Boy am I glad that week 2 of the Bake Off is over! Bread week was a tough one for me and some of the other bakers, probably because we all wanted to do so well and impress Paul. In my case, I think I let the pressure of the tent get to me a little too much that week and it threw me off balance.
The Signature Challenge this week was to make 36 breadsticks of any flavour, but they needed to be consistent in bake and size, each needing to be over 10 inches in length. Having never made breadsticks before this was an interesting challenge to do and one I enjoyed. All in all, I had good comments; the only negative was that my breadsticks were bendy. What can I say? Nothing wrong with a bendy breadstick…shows it has a bit of character! Paul and Mary liked my Fennel and Chilli flavours and most importantly my breadsticks snapped. Mission accomplished!
The Technical Challenge was a different story. We were presented with English Muffins, something that I’d made once before and failed miserably then too! The trouble with me and the technical bakes so far is that I think I know best, and don’t follow what is written down. My mistake was not rolling out the dough before cutting it out, I instead flattened the dough out with my hands which gave me an irregular shape, hence leading to me having 2 smaller muffins in the batch, or the runts of the batch! Oh, and they were under baked! 11/12 it was for me in the technical, so I wasn’t at the very bottom but still in the danger zone. The thought of possibly having to leave the contest then entered my head, especially as Paul and Mary could get rid of 2 bakers at any time….then I had a little cry, had a good chat with my husband and mother who told me to get a grip and go into the showstopper all guns blazing.
My perfect batch of muffins that were enjoyed whilst watching Bread week on #gbbo
The final challenge for the weekend was to make a Decorative Shaped Loaf. The loaf could be sweet or savoury; using any flours we wanted and needed to be shaped in some way. I decided to make a Christmas Wreath, made from a blend of wholemeal and white flours and flavoured with Sultanas, Cinnamon and Honey. The wreath was made by plaiting the dough then shaping it into a wreath, which was then decorated with edible decorative dough made from rye flour. The decorations were some poinsettias, holly leaves and a bow. In hindsight, I should have made the loaf smaller then it may not have stuck to the bloody tray!! The judges liked how it looked and tasted, but unfortunately for me it was under baked…if it hadn’t stuck to the tray, my intention was to put it back into the oven for a further 10 minutes then it may not have been under baked, but we’ll never know!!
Anyway – the good news is that I’m through to next week…Woo-Hoo! Next week’s challenges are all to do with Desserts; including trifle, floating islands as the technical and Petit Fours for the showstopper challenge…it’s going to be another good one!