The Great British Bake Off Episode Three: Paul’s Gone All Nasty & What The Heck Is A Dampfnudel?

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[Photo: BBC Pictures]

Hello dear GBBO’ers! Welcome to your weekly round up. In episode three our ten hopefuls fought to prove themselves Star Baker worthy in the notoriously difficult bread week.

The second the timer started for the chocolate bread signature challenge, Paul “the silverback of sourdough” was on the prowl, hunting to shake up our bakers resolve. Rav despairingly questioned his choices after being told his dough was on the small side, while everyone else thwacked and kneaded their infant-sized batches.

Judging time rolled around and after a toss up between allocating precious time for proving or baking, six of our frantic contestants served up raw bread. The chilli in Michael’s loaf left Mary coughing and spluttering and Candice wept tears of shame when her chocolate, salted caramel and pecan brittle brioche collapsed out of the tin.

Rav took a stride out of the shadows with his chocolate, cardamon and hazelnut loaf. Turns out smaller is better when you’re up against the clock. It was thumbs up for Tom’s chocolate, orange and chilli swirl bread, despite it being, in Paul’s words: “a load of Chelsea buns stuck together”.

Next up: dampfnudel, 12 steamed buns to be served with a smooth plumb sauce and vanilla custard. Every contestant, with the exception of Val, winged the hell out of this one. Well, who’s ever been down Greggs and clapped eyes on a dampf-flipping-nudel? “These will always be the best damfnudel I’ve ever made,” joked Kate.

“Don’t be tempted to open when steaming,” Mary warned. A bloodcurdling scream ripped across the nation as Selasi did just that.

The judges munched their way through another disapointing round of raw dough. Rav, Mary and Kate were at the bottom of the table, Benjamina and Selasi were in the middle but it was Val who claimed the number one spot. “I’m absolutely amazed, it’s pure luck that I’m older than everybody else and maybe I’ve just made more dumplings.” Yes Val, your being older is pure luck.

With a large number of the group in trouble, including previous star baker Jane, contestants will have to prove themselves by creating a show-stopping savoury platted centrepiece with three different flours. No mean feat, since each dough will rise at a different rate.

Val made a Noah’s Ark plait accessorised with one elephant, two giraffes and one dove. “One elephant?” asked Mel. “They’ve argued,” explained Val. Selasi baked three different dough objects and instead of using ingredients to join them he told a story. “There not actually related,” remarked Paul.

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[Photo: BBC Pictures]

Jane’s “splendid” efforts kicked the judging off to a great start, Kate’s painstakingly intricate corn doll impressed and Benjamina’s “gorgeous” flavours put her back in the good books. Paul called Val’s arc a “mess”, Mary called it “informal” both agreed it was a good but poorly executed idea.

It was Tom’s reimagining of Thor’s hammer in rye and spelt, flavoured with ale and seaweed that saw him crowned this week’s Star Baker. Finally all those ambitious flavour combinations have paid off. And of course, as is bake off tradition, the Star Baker of bread week has always progressed to the final. Will Tom too? Only time will tell.

[Tom’s winning creation]

Sadly it’s time to bid adieu to our youngest contestant Michel Georgiou. He kneaded to up his game after a wobbly start and though he tried his best, in the end, he couldn’t rise to the challenge.

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[Farewell, Michael. Photo: BBC Pictures]

Next week - a first for Bake Off - it’s batter week.

The Great British Bake Off Episode Two: Carpet Munching, Jug-Grabbing And Multiple Gingerbread Disasters

The Great British Bake Off Episode One: Star Baker Controversy, #Jaffagate And A Whole Lot Of Drizzle