t get her an upgrade on her train journey home. All the crusty details from the previous episode can be found here.

However, a new trio of challenges awaits which means no one is safe from elimination or exempt from rising to the heights of Star Baker.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Pies and Tarts

The Great British Baking Show Recap: Pies and TartsAfter last week’s double elimination of Mark and Deborah, our bakers steeled themselves for the trials to come. Would Christine, the reigning Star Baker retain her title or would a new contestant emerge victorious in the impending fourth round? For more details about last week’s competition, you can check out the recap here. Otherwise let’s crack on, shall we?

From Mel’s none-too-subtle pun regarding the Life of Pi(e), we soon learned that this week was all about the pies and tarts. As a novice baker myself and having attempted to make a fruit pie from scratch once, I can attest to the many pitfalls of making a pastry crust. I believe Kimberley summed up all her colleagues’ fears when she commented that her “terror of the soggy bottom had been keeping her up all night.”


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Desserts

The Great British Baking Show Recap: DessertsThis week eleven bakers returned ready to take on whatever baking challenges Paul and Mary set before them. Or were they? Before we tackle all that, let me refresh your memory about last week’s results.

Ruby made an amazing comeback from week one and was chosen Star Baker for her consistently good bread making skills. Lucy, on the other hand, kept things too simple and came in last in the English muffin technical challenge. Unfortunately, she was ejected (albeit gently) from the tent.

Now in week three of the competition, a wide ranging category of bakes simply called desserts was featured. Isn’t cake a dessert after all? Perhaps it’s just a catch-all phrase for any sweet treat that doesn’t fall under a more specific bake like tarts or biscuits. No matter, our contestants had some difficult assignments to tackle if they wished to stay in the running.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Bread

Welcome back to our second recap of the most British of baking competitions… at least of the ones that are currently being shown on PBS that is.  Before we head into the tent, let’s review last week’s results.

To recap, Robert was named Star Baker for his strong showing in both the signature and showstopper bakes as well as taking first for his heavenly angel food cake in the technical challenge. Toby, on the other hand, had a less than stellar debut. After coming in last with his salty angel food pottery blob and, being hobbled with injuries and incompetence, he produced a dry, disappointing chocolate cake. Toby, therefore, was sent packing without delay.

This time around there was less crying, fewer totally botched bakes (except perhaps when Sue put her elbow down on one of Howard’s waiting muffins) and a negligible amount bleeding. Overall the first week’s jitters had noticeably dissipated and our competitors seemed ready to show off their baking expertise.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Cakes

Before I officially launch this of new string of recaps with Sue and Mel’s famous battle cry, “On your marks, get set, bake!” please let me clarify something about the sequencing of the series. Last year, PBS aired their first season of The Great British Baking Show; however, it was actually the fifth and most recent series of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. This year one might assume that we would be seeing the current series which is a little less than halfway through its run in the UK at the present time. Instead, PBS is going backwards to the fourth series of this British cooking competition and calling it Season Two. Got that?

Regardless of the particulars, this program is beloved here and in its homeland for several reasons. It’s addictive, entertaining and a civilized reality competition show. So no matter the order in which the seasons are broadcast, it’s going to be a delicious and occasionally tension-filled ride.

Now let’s get down to the business at hand for this season. Thirteen bakers have been selected out of over 10,000 applicants to take on the challenges set forth by our formidable judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. (Despite the unlikely nature of the monikers, both go by their given names.) Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are back in their capacity as comic relief, cheerleaders and comfort counselors.

I don’t have the time or space to introduce each contestant since for the first couple of weeks of the competition there will be a few standouts and a small number who will barely be around long enough for us to get their names straight. For now we’ll have to let this new crowd’s bakes speak for them.


'The Great British Baking Show' Returns to PBS This Fall!

Get excited, America – it’s time to start baking again! Another season of The Great British Bake Offor The Great British Baking Show, as it’s known here in the US - will kick off on Sunday, September 6.

For our lucky friends in the UK the latest season of Bake Off actually got under way last week. It’s technically their sixth season – the one we aired earlier this year was their fifth. However, you should know that the season PBS stations are about to air is not this latest effort – it’s definitely a bit confusing, but because since we’ve only aired a season of the cooking competition thus far, basically everything is new to us. Hence, it’s a new season! But, not the newest season, if that makes sense. (It just means we have more to get through in the end, is how I’m looking at it.)

Anyway, so here’s the deal: PBS will be broadcasting what aired as the fourth season of Bake Off in England– and calling it “Season 2” here in the States. Feeling confused? I hear you. But, luckily, we’re Anglophiles, so we’re used to the occasionally strange labeling tactics that get used when programs cross the pond. (Looking at you: Inspector Lewis and Foyle’s War.)


What I’ll Be Watching on Super Bowl Sunday: ‘The Great British Baking Show’

While many Americans are excited about the imminent Super Bowl extravaganza, I dare to suggest that not all of us plan to partake in the annual football classic. In fact, I have an alternative competition that just might have you on the edge of your seat rather than asleep in your recliner (if like me, the background drone of football games tend to lull you into a stupor, that is).

PBS’ latest BBC hit acquisition The Great British Baking Show, a program that pits twelve amateur British bakers against one another for a series of culinary challenges, has become a topic of Monday morning water cooler conversation for many Yanks.  I propose it could well be the perfect viewing option for those looking for a compelling championship level event without all the big sweaty men. Well, there was that one episode where it was really hot in the bake-off tent, but I digress.

The following is my argument for watching The Great British Baking Show instead of the Super Bowl…


British Reality Hit ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Comes to PBS This Winter

The Great British Bake Off – the most watched show of the year in the UK and one of the most successful cooking competitions of all time – is finally coming to America this winter on PBS stations nationwide.

Re-titled The Great British Baking Show for US audiences, PBS will screen the recent fifth series of the popular baking competition, which will teach us all about “soggy bottoms”, a “good wobble” and the surprise horrors hidden in the seemingly mundane task of waiting for pastry dough to rise.

So, how does this show work? Let the official press release explain: Renowned British bakers Mary Berry, the U.K.’s “doyenne of baking” and a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, one of Britain’s top artisan bakers, serve as the series’ judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country’s best amateur bakers by testing their competitors’ skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts of all kinds, ultimately crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.

The Great British Baking Show features 12 passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be the U.K.’s best. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the competitors — young and old, from diverse backgrounds across Britain — as they work to prove their baking prowess. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. PBS will present the BBC’s recent fifth season of the series, which received both critical and audience acclaim for its quick pace, lively comedic tone and competitor diversity.  


Get a Behind the Scenes Look at Tom Hiddleston’s Trip Around the ‘Top Gear’ Track

What happens when you mix internet darling Tom Hiddleston with global phenomenon Top Gear? Something awesome, obviously. (We're only just past the second episode, but let's hear it for Series 21, yeah? Applause all around for the celebrity line-up thus far in my book.) 

The Thor and The Hollow Crown star recently appeared as the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car on the mega-popular driving series and did a lap of the Top Gear race track in a 1.6 Tech Line Vauxhall Astra. Sadly, this did not occur in a Loki costume, but I guess we can’t have everything.

There are glasses though, if that’s your thing.

Watch for yourselves below. 


Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington Copyright © 2015 WETA. All Rights Reserved. Terms | Privacy | Guidelines | Photo credits: BBC America