The Great British Baking Show

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Bread

Welcome back to our second recap of the most British of baking competitions… at least of the ones that are currently being shown on PBS that is. Before we head into the tent, let’s review last week’s results.

To recap, Robert was named Star Baker for his strong showing in both the signature and showstopper bakes as well as taking first for his heavenly angel food cake in the technical challenge. Toby, on the other hand, had a less than stellar debut. After coming in last with his salty angel food pottery blob and, being hobbled with injuries and incompetence, he produced a dry, disappointing chocolate cake. Toby, therefore, was sent packing without delay.

This time around there was less crying, fewer totally botched bakes (except perhaps when Sue put her elbow down on one of Howard’s waiting muffins) and a negligible amount bleeding. Overall the first week’s jitters had noticeably dissipated and our competitors seemed ready to show off their baking expertise.

‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Cakes

Before I officially launch this of new string of recaps with Sue and Mel’s famous battle cry, “On your marks, get set, bake!” please let me clarify something about the sequencing of the series. Last year, PBS aired their first season of The Great British Baking Show; however, it was actually the fifth and most recent series of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. This year one might assume that we would be seeing the current series which is a little less than halfway through its run in the UK at the present time. Instead, PBS is going backwards to the fourth series of this British cooking competition and calling it Season Two. Got that?

Regardless of the particulars, this program is beloved here and in its homeland for several reasons. It’s addictive, entertaining and a civilized reality competition show. So no matter the order in which the seasons are broadcast, it’s going to be a delicious and occasionally tension-filled ride.

Now let’s get down to the business at hand for this season. Thirteen bakers have been selected out of over 10,000 applicants to take on the challenges set forth by our formidable judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. (Despite the unlikely nature of the monikers, both go by their given names.) Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are back in their capacity as comic relief, cheerleaders and comfort counselors.

I don’t have the time or space to introduce each contestant since for the first couple of weeks of the competition there will be a few standouts and a small number who will barely be around long enough for us to get their names straight. For now we’ll have to let this new crowd’s bakes speak for them.

'The Great British Baking Show' Returns to PBS This Fall!

Get excited, America – it’s time to start baking again! Another season of The Great British Bake Offor The Great British Baking Show, as it’s known here in the US - will kick off on Sunday, September 6.

For our lucky friends in the UK the latest season of Bake Off actually got under way last week. It’s technically their sixth season – the one we aired earlier this year was their fifth. However, you should know that the season PBS stations are about to air is not this latest effort – it’s definitely a bit confusing, but because since we’ve only aired a season of the cooking competition thus far, basically everything is new to us. Hence, it’s a new season! But, not the newest season, if that makes sense. (It just means we have more to get through in the end, is how I’m looking at it.)

Anyway, so here’s the deal: PBS will be broadcasting what aired as the fourth season of Bake Off in England– and calling it “Season 2” here in the States. Feeling confused? I hear you. But, luckily, we’re Anglophiles, so we’re used to the occasionally strange labeling tactics that get used when programs cross the pond. (Looking at you: Inspector Lewis and Foyle’s War.)

What I’ll Be Watching on Super Bowl Sunday: ‘The Great British Baking Show’

While many Americans are excited about the imminent Super Bowl extravaganza, I dare to suggest that not all of us plan to partake in the annual football classic. In fact, I have an alternative competition that just might have you on the edge of your seat rather than asleep in your recliner (if like me, the background drone of football games tend to lull you into a stupor, that is).

PBS’ latest BBC hit acquisition The Great British Baking Show, a program that pits twelve amateur British bakers against one another for a series of culinary challenges, has become a topic of Monday morning water cooler conversation for many Yanks. I propose it could well be the perfect viewing option for those looking for a compelling championship level event without all the big sweaty men. Well, there was that one episode where it was really hot in the bake-off tent, but I digress.

The following is my argument for watching The Great British Baking Show instead of the Super Bowl…

British Reality Hit ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Comes to PBS This Winter

The Great British Bake Off – the most watched show of the year in the UK and one of the most successful cooking competitions of all time – is finally coming to America this winter on PBS stations nationwide.

Re-titled The Great British Baking Show for US audiences, PBS will screen the recent fifth series of the popular baking competition, which will teach us all about “soggy bottoms”, a “good wobble” and the surprise horrors hidden in the seemingly mundane task of waiting for pastry dough to rise.

So, how does this show work? Let the official press release explain: Renowned British bakers Mary Berry, the U.K.’s “doyenne of baking” and a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, one of Britain’s top artisan bakers, serve as the series’ judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country’s best amateur bakers by testing their competitors’ skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts of all kinds, ultimately crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.

The Great British Baking Show features 12 passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be the U.K.’s best. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the competitors — young and old, from diverse backgrounds across Britain — as they work to prove their baking prowess. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. PBS will present the BBC’s recent fifth season of the series, which received both critical and audience acclaim for its quick pace, lively comedic tone and competitor diversity.

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