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Great British Bake Off 2016: Week 3

Praising the oven, the proving drawer and crossing their fingers as well as their plaits, this week was all about avoiding raw dough… it’s Bread Week!

This week’s Bake Off was all about firsts. The first chocolate bread challenge, the first bread technical where the oven was not used at all, and the first week that the majority of bakers were in the running for leaving the show after the first challenge! As well as a lot of raw dough, this week also saw some amazing plaited bread and a special bread helmet… but we’ll come back to that later. And, of course, there was plenty of opportunity for innuendo. Here’s our review of The Great British Bake Off 2016 Week 3…

The Signature Challenge

Is that too much filling Jane?

Kicking things of with chocolate loaves, the bakers had the choice of type of chocolate (cocoa powder or the real thing) and the type of bread. But the range of choice available in this challenge seemed to be the downfall of many of them. Balancing the amount of filling with the limited time they had was tricky, and there was a list of bakers who served Mary and Paul something less than cooked. Candice, Jane, Val, Selasi… they all tried to make a bread that was too big, or had too much filling and just didn’t have long enough to cook it through.

Rav opted for a smaller bread, which impressed Mary and Paul cooking all the way through and tasting great, whilst Tom made a Chelsea Bun style bread that became one loaf whilst baking and was commended by Mary for choosing a recipe that would make a wide, shallow bread – i.e. actually managing to cook something in the time! Andrew surprised Paul with the admission that his classic Irish halloween bread, Barmbrack, only needs one prove… he then proved(couldn’t resist!) Paul wrong as it passed Paul’s prod as well as taste test.

The Technical Challenge

Candice isn’t sure about her buns

Steam baking was on the cards for the next challenge, as Paul set the task of making 12 of the German bundampfnudel. First the bakers had to make a dough without any instructions on how, whether to knead it or how long to prove it for. Then they had to tackle cooking them, guessing when the dampfnudel were done without opening the lid and letting all the steam escape! Definitely a technical challenge that tested our bakers, we lovedKate’s blasé positivity: ‘what ever happens, these will be the best dampfnudel I’ve ever made!’

Passable versions of this steaming challenge were made by Tom who came fourth, Candice who took third, Andrew who took second and Val, who used her experience making dumplings, to take the top spot. Although Paul didn’t fail to point out that they were the best of the group, but still nothing like his. Unfortunately, Rav did not continue his success from the first challenge, as his dampfnudel were so raw Paul actually picked one up and rolled it back into a dough ball ready for baking! Unsurprisingly, Rav came last this time.

The Showstopper Challenge

Val’s Noah’s Ark bread didn’t quite work out as planned

In the final challenge of the week, the bakers had to create a savoury plaited centrepiece usingthree types of flour. Some went for impressive bread structures, others for more classic large loaves and Val attempted to make Noah’s ark… but with singular animals rather than the expected two by two! After the failures of the previous two rounds stillrawin everyone’s minds (too much?), the bakers focused on having enough time to cook their breads all the way through.

Most of the bakers managed to pull it back, but a few struggled. Val’s large structure and her single elephant was mostly raw, whilst Candice aced her twisted loaf but her plaited top loaf completely fell apart. Unfortunately, it was the youngest baker, Michael that it went really wrong for. He struggled with his plaiting and his bread wasn’t cooked through.Ultimately, it was Michaeld that left the show this week.

Tom was awarded Star Baker this week!

On a happier note, Kate impressed the judges with her corn dolly loaf which included intricately detailed plaited pieces. Andrew created an impressive bread basket, which Paul crowned him with on the return to his bench. But it was Tom who took Star Baker with his Thor’s hammer bread – one of the dough’s even included seaweed! Congratulations Tom!

Catch up with the rest of this series, read interviews with previous winners and try out some recipes – we love The Great British Bake Off!

Images © Love Productions – Photographer: Tom Graham