The Great British Baking Show S4E4 recap: Batter week


Puddings, pancakes, and churros provided a wide-ranging set of challenges for the bakers of The Great British Baking Show this week.

Mel and Sue started this episode of The Great British Baking Show off with a pretty well-harmonized song about the bakers that ended in the word yurt, which is an impressive word to work into a comedic song about a baking competition that involves things like pancakes and British puddings for batter week. (They also made cricket jokes, because this show is just that British.)

In the signature challenge, the nine bakers had to make 24 filled Yorkshire puddings. They had 2 hours to do so. Mary wanted “top-grade” Yorkshire puddings despite also noting that getting uniform puddings requires divine intervention. Apparently, there is a great ongoing question on Yorkshire pudding recipes in Britain, which isn’t that much of a surprise, actually.

Some bakers, like Tom, Val, Candice, and Jane, had to do a second batch of puddings.

Rav’s Yorkshire pudding signature challenge from the Great British Baking Show. Image via PBS.

In order, here’s how everyone did:

"Andrew: Yorkshire “Tapas” Puddings. High tier; well-baked, “I liked that a lot” said Paul.Kate: Christmas Dinner Compromise. Mid-tier. Lacked rise, but well-flavored.Jane: Meat and Two Veg Yorkshires. Mid-tier. Not well risen, but the flavors were “unbelievable” per Paul.Candice:Yorkshire Wellingtons. Mid-tier. Too flat, but great flavors.Benjamina: Red Onion, Chutney, Brie and Bacon Yorkshire Puddings. Mid-high tier. “Cute” but not uniform, as Paul noted, but yummy.Selasi: Perfect Sunday Roast Accompaniment. High tier. Lovely looking puddings, tasted good, Hollywood offered a handshake.Rav: Thai Tofu Panang Yorkshires. High tier. Despite having tofu in it, Paul said he’d eat another.Tom: West Yorkshire Fusion Puddings. Low tier. Far too flat, but had nice flavor.Val: Mum’s Chilli Yorkshire Puddings. High tier. “Proper Yorkshire pudding,” said Paul."

Paul’s lacy pancakes served as the technical challenge. Before he left, he told them this: “Practice your pattern,” he said. They had to make 12 heart-shaped pancakes and could only make one practice pancake, and they only had an hour. (The bakers also had to make their own patterns.) Paul also threw sugar in there to make things just that bit more difficult.

Paul Hollywood’s lace pancakes from the Great British Baking Show. Image via PBS.

The results of the technical challenge were as follows:

"9th: Rav. “A whole plethora of colors,” and they were biscuits and/or waffles according to Paul.8th: Selasi. Not cooked the same, and missing sugar.7th: Kate. “A little on the clumsy side,” said Mary, and not cooked the same.6th: Val. “Not so delicate,” per Mary.5th: Tom. “That’s fine,” said Mary.4th: Andrew. A couple missteps in cooking, but well-designed.3rd: Jane. “Pretty good,” said Mary and Paul at different times.2nd: Candice. “Beautifully moist,” said Mary.1st: Benjamina. The prettiest pattern, and “very good” according to Paul."

For the showstopper, the bakers had to make 36 churros in three hours, not using their ovens but instead their fryers. The challenge demanded only sweet churros, with both dipping sauces and fillings allowed. Many bakers opted for dipping sauces. A little voiceover also explained what churros are to the British audience.

(What churros are is delicious, promptly answered the American audience.)

Andrew’s churros from The Great British Baking Show. Image via PBS.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

"Val: Orange Chocolate Churros. “Beautifully crisp,” said Mary, but Paul was a “little bit disappointed.”Tom: Fennel Churros Snake In The Grass. Overcooked, and Paul still argued about the fennel usage.Selasi: Lemon and Anise Churros. 3. Also overcooked, and “clumsy,” Mary’s favorite nice way of saying she didn’t like the way they looked. Raw in the middle too.Jane: Pistachio and White Chocolate Churros. “Real flavor there,” said Mary, and Paul said “I really love them.”Rav: Three Dip Matcha Pistachio Churros. Not uniform, weirdly flavored, but the sauces came out okay-ish.Andrew: Churros Window Box. Cool presentation, but cooked too much.Kate: Hot Cross Bunny Churros. “A bit sad” in appearance, according to Paul, and overfried.Candice: Two-Way Peanut Butter Churros. Too loose of a batter and too tiny a churro.Benjamina: Tropical Churros. Nice presentation, and then Paul dubbed them “beautiful” while Mary said she had “cracked it.”"

Benjamina and Andrew landed in the top, with Benjamina taking the title of Star Baker this week. Meanwhile, Tom, Selasi, and Kate fell into the bottom, with Rav also on the bubble. Kate became the next baker to have to go home.

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The Great British Baking Show will tackle a more conventional theme next week with pastries.