Sunday is Great British Baking Show day! This is my second year watching and I'm obsessed. The shows selects from amongst its contestants the best amateur baker. There are a ton of messes, a ton of unexpected wonderful things, and overall it is a really fun show to watch.
Things that rock:
The hosts and judges - The show has two judges: cookery writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood, and two hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. There's something to be said for hosts and judges staying the same every week. When they really like something, you can tell the bakers want to fly away in happiness. When they don't like something, they really explain why. You can't hide anything from them, and I think their feedback from each challenge makes them into better bakers (which honestly should be the point of all baking shows!). The hosts are witty and clever, and sometimes even jump in to help lift something or lend a quick hand. They too, just want everyone to do well, and to only go home because they didn't do as well as someone else.
I mean doesn't that sound awesome?!?!?!
The shows format - Each show the bakers get three chances to impress the judges . These three challenges are then each taken into consideration of who goes home, with the last challenge weighted most heavily. The first two are quicker two hour challenges that take place in one day.The third day is the big showpiece challenge. The first and third challenges they get to practice at home and bring recipes and then the second short challenge is the technical challenge where they have to read a recipe with little to no direction. In addition, each episode has a theme. The one I'm watching today is my favorite, pie =) Another favorite of mine is the photos they show of what each baker is going to try to make (see above). Best bonus - no commercials! Thanks PBS.
The bakers - They're so different and unique! You have bakers of all ages, genders and etc. They consistently drop great lines that make you laugh and wish you were there in that tent with them. In between each challenge their interviews make you want to be their friend. Even though I have a favorite or two, I often root for everyone, because they're all so nice. They often help each other and I like that spirit more than letting someone sink. One of my favorite bakers is still in school and does her practicing in her dorm room.
Last seasons final three
True life connection - I love this show because it honestly shows how hard it can be to do the most simple things as a baker. I've also learned so much about pastry outside the US. Last season they had hot water crust and I had never heard of it before. The idea of making a pastry crust which normally needs to be ice cold with hot water blew my mind. I think everything about the show is well done and I need to find a way to try and watch the first four seasons I didn't see!
If you'd like to watch, you can see The Great British Baking Show on PBS at 7pm (central time).
Get ready, set, BAKE!