And so to bread week. Previously touted by Paul Hollywood himself as the week where potential winners begin to shine. A Bake Off week which saw the first ‘soggy bottom’ of the series, contestants playing hokey cokey with the proving drawers and a full slew of technical issues. Norman even brought out yet another gadget – an infrared thermometer. However, instead of a full round up, this week I thought I’d cover the top five bread making tips seen on the show:
- Get kneading that dough. Bread dough needs to be worked and stretched to develop the gluten (a stretchy protein) that creates structure inside the dough.
- Incorporate any filling after the first rise – it’s easier to knead the dough without chunks of crunchy walnuts tearing at your fingers.
- Steam your oven during baking – it helps crust development on your bread. Tip a cup of water into a preheated baking tray at the bottom of the oven after you put the dough in.
- Give your dough time to bake through. Bread should be baked at a high temperature until it has a good crust and sounds hollow when tapped on its base.
- Overall, be patient! Good bread takes time – don’t be afraid to leave your dough to rise slowly at a cooler temperature and don’t rush the proving stages.
Of course, there were some great bakes and fantastical flavours again this week. Luis took home a deserved star baker prize, crowned by his glorious Roscon de Reyes showstopper bake (pictured above). Meanwhile, others fell down with underbaked buns, soggy showstoppers and flattened ciabattas, and it was Jordan that we bade a fond farewell to this week. Next up, it’s dessert week. See you then!
How did you find Episode Three? Are you inspired to try out breadmaking yourself this weekend? Share your thoughts below, I love to hear from you. You can also check out my breadmaking class dates here.