‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: The Final

The day has finally arrived; a culmination of the past nine weeks of baking triumphs and blunders. But before we tuck into the deliciously stress-filled finale of The Great British Baking Show, you can review last week’s semi-final recap here. In fact, if you want to go back and remember how the whole series unfolded, you can check out recaps of every episode this season right here and relive the sweet and savory, the joy and the tears (mostly Ruby’s).

And so the field of 13,000 applicants had finally been whittled down to the three amateur bakers deemed most talented by Paul and Mary. Ruby, Frances and Kimberly faced off for one last trio of challenges In hopes of earning the Baking Show championship title. They had to impress the judges with their technique, flavors and originality – not a walk in the park (or down the aisle) by any means.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: The Semi-Final

On last week’s episode of The Great British Show, our contestants were stretched to their limits without any gluten and had to rise to the occasion without eggs or any other dairy. Youth won out over experience as we bid farewell to Christine and Ruby was awarded yet another jewel for her Star Baker tiara. For a look at the all the alternative baking shenanigans, check out the recap here.

The four remaining bakers who advanced to the semifinal had to pull out all the stops to survive French week. As if deciphering Mel and Sue’s Franglais wasn’t enough, they had to whip up bakes from appetizers to desserts all originating from the land across the Channel.


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Quarter Final

Previously on The Great British Baking Show: Pastry week proved to be one of the most challenging yet. Frances finally achieved Star Baker status with her whimsical and tasty creations while Glenn, maker of big, bold bakes, was sent home for taking a chance on inverted puff pastry. The rest of the flaky details can be found here.

This week Sue proclaimed the tent testosterone free, taking a little dig at Paul in the process. But the fact remains, we had an all-female quarter final and this quintet of bakers had virtually no margin for error. 


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Pastry

Previously on The Great British Baking Show:  The basic facts of last week’s episode are as follows. Howard was sent back home to Yorkshire for alas his hemp loaf and peachy buns didn’t make the grade. Bless him. Ruby, thanks to her solid skills and habit of downplaying her bakes, was named the reigning Star Baker. If you require more detail regarding the events of the recent sweet dough round, the recap can be found here.

But as the field narrows, the pressure builds and with the quarter final fast approaching, this week’s competition couldn’t be a walk in the park.  Paul and Mary ruthlessly escalated the difficulty of each challenge. No more sponge sandwich cakes or custard tarts for our bakers.  In order to advance, they had to up their game and show they had the skill, ingenuity and organization of a professional pastry chef. 


‘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.


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