Great British Bake Off‘s Paul Hollywood congratulates baker Rahul Bajer (right) last night
It was pastry week on The Great British Bake-Off on Channel 4 last night.
Vanessa Foran writes:
I’m going to work backwards this week, and apologies for missing Spice Week.
Dan. Desperately disappointed to see him go, but in all fairness, he had to. We have now tipped over into the business end of Bake Off 2018 and there is nothing but baking talent left in the tent.
Any weakness, flop, or soggy bottom just isn’t tolerated, and there isn’t room left to hide or provide cover.
I’m mainly bothered because of all the bakers though the tent over the years, Dan was one who stuck to simple everyday ingredients, and managed with the skills we all already have, mainly our own two hands.
He did the basics better than anyone, he didn’t need exotic flavours or ambitious designs to get three Handshakes on the trot and a star baker for himself. In one regard, I would have him there as one of the most talented home bakers I’ve seen in the tent tbh,
OK, he’s no Mary-Anne Boermens or John Whaite I highly regard him because I doubt he has any further interest in being recognised as a pro, and I feel his interest in baking will remain in the same spot as all of ours, our own kitchens.
But I do hope we hear from him again.
Pastry week is a blue ribbon event anyway, more blue plaster week last night, but I must admit that Jon calling it “the Heavy Metal of all baking” was a spot on as you’re going to get for an Irish Baker, since we don’t have the great big celebration breads you’ll see the Hollywood drooling over and restaurants named after. Although there’s noting stopping us from developing one for ourselves.
We all do quick breads here, like brown sodas and potato farls, the outcome of our famine history. Black 47 the fillum, although they cut it very fine with the timing, did lean heavily into representing its origin.
The Irish have no historical grand plaits, and our holy feast bread was the communion wafer. So, for the Paddies, Pastry is our own specialist Signature.
Well that’s what I think anyway; and its why I will always try different versions of the same pastry. Except Puff. Shop bought all the way. So, Jon’s remark that Puff is Slipknot in terms of Pastry hardcore made absolute sense.
I really enjoyed the Signature last night, maybe because I was not alone in having never attempted them before, ate plenty ov’em mind, although I’ve never had a sweet one, unless the MaccieDs Apple Pie counts.
It was one of those Signatures that would encourage anyone I think. The pastry is quick, and every Irish house has at the very least a chip pan.
There is a great tip for anyone like me, who has the full spice and seed collection of pots, bags, tins and tubs, here in Rahul’s savoury; and the great thing about this recipe that you can change out the filling but keep the tip, the pastry and the raita recipe for the drawer. And I would be really tempted with his sweet if only to test if Prue’s reaction was required.
Nothing to say about the Technical, but I just wouldn’t myself. If ye have too much time on yere hands then let us know how you got on with it .
Now here is where I found some more common ground with Dan, at the showstopper. Because I do that exact bake, salmon coulibac. It’s Russian, it’s easy and its great hot or cold. And if anyone has communions, dos, what-have-yas look into it.
Delighted for Briony getting Star Baker, and even more so because there was no doubt attached to the decision; she’s worked hard and grafted challenge after challenge and deserves to be there. Not that that means anything at this stage, but she didn’t put a foot wrong last night, even with the dress. Pastry was the makings of her.
Just a word on appearance; I think Kim-Joy should do Noel’s make up next week, ‘cause its obvious Prue did it last night.
Vegan next week. Yeah I know. But lets wait and see….