The Best Episodes of The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off sees passionate home bakers take part in an elimination competition to test every aspect of their baking skills. Each week the surviving bakers are put through three challenges in a particular baking discipline, such as cake, pastry, pies, bread, or biscuits. Round One is the Signature Challenge, which contestants will have had a chance to practice. However Round Two, the Technical Challenge, is unknown to them until filming, and they are given identical ingredients and a vague recipe to follow. Finally, the Showstopper Round tests their ability to impress the judges with outstanding workmanship, decoration, and design. Judging the baking are professional baker Paul Hollywood and food writer Mary Berry, who was replaced by restaurateur Prue Leith after the show's move from the BBC to Channel 4.
#1 - The Final
Season 2 - Episode 8
It’s the grand final for the contestants and after seven tough weeks the three finalists face their biggest challenge yet – baking for The Great British Bake Off’s street party. They will be baking for judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, but also friends, family and former Bake Off contestants. Our finalists will reach new height of baking. They will be making a selection of petits fours and puff pastry, a first for The Great British Bake Off. They also be baking mille-feuille, mini Victoria sponges, strawberry and cream meringue nests and miniature strawberry and rhubarb cheesecakes. Who will be crowned as Britain’s best amateur baker on Great British Bake Off 2011? If sonly it could be all of of them…
#2 - Bread
Season 2 - Episode 3
The contestants start this week with the signature bake, a free-form flavoured loaf that produces a variety of interesting results, including a combination of chocolate and onion. Next is the technical challenge - focaccia - that really separates the wheat from the chaff. Finally, a mammoth six-hour hour challenge requires the bakers to create a display bread basket that is filled with 24 bread rolls.
#3 - Patisserie
Season 2 - Episode 7
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins host the semi-final. After seven weeks of gruelling challenges, the four remaining bakers must prove they are worth a place in the final. To begin, the signature challenge requires them to make a baked, layered, mousse cake, and the standards are high as Mary-Anne again attempts something different with a joconde sponge and decor paste. As usual, judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood set the tasks. This week's technical challenge is Paul's favourite sweet treat - iced fingers. Finally, for the showstopper, the bakers have to make a labour-intensive and technically demanding layered or laminated pastry dough to produce a batch of three different types of pastries or croissants. With a place in the final within their grasp, the bakers know they have to deliver their very best to the judging table every time.
#4 - Cake
Season 6 - Episode 1
The 12 new bakers don their aprons and head for the iconic tent for cake week. Starting with cake week, the bakers' first signature challenge is to make a madeira cake. It's a well-loved cake, but which of our bakers will try to impress by reinventing this classic, and who will play safe in a bid to get perfect madeira with its traditional crack? With one challenge out the way, the bakers face their first technical - Mary's frosted walnut cake, a pre-war classic that is as British as they come. Light sponge sandwiched with buttercream and covered with sweet meringue, this technically challenging cake is one of Mary's favourites, and no-one wants to disappoint the queen of baking. Day Two, and the bakers have to go all out to impress with their first show-stopper, the black forest gateau. This retro classic from the 70s has it all - chocolate, cherries and cream. It's ripe for a reinvention, and these 12 bakers are ready and willing. 12 new bakers, 30 new challenges. On your marks, get set... bake!
#5 - Biscuits
Season 2 - Episode 4
The search for Britain's best amateur baker, with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, is now haf-way through. The bakers take on biscuits and these bite-sized, delicate delights prove too much for some. As always starting with the signature bake, the remaining eight must impress legendary cookery writer Mary Berry and artisan baker Paul Hollywood with their interpretation of a classic biscuit. Who will crumble when it comes to judging and whose ginger nuts are too hot to handle? Next up, the technical challenge, where following a Mary Berry recipe is not as simple as it would seem for our bakers, who start feeling the pressure when faced with brandy snaps. Finally, the toughest showstopper challenge yet as they attempt to bake and present a macaroon display that must taste as good as it looks. With five hours on the clock, every second counts. This is the last chance to impress the judges before someone's dream of becoming Britain's best amateur baker is over.
#6 - Tarts
Season 2 - Episode 2
The second round of The Great British Bake Off, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, continues in the search for Britain's best amateur baker. Eleven bakers remain and this time their pastry skills are scrutinised as the bakers tackle tarts. Over two days the bakers will face three increasingly complicated challenges whilst trying to avoid a soggy bottom. Judged by acclaimed master baker Paul Hollywood and legendary cookery writer and baker Mary Berry, the bakers start with a signature bake: a quiche that says something about them. Next is the dreaded technical challenge where they are faced with baking a classic tarte au citron. Finally, our bakers have to deliver in bulk as they are asked to deliver 24 show-stopping sweet miniature tarts. The pressure of pastry proves too much for some. Who will be named Star Baker and whose Bake Off journey will be over?
#7 - Pies
Season 2 - Episode 5
The search for Britain's best amateur baker, with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, reaches the fifth round and everyone is out to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom as the seven remaining bakers face pies. The marquee is soon filled with the delicious aroma of fresh baking as the signature challenge has the bakers doing all they can to impress acclaimed master baker Paul Hollywood and legendary cookery writer and baker Mary Berry with their signature family pie. Topping their pie with either flaky or rough puff pastry, some decide to play it safe whilst others get more experimental. Next is the dreaded technical challenge where for lifelong vegetarian Jason delivering six individual, beautifully baked and seasoned pork pies to the judging table proves problematic. Finally, there is a sweet showstopper challenge in the shape of a meringue pie. The judges' expectations are high with hopes of crisp pastry bases and delicious custard and fruit fillings topped with a perfect meringue. But the pressure of pies proves too much for some. Who will be named Star Baker and who will leave The Great British Bake Off?
#8 - Desserts
Season 2 - Episode 6
The all-lady quarter-final of The Great British Bake Off, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. The remaining five have to impress with their dessert skills. As usual starting with the signature bake, the exacting judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are expecting to see and taste baked cheesecakes that reach their high expectations. Next is the technical challenge and the bete noir of most bakers, a chocolate roulade. Finally, the spectacular showstopper that requires the bakers to impress with hundreds of choux pastry profiteroles that must be perfectly baked, filled and then assembled into a croquembouche. This king of desserts is traditionally served at French weddings and Mary and Paul expect to see an impressive tower of choux pastry buns with superb flavoured fillings and held together with hardened caramel. Who will have what it takes to book a place in the semi-finals?