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‘The Great British Baking Show’ Season 5, Episode 10 Recap: Finals Week

Photo Credit: Courtesy of © Love Productions, worldwide, all media in perpetuity)

First there were twelve, now only a trio of bakers remain as we enter The Great British Baking Show Season 5 finals. 

After Danny, the lone female baker, was eliminated in the tension-filled Patisserie Week semifinal last week, three men have survived to do battle in a tent filled with the musk of testosterone and icing sugar. Brendan, James and John are prepared to bake, but only one can be victorious. 

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Season 5, Episode 9 Recap: Patisserie Semifinal

It seems like just last week we were being introduced to a dozen bright and hopeful bakers as The Great British Baking Show Season 5 began. How can it be that only four contestants now remain? 

This week Brendan, Danny, James and John figuratively headed across The Channel with three goals in mind– 1) to reach miniature signature bake perfection, 2) to achieve flawless technical brilliance and 3) to assemble a showstopping choux pastry creation. Who would make it to the final and who would be sent home just shy of their realizing their baking ambitions? 

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Season 5, Episode 8 Recap: Biscuit Week

James' gingerbread barn showstopper    (Photo Credit: Courtesy of © Love Productions, worldwide, all media in perpetuity)

If the five remaining bakers were expecting The Great British Baking Show's quarterfinal round to be business as usual, they were in for a nasty shock. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry weren’t playing around as they set some monster challenges. This week featured the largest number of signature bakes ever assembled, the hottest technical challenge ever attempted, and the biggest showstoppers ever constructed.

'The Great British Baking Show' Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Sweet Dough Week

Seven bakers returned to face this seventh round of The Great British Baking Show  and its challenges, all, no doubt, with the same question on their minds. Would their culinary creations be good enough to protect them from the forthcoming double elimination promised by Paul and Mary?

As you likely recall from last week’s competition - I mean could you ever un-see all that blood? - John’s food processor accident during the showstopper round led to an unprecedented decision not to send anyone packing. That meant that John, Sarah-Jane and James, who were all on the short list for potential ouster, survived to bake another day. Fortunately, recognition for excellence was not suspended and the experienced, clever, slightly old-fashioned but ever consistent Brendan was named Star Baker for a second time.

So it was with great resolve to make the most of their reprieve that our bakers entered the tent ready to demonstrate what they could accomplish with enriched dough.

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Season 5, Episode 5 Recap: Pie Week

Ryan's Key Lime Pie Showstopper (Photo Credit: Courtesy of © Love Productions, worldwide, all media in perpetuity)

Eight bakers arrived back in The Great British Baking Show marquee to take on the newest trilogy of Berry-Hollywood challenges. (Mel Giedroyc also made a welcome return.) At the half way point of the competition, things were getting serious for Pie Week. Not to be confused, of course, with pi week which celebrates the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Though if you think about it many pies are round… 

But I digress. Our octet of amateur bakers was handed three pie challenges, created for the purpose of separating the upper crust from those who would be eating humble pie.

'The Great British Baking Show' Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: Dessert Week

Nine bakers returned to The Great British Baking Show this week, intent on surviving the vaguely titled “dessert week”. Why this particular competition bears this name is something of a mystery.

Cakes, most tarts and some pies are desserts, after all. In fact, a majority of the challenges on The Great British Baking Show could technicallyfall into the dessert category. I guess it’s not ours to question why, only to witness the pursuit of baking perfection.  And thisw eek the bakers had to be perfect at whipping up torte, crème caramel and meringues. 

'The Great British Baking Show' Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Bread Week

The queen and king of baking, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (Photo Credit: Courtesy of © Love Productions, worldwide, all media in perpetuity)

A man named Paul Hollywood once said, “Understand bread, understand baking.” And in the second round of The Great British Baking Show, all the contestants were willing and “bagel” to demonstrate their bread making skills.

This week eleven bakers tackled the challenges of flavored flatbread, a complicated plaited loaf and a bevy of bagels in hopes of being named Star Baker or, at the very least, avoiding being sent home by Paul and Mary.

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