The Great American Baking Show Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Bread Week


The Great American Baking Show got crusty and yeasty on this week’s episode, which featured three separate breads for the bakers to make.

What’s a season of The Great American Baking Show without a bread week? Answer: not a very good copy of The Great British Bake Off. With the number of bakers already down an extra member based on Antoinette’s leaving last week, everyone felt the pressure to stand out to judges Mary Berry and Johnny Iuzzini. Let’s recap.

The Signature Challenge came first. Mary and Johnny demanded that the bakers make 12 yeasted dinner rolls that had to be savory. Mary informed us that the rolls had to have a good size — not too big and not too small. Of course, the bakers had just 2 hours to produce these perfect dinner rolls despite the need to proof the dough at least once.

As a result, bakers had to cut it very close to time being called in order to get all of that proving time in.

Image from The Great American Baking Show week 3. Via ABC.

Signature Bake Results

  • AshlynSouthern Cheese & Onion Rolls. Pass, with good use of onion.
  • StephanieGreen Onion Sesame Rolls. Pass-ish, with a slightly sloppy presentation but good flavors.
  • PrachiHerb & Onion Cloverleaf Rolls. Pass-ish, underbaked but great flavor.
  • JennieBrown Butter Garlic Parmesan Rolls. Pass, thanks to her excellent hand with the dried herbs.
  • MichaelClassic Dinner Rolls. Pass-ish, since they were too big but a nice example of a basic dinner roll.
  • AmandaLucky Number 3 Rolls. Effectively a fail, since they were dry, although they were pretty.
  • JeremiahPortuguese Rolls. Pass with flying colors. Mary called it her lunch and walked off.

For the Technical Challenge, Johnny assigned them Stollen, a German Christmas bread that includes rum, homemade marzipan, fruit, and nuts. The bakers had 3 hours to complete the challenge, which included 4 components. Additionally, Johnny informed the viewers that the bread likes to look done on the outside long before it’s actually done. Furthermore, there’s actually a “sausage” of marzipan in the middle of the bread.

Johnny’s Stollen. From The Great American Baking Show week 3. Image via ABC.

Again, bakers had to cut it close, especially with the dusting of powdered sugar atop their attempts at this dense bread.

Technical Challenge Results

  • 7th: Amanda. Didn’t roll the marzipan or fruit in correctly.
  • 6th: Jeremiah. Excessive moisture and a bit flat.
  • 5th: Jennie. Marzipan collapsed on the inside.
  • 4th: Prachi. A bit underbaked, but good flavors.
  • 3rd: Ashlyn. A good, even bake.
  • 2nd: Michael. “Well done,” said Mary.
  • 1st: Stephanie. “Now we’re talking,” per Johnny.

The 1-2 finish was quite close, but Stephanie pulled out the Technical victory. In the pre-Showstopper chat, Mary and Johnny deemed Jennie and Ashlyn two of the front-runners, based on their performance in the Signature Challenge. Meanwhile, Amanda had much to prove thanks to her Technical troubles.

For the Showstopper, bakers had 5 hours to create a 3D bread centerpiece. Multiple breads were allowed. Johnny once again stressed the balance between good flavor and good presentation.

Ashlyn pulled out a flowerpot to prove her bread dough, which had both judges basically baffled. Of course, proving also proved (excuse the pun) to be a challenge once again. That’s to say nothing of the construction.

From The Great American Baking Show week 3. Image via ABC.

Additionally, Stephanie and Amanda had multiple rounds of baking, while Michael started his first bake rather later than everyone else because of his detail work. While looking for extra dowels, Stephanie nearly had a collapse. Fortunately, she made a super save.

Showstopper Challenge Results

Johnny Iuzzini, Mary Berry, Nia Vardalos, and Ian Gomez in The Great American Baking Show. Image via ABC.

  • Jennie’s Sweet Christmas Tree: Mary called it “clumsy,” but it was well-baked at least.
  • Jeremiah’s Massa Sovada Sleigh: The man pulled out a sleigh “masterpiece,” per Mary.

Jeremiah’s Massa Sovada Sleigh from The Great American Baking Show. Image via ABC.

  • Prachi’s Bird Nest: Beautiful per Johnny, and the nest turned out to be baked well.
  • Michael’s Partridge in a Pear Tree: Not a free-standing sculpture, but good beer flavors.
  • Ashlyn’s Potted Christmas Tree: “Enchanting,” said Mary.
  • Stephanie’s Super Santa: A bit tipsy due to the softness of the bread, but great flavor.
  • Amanda’s Turtle Dove Love Nest: Someone nailed her Showstopper Challenge.

Amanda’s Turtle Dove Love Nest from The Great American Baking Show. Image via ABC.

During the judging discussion, Mary and Johnny couldn’t even name a person who hadn’t done well in the week overall. Amanda in particular moved up in their estimation based on her beautiful Showstopper.

Ashlyn won Star Baker, because the flowerpot turned out to be perfect for her Christmas tree. However, no one went home, based on everything just being too close.

Next: Hairspray Live Review

On the next episode of The Great American Baking Show, pies and tarts will dominate the day, with one challenge requiring 24 tarts.