If you have been streaming lately you likely have come across the growing popularity of the Great British Bake Off. Not all of us are bakers or even overly interested in baking but for whatever reason this show has captured our time and our hearts. So, what’s the deal?
The premise of the show is that there are three baking challenges. The first challenge is the Signature Challenge, which has a theme that the bakers have had time to practice ahead of time. The second challenge is a technical baking challenge where the bakers are given a “vague” recipe that they must fill in the gaps and present a worthy bake. The third baking challenge is the Showstopper challenge. This one brings in the “wow” factor to baking – creativity, innovation, and of course taste is key to winning this challenge.
The overall winner, judged across all three bakes, is the Star Baker for the week. A very cherished title. The baker that comes in last place overall is sent home.
The Judges and Hosts
The hosts of the show, while changing at times season to season, have bring humor and entertainment throughout the show. They are comical to the point of down right silly.
There are also two expert bakers that judge each of the bakes on presentation and taste. They provide feedback to the bakers and if you are lucky, you receive handshake for your bake from expert baker Paul Hollywood. A sign that you have very skillfully performed your bake.
The contestants are amateur bakers who apply to the show. They are assessed by a researcher followed by an audition in London with two of their bakes. They then undergo a screen test and interview with the producer. A second audition involves them baking two recipes for the judges in front of the cameras.
As you can imagine, if you’ve made it onto the show you are not a slacker in the kitchen. Something else to be noted about the bakers is that they come from a variety of countries and bring to their “bakers block” their own set of cultural flavors and favorites.
So, why is this show so popular? I think it’s a combination of all of the above. It’s entertaining, you get to learn more about baking, you learn about a variety of cultures and get to enjoy meeting contestants from all walks of life and all stages in their baking adventures – from new bakers to those with decades of experience. Admittedly, the baking “fails” are a bit fun to watch too! Plus, there is the competitive angle. It’s fun to pick your favorites in the beginning and see how they fare episode to episode.
What do you think?
Have you seen the Great British Bake Off? Do you like it, love it, or hate it? What’s your favorite part of it? What draws you in or makes you flip the channel?