Great British Bake Off Episode 3: bread week

Great British Bake Off Episode 3: bread week
Episode 3 was bread week, so which of the contestants proved themselves and rose to the occasion?

First off was the rye challenge, 12 bread rolls using rye flour, a flour with a relatively low amount of gluten. Diana added treacle to her recipe, while Martha went for an egg wash, which won a knowing look from Paul. Indeed, Ol’ Blue Eyes was on top critical form this week, demonstrating his knowledge of baking techniques.

Norman again left the judges underwhelmed. I’m beginning to feel sorry for him, though his comment “For me, this is very exotic, you know? Pesto…” made me smile. But following his lacklustre biscuits last week, surely it’s only a matter of time before he takes the long walk back to the house.

This week’s technical: ciabatta loaf

On the face of it, it was a simple technical this week, with the contestants following Paul’s recipe. However, Some contestants didn’t heed Paul’s cryptic warning to “be patient”. It was also interesting to hear that ciabatta was created in Italy in response to the popularity of French baguettes. What the programme didn’t say was it was invented as recently as 1982. Arnaldo Cavallari was its creator, and it is him we have to ‘thank’ for the ‘paninification’ of our sandwich shops.

But back to the programme… To use the proving drawer or not? Most did, apart from Kate. Sadly it’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. There then followed much standing around waiting to see who’d crack first and get their dough out of the drawer and start to bake. Considering ciabatta isn’t that hard to make, the results were very disappointing. Using the proving drawer and failure to listen to Paul’s advice resulted in what Paul described as pitta breads – flat, lifeless things missing the huge bubbles that make ciabatta what it is.

Last up was the showstopper – a filled loaf. No one opted for a picnic loaf, instead favouring loaves with ingredients baked into them. Jordan struck out on his own with a mad-sounding fruit-filled brioche, which ended in disaster.

Martha meanwhile went for a big stinky vacherin – not something you’d expect from your average teenager. Many of the other contestants’ efforts exhibited the dreaded soggy bottom. Somehow from all this, Luis is crowned star baker, while it’s mad-as-a-box-of-frogs IT consultant Jordan who leaves the tent – and after that brioche, it’s no wonder.

Finally a sneak peek of next week’s episode: “That’s sort of not acceptable.” From Mary, that sounds very ominous.

Do you think Jordan deserved to get sent packing? Or should Norman, Diana or Richard have gone? Tell us in the comments box below.

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