Welcome to the Eater round-up of Great British Bake Off 2019, as Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding return to Channel 4 with the 10th series of cakes, puddings, breads, and inevitable recourse to terrible baking puns.
After cake week kicked off GBBO 2019, and Great British Bake Off 2019 Episode 2 tackled biscuits for biscuit week, bread week brought in tear-and-share loaves, baps, and a lot of scoring. Cutaways were rife, many things were not conducive to scoring, and the whole thing was marred by terrible, terrible “jokes” about baps. Here, now, is Great British Bake Off 2019 Episode 3, Bread Week, (sort of) as it happened.
01:30: Let’s get this bread. Signature challenge is a tear-and-share filled loaf. Or, in a parallel universe:
Tonight on #gbbo— Jordan (@lordjord96) September 10, 2019
Michael overbakes a Spelt Hypercube; Amelia draws a Treasury card and now owes £26.60 in Council Tax; and Noel and Sandi perform all of Wagner's epic opera 'Tristan und Isolde', arranged for accordion duet.
02:53: Provisos abound. Has to be yeasted. Bread Impresario of the Week Paul Hollywood says bakers should keep it simple. Henry immediately adds activated charcoal to make a checkerboard. Early front-runner for Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week, but hold fire. Michelle is using seaweed. Seaweed butter is all over the place — Stephen Harris’s The Sportsman in Kent, 10 Heddon Street’s pasta, Eater London editor Adam Coghlan’s bin — but seaweed bread... Perilla in Stoke Newington got there first Michelle.
04:00: Michael is making a Kerala-inspired loaf; Rosie is making a chilli and manchego number. There’s yeast everywhere, yeast, yeast, yeast, yeast
05:22: Phil is making focaccia. Now, it’s proving time, the ultimate angst-inducing process of the series. Leaving a volatile mixture of carbohydrates, yeasts, and gases alone in a precisely heated drawer for the time it needs without poking, prodding, or jabbing? Nah mate.
06:00: Steph is doing a sun-dried tomato and pesto loaf. It’s throwback Thursday, not Tuesday Steph. Priya is making a jalapeno version. Amelia is mixing chorizo, harissa, and garlic. Noel Fielding compares Paul Hollywood’s chest hair to baguette, for reasons unknown to the watching, now weeping world. Meanwhile, a big shout:
I’m not really a fan of bread so some of these recipes look so gross #GBBO— Matthew (@_MattThomas91) September 10, 2019
Matthew ... Are you ok, hun?
08:30: Alice is making a sweet dough tear-and-share, in a sort of Willy Wonka-esque revolt against dentist parents. David, previously tagged as a squash-in-cake-instead-of-butter health nut, is making cinnamon rolls??? He’s also ...
10:22: AS IS HELENA. The first Don’t Bring a Knife to a Bun Fight of the series, and, indeed, all of time.
12:00: Henry continues his fondness for extremely idiosyncratic pronouncements of joy with “I am borderline thrilled.” He is also the first Can’t Let My Volatile Dough Prove Without Peeking candidate of the week. Doughs are coming out of proving drawers. Everything feels a bit too lawful good, tbh:
14:00: The inevitable baking jitters set in. Phil implores his balls to cook nicely. Amelia has a face off with Michelle over cheese. Helena whips out the thermometer, professional. Everyone’s craning their necks into their bizarrely low ovens like little reverse meerkats. Henry looks to have dodged his possible Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week. Twitter’s more preoccupied by cheese:
16:00: Signature challenge tiers
- Tear and share tier: Rosie, Helena, Michelle, Phil, Michael, Priya
- Tear, don’t share tier: Steph
- Don’t tear, share tier: Amelia
- Don’t tear, don’t share tier: David, Henry
- Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week tier: Did not place
17:40: Michael receives the first feted Hollywood Handshake of the series.
23:11: Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood’s Machiavellian schemes continue, with Paul in the hotseat. It’s burger bap time. Risk of overbaking. Needs to be pale. Doughy, soft. It’s a serious, technical challenge, but also invites a lot of Kneady Sleazy Wheezes from Paul.
25:29: Noel thinks Henry is a wholemeal pita. Meanwhile, On The Internet:
26:00: Purt buns, big baps, Noel rifling through someone’s purse, Henry’s in a tie, Sandi’s got a broken heart on her jumper, about 29 more bap jokes. It’s like being at school, in Paul’s dreams, or both. In comes Conspiracy Theory of the Week:
27:00: Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Quite Obviously Backfire As Soon As It Is Mentioned of the Week finally arrives, as Amelia ditches some of her dough. Surely the baps will be too small! Surely they could be bigger! Surely this challenge is from the 1950s! Paul’s Kneady Sleazy Wheezes are practically asthmatic right now.
29:30: No-one has a god damn clue about how to assemble a burger. Someone suggests skewers. Henry thinks the burger goes first.
36:30: Technical challenge tiers
- This is only a technical challenge because Paul Hollywood is a puerile blue-eyed child tier: Alice, David, Priya, Michelle, Steph, Phil, Rosie, Amelia, Michael, Henry
33:50: Okay, here’s where things are. David and Henry have crushed it. Paul’s crushed Amelia. Phil’s had a mixed couple of rounds. There’s a technical challenge to the technical challenge:
Burgers are not baking!!! I refuse to accept this #gbbo— Elsa Williams (@elsawilliams_) September 10, 2019
AD BREAK: What is this, a cross-over episode?
34:58: It’s decorative showstopper loaf time. Multi-loaf. All the decoration is scoring based. David’s making bread based on tribal masks, which... Umm... Okay. Not sure about that. Henry’s on a herb garden. Noel’s smashing things around like Steve Smith in the Ashes. Can’t Let My Volatile Dough Prove Without Peeking returns as quite literally everyone puts their dough in the warming drawer and then immediately turns into a quivering wreck.
38:17: Rosie is doing a sort of colonial but definitely way less suspect safari; Michael is making a campfire; Helena is doing a full Guillermo del Toro number for the second week in a row. Phil says he has to treat his dough like a lady. Eesh.
42:40: Michelle is emulating her garden at home, while Amelia is doing a bread version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, which basically means she wins the entire series and everyone else can go home right now.
47:12: Henry makes a sort of dinosaur noise. There’s an hour to go. Paul has said the phrase “not conducive to scoring” more times than he’s cheated on... the Scrabble board.
48:01: Showstopper challenge tiers
- Highly effective scoring 10/10 tier: Steph
- Top scoring but not top score 9/10 tier: Rosie
- High credit score 8/10 tier: Phil
- More scoring, less painting 7/10 tier: Priya
- Burst out but redeemed by scoring 6/10 tier: Henry
- All-round ambivalence, mediocre scoring 5/10 tier: Michelle
- I’m borderline scored 4/10 tier: Henry
- Low-scoring 3/10 tier: Helena
- Brexit bread scoring 2/10 tier: Alice
- Have you heard of cultural appropriation buddy, it’s not conducive to scoring 1/10 tier: David
- Britain in the Eurovision song contest scoring 0/10 tier: Amelia
Star baker: Michael, whose signature bake was, it has to be said, the definition of absolute scenes. Steph might feel hard done by, mind.
Going home: Amelia, who got slightly harshly rinsed by Paul for taking her bread out to early and fell victim, as everyone does, to the Foolhardy Manoeuvre That Will Inevitably Backfire As As Soon As It Is Mentioned Of The Week. Still, perhaps it should have been someone else...
Running theme: Paul Hollywood’s under-developed sense of humour.