September 11, 2019 9:51 am Leave your thoughts
Bread roll? In the East Midlands, it’s called a cob. In the West Midlands, it’s a barm or batch. In various bits of the north, it’s a bun. And in Teesside (where I grew up), a large, flat roll is a ‘whopper’. And we had a whopper of a week on GBBO this week!
It’s Bread Week, of course, and Paul has been dressed by the Channel 4 wardrobe team for the occasion, in either:
- a green shirt that eerily matches the colour of his eyes; or
- green contact lenses that eerily match the colour of his shirt.
Either way, it’a triumph – because Bread Week is really All About Paul. Half-man, half-muffin, he surveys the tent, ready to pass judgement on the quick and the dead (of bread). He pokes, prods, pats, bends, tears and sticks his nose right in, manipulating dough in the same way as a superior consultant in a maternity ward handling a baby.
Bread can be all sorts of things, to Paul. It might be: too bland (Henry). Bone-dry (Steph). Over-baked (Helena). Over-proved (Priya). Interesting (David). Or – heaven (Rosie).
For the Signature Challenge, it’s a Tear and Share loaf. Fantastic colours and flavours abound: charcoal, seaweed, black garlic, truffle oil, Welsh cheese. Timing is critical, Paul announces.
Want to try a loaf that’s much more – relaxed? Easy? Non-critical? This recipe here, for the delicious, yet incredibly healthy Grant Loaf, is almost impossible to mess up. No-knead and with only one prove, it produces a wonderfully flavoursome loaf. Admittedly, you can’t tear or share it, mould or sculpt it, but here’s Delia Smith to stick up for it:
‘Although it’s quick and easy, it has a wonderful, wholesome home-made flavour. For those of us who simply don’t have the time for kneading, knocking down and proving, this loaf is an absolute gem and the one that I, personally, make most often’.
Stick that in your pipe, Paul. Here’s the recipe: The Grant Loaf.
And while we’re on the Signature Challenge, let’s take a quick look at homemade pesto. Several of the bakers incorporated this into their bread. Homemade pesto knocks the socks off shop-bought – and if pine-nuts are too expensive (they usually are), you can of course use different ingredients. We’ve got some wonderful alternative recipes for homemade pesto, just right for slathering all over your Grant Loaf.
Shrouded in gingham
The Technical Challenge was, as Noel caressingly announced, for eight floury, soft, white baps. Rising like buttocks (not my words) in the oven, these were the gentlest, most soothing of breads, with the softest of textures. Henry, a boy who is pure bap himself, won easily.
What’s the score?
An impressive five hours were allocated to produce an Impressively Sized Themed Display of Scored Bread. Under the distrustful (shirt-green) eyes of Paul, the bakers pounded their dough into African masks, beetroot and walnut Union Jacks, a compass (non-functioning), flamingos and hummingbirds, bouquets of flowers and campfires with olive stick kindling. One happy day, someone will sculpt a model of Paul himself in bread, and the tent will explode.
Scoring incisions with razor blades like papercuts in skin, the masterpieces took shape. Rosie scored top marks with her African Fauna in a Baked Savannah of Turmeric and Coriander Flora, with Beetroot and Chilli Wheat Stalks. As they say in bakeries in Teesside: would you like that sliced or unsliced?
There was little chance, in reality, of a double-firing this week (we’ve all watched The Apprentice – what’s left to keep our interest after that?). Michael, whose exquisite Keralan-style red loaf earned him a doughy handshake from Paul in the Signature Challenge, was Star Baker.
After mooting a number of clearly ridiculous people to send home, the judges went for the obvious option of Amelia (the only person who hadn’t seen it coming).
So Bread Dread is over. The contestants survived. Paul rolled himself back up in his pitta pocket – and there was plenty left over for the ducks.
Tags: Brazil Nuts, Bread week, GBBO3, grant loaf, Great British Bake Off, organic yeast, Paul Hollywood, pesto, pine nuts, pumpkin seed, seaweed, walnuts, yeast
This post was written by Yzanne