The Great British Baking Show season 4 episode 3 recap: ‘Bread’


The Great British Baking Show called upon the expertise of Paul Hollywood for three challenges centered around bread and the making thereof.

The Great British Baking Show started off with dread. Mel and Sue warned everyone that it was bread week and that Paul Hollywood would be particularly picky all day. And lo, was he picky, but it was also kind of deserved, because some of the bakes really didn’t turn out that well. Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

The signature bake consisted of producing any kind of chocolate bread with two and a half hours to do it.

Paul did not miss any opportunities to tell people that they were wrong about their bread types starting in the signature bake. More than one person said that they were doing a babka, and Paul casually pointed out that it is traditionally considered a cake, although it does use yeast.

Rav’s entry, Chocolate, Cardamom, and Hazelnut Loaf. Image from The Great British Baking Show S4E3; image via PBS.

The signature bake results:

"Andrew: Chocolate Barmbrack Bread. High tier. Paul actually said he loved it.Benjamina: Chocolate, Tahini, and Almond Babka. Low tier. Not baked well.Selasi: Chocolate Orange and Cinnamon Bread. Low tier. Overbaked, needed more flavor.Val: Double Chocolate Cinnamon Twist Loaf. Low tier. Not done at the bottom.Kate: Cobbled Loaf. Mid-low tier. Underbaked, but edible.Jane: Chocolate and Cranberry Couronne. Mid tier. Underbaked, but good.Candice:  Chocolate, Salted Caramel, and Pecan Brittle Brioche Bread. Low tier. Didn’t look good, seriously raw. Paul didn’t eat it.Michael: Chocolate and Chilli Swirl Plait. Mid-tier, with too much chili.Tom: Chocolate, Orange, and Chilli Swirl Loaf. High tier. “Very good” and “excellent” per Mary and Paul, respectively.Rav: Chocolate, Cardamom, and Hazelnut Loaf. High tier. “Love it,” said Paul."

After Paul went around and judged everyone harshly, he then gave the recipe for this week’s technical challenge: dampfnudel. As Mel and Sue hinted, dampf means steam. They had two hours to produce 12 buns and 2 sauces: a creme anglaise and then a plum sauce, too.

Pretty much everyone had issues with lifting the steaming lids too early, which resulted in some soggy tops as opposed to the more expected soggy bottoms.

Paul Hollywood’s dampfnudel. Image from The Great British Baking Show S4E3. Image via PBS.

The technical challenge results:

"10th: Rav. Raw all the way through.9th: Jane. Good flavor, but mostly raw.8th: Kate. Burned her dampfnudel bottoms and had raw dough on top.7th: Michael. Raw on the top.6th: Benjamina. Messed up on the sauces, but had decent dumplings.5th: Selasi. A bit overdone on the bottom.4th: Tom. Undercooked but edible, and with good sauces.3rd: Candice. A bit underdone, but good.2nd: Andrew. Cooked through, did well on both sauces.1st: Val. Best-tasting dampfnudel. “Closest to mine … still a million miles away,”  said Paul."

And yet the bakers had to come back and be judged yet again in the showstopper! Paul was merciless yet again (with Mary almost certainly helping). This time, everyone had four hours to make a braided bread centerpiece. Everyone used the word plait a lot, since this is a British baking show, after all. For bonus points, they had to use three different types of flour, not just your basic flour types. Paul mentioned the need to have a “uniform plait,” although everyone also noted that different flours raise at different rates.

The Corn Maiden, by Kate. Image from The Great British Baking Show S4E3; image via PBS.

The showstopper bake results:

"Jane: Chorizo and Chilli Flower with Parmesan and Pesto Cheese. Well-baked, nicely textured, yummy all around. “Splendid,” said Mary.Val: “And They All Went Into the Ark to Get Out of the Rain”. Missing some definition, underbaked and raw in places, but smelled good.Tom: Jormungandr and Mjolnir. Needed some more filling, but well-baked and well-textured. Mary even liked the seaweed.Andrew: Braided Harvest Bread Basket. Mostly great presentation (the basket itself was a little messy), but good flavors.Benjamina: Braided Bread Heart. Pretty on the inside, pretty good on the inside. “Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous,” said Paul.Rav: Three Tier Diwali Centrepiece. A bit too spicy on one, a bit under-flavored on another, and missing texture on the third.Selasi: Bedouin Escape Tear and Share Bread. Missing definition, messed the flavor and texture up on one, but made it back on the third.Michael: Cypriot Dove and Olive Branch Plaited Loaf with Houmous. Paul offered him that strong alcohol before the judging. That’s about how well it went.Kate: The Corn Maiden. Very pretty, and Paul didn’t have trouble finding texture or flavor.Candice: Italian Light and Dark Rye Twist. Missing a braid on top, but the bottom piece was quite delicious."

Kate, Andrew, and Tom landed in the top spots for the week, but ultimately, Tom won Star Baker, especially with his showstopper challenge. Meanwhile, Michael became the third baker out this season, but Candice and Val also faced elimination.

Next: Things you need to know about the real GLOW

The Great British Baking Show has proven (pun intended) its bakers have to step up with threatening Candice to go home. Next week, it’s a new theme: batter! To bring it to an American joke, they’ll have to swing for the fences.