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Great British Bake Off: Week 5

Pastry Week returns for another year, with breakfast pastries, shortcrust and filo to challenge the bakers… don’t even mention filling!

Our highlight of The Great British Bake Off this week was watching Mel try to roll out filo pastry on her visit to a North London bakery in this historical section of the episode (she couldn’t quite reach). But back in the tent there was plenty of drama. As always there was a fair share of raw dough, there was short-of-time-flustering and Andrew forgot to turn the oven on! It’s week five and we’re starting to see the separation of the pack, with those who are consistently good versus those who regularly struggle.

The Signature Challenge

Danish Pastries kicked off this week’s challenges, with each of the bakers being asked to make twelve of two types of pastry. Mary and Paul were looking for perfection in the lamination of the pastry, the taste of the filling and the overall presentation. The hot topic of the challenge was how many folds should be done to get the best number of layers. Andrew shook things up a bit with his book folding method, that created four layers each time rather than the typical three, whilst Benjamina shared her formula…

As ever, a few of the bakers fell at the first hurdle. Tom’s breakfast pastries, Granola Spirals and Wheat Foldovers, were completely raw in the middle and not even tasted by Paul and Mary. Val had a similar issue. Benjamina didn’t give her pastries enough time to prove leading to all of the butter escaping the pastry, leaving her with a dry dough. Rav was also criticised by the judges for his dry bake.

At the other end, Andrew was praised for his flavour and lamination but cut his pastries too thin, not giving enough height. Candice’s flavours were better than the lamination on her pastry; she took a risk with savoury Croque Monsieur Kite Pastries which paid off. Jane impressed with her Orange Pain au Raisin and Chocolate and Almond Danish, but didn’t manage to perfect them with some overcooked and some just right. The bakers moved onto the next challenge with all to play for.

The Technical Challenge

Mary Berry’s two Bakewell Tart recipes from

This week’s technical saw controversy on social media as many disagreed with Mary’s fondant icing topping – ironically Mary’s Bakewell Tart recipe on the BBC website from before this series is made with the classic flaked almond top! Finally having a technical challenge where all the bakers knew what they were making was refreshing, but this time the test was timing. Leaving enough time for the tart to cool at the end to be able to add the icing was probably the toughest part… a lesson that Andrew learnt after forgetting to turn on his oven!

After admitting that she makes a Bakewell ever week, Val set us up to expect great things… but sadly didn’t make it and ended up with a soggy bottom. She came a close second to last, just ahead of Rav who cried ‘I’m missing a whole side’ when taking his tart to the gingham alter. Taking the top spots were Selasi in third, Candice in second and Jane in first place.

The Showstopper Challenge

Bitesized Filo Amuse-Bouche were this weeks final challenge. Mary and Paul were looking for one set of sweet and one set of savoury. For this extra thin pastry that’s baked in layers, the real challenge was getting that perfect crunch and beautiful pastry flavour – a task that most leave to the professionals. Adding fillings into the balance adds opportunity for soggy pastry, oversizing everything and difficulties fitting everything into the time.

We were pleased to see Rav up his game and come back with a Chinese style prawn amuse-bouche and sweet samosa that really impressed Mary and Paul, saving him from the danger zone. Jane also impressed by creating cones with her filo pastry. Although too big, they tasted amazing and provided plenty of amusement as she attempted to balance them on a tin…

It was Candice who dazzled the judges this week, with her Sausage, Black Pudding & Apple Rounds in the tricky spherical shape, and her Banoffee Whiskey Cups. She is the first baker of the series to be awarded Star Baker for the second time!

Paul and Mary were disappointed with Tom’s amuse-bouche, but Val had lots of issues with hers. She only presented twelve of the Mince Meat Parcels and her Red Onion and Goats Cheese Tarts weren’t properly cooked. After all of her ups and downs in the bake off tent, it was Val that left this week.

Next up Botanical Week (it’s another new addition!) If you can’t wait that long for more #GBBO, check out more Bake Off content

Images © Love Productions – Photographer: Tom Graham