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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 22 October, 2018
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Well, tonight, we watched as one baker’s dream of winning was ended.  It wasn’t easy, but we held each other through it, and there were be some good puns along the way.

Let us know what you thought.  We said goodbye to Tom, was it the right thing?  Are you falling a little bit in love with Stephen?  Is Maryanne that classmate who always claimed they hadn’t studied and then came top of the class?

Right, so while we wait for things to kick off, let’s recap on how things finished up last week.

The gang made a load of tarts, and Oonagh played a blinder, and was crowned Star Baker.  Unfortunately it was the end of the line for Daire whose tarts were deemed ‘bland’ and ‘not quite cooked’.  That’s not really what you want, is it?

How do we feel about bread week?  It’s not that sexy.

I mean I love bread as much as the next food-obsessed bread-loving person but hopefully it’ll be fancy.

Oh!  Bread baskets!  (What the hell are bread baskets?)

Has anyone heard of tea bread before?  Seems like it’s any kind of fruity bread, which I often eat loads of because it tastes a bit like cake.

Poor Tom is a nervous chap, isn’t he?  I fear he could burst into tears at any moment.

Oonagh makes bread most days at home for the kids.  She’s one of those mams you read about in books when you were a kid, I reckon.

I’m still disappointed that Will hasn’t done his Dutch accent since episode 1.  Did you see it? It was wonderful.

The poor guy has confidence issues… or is he just trying to seem vulnerable to get us onside?

If you’ve ever baked bread you’ve probably knocked on the bottom because you know that that’s what you’re meant to do.  But do you know what it’s meant to sound like?  No.

Maybe we’ll learn from this.

Jarek’s bread has almost a full Irish in it.  What’s not to like?

Marco Pierre White always seems a bit scary in those ads for stock, doesn’t he.  Like, sorry Marco Pierre White that my carrots aren’t big enough for you.

I think Stephen could win it y’know, even if he does irritate his competitors by asking for favours.

Would you help him out? I think I probably would so that people would think I was nice even though deep down I’d be ragin’.  I’m not a nice person.

I really like the dramatic bit where they all agonisingly gaze into their ovens arguing with themselves over taking things out and having a look.

Don’t worry Stephen, lots of guys worry about the size of their plaited loaf.

Maryanne is nervous.  She’s always nervous and then she’s always great.  She’s like the kid in school who always said they were going to fail the exam and then got a 93%.

maryanne

Has anyone else noticed that Biddy never speaks until after Paul does, and she usually just agrees with him?  Or else she just comments on crust.  Always with the crust.

I was just about to complain about the judges being too nice, and then they gave poor auld Tom a hard time.  In fairness, it looked like he deserved it.

I was a bit worried Will was going to pass out there.  He’s a bit stressed, eh?

will

Poor lad.

So, Tom and Bridget are the ones in real trouble at the moment.

I really hope Bridget pulls through, because she’s gas (I’ve already said this, right?  I like Bridget) and to be honest I worry about Tom throughout each episode.  I’m not sure if he’s able for the stress!

In this half, watch for Biddy’s obsession with crunch and crust.  And also her ability to laugh even when she’s telling someone they’re shite.

It’s quite a talent.

Have you noticed that the crew are always wearing the same clothes on both days?

Do you think it’s because they’re filthmongers or because it’s actually filmed on one day, or for some other crazy telly reason?

Live yeast sounds deeply unpleasant, a bit like something someone might find growing on themselves if they didn’t wash properly.

Clearly the contestants aren’t too excited about it either.

Judge Paul really seems to take pleasure in describing all the ways the contestants might trip up in the technical challenges.

‘Oh the yeast could really trip them up!’ he says gleefully.

The kneading seems to be a challenge for everyone, poor Will is on the verge of fainting again.

will 3

Y’see?  That’s why Bridget needs to stay.

‘People are dying in the world and I’m delighted with my yeast!’

Things are not going well for the group.  This recipe is very precise in terms of portion and measurements, and they are not mathematicians.

However, Tom is just delighted to be cutting bread up and hoping beyond hope that it might weigh the right amount.

He says the size of his balls don’t matter, it’s what inside that counts.  And the taste of course.  OH TOM, YOU CAD.

Who do we think is going to go at this stage? Tom seemed a bit casual about the size of his balls and Bridget was delighted with her yeast, so it could be Tom’s last week.

But actually, maybe my worry about Tom was misplaced. He seems much more relaxed this week – innuendo and all!

They actually look pretty incredible, don’t they? I’d be tempted to make them at home, to be honest.

The bread all looks good, and almost identical.

Poor Biddy never gets a word in edgewise here though, Paul always says his bit, then she agrees or makes her comments with a question mark at the end.

‘A very good start?’ she asks Paul.  DAMMIT BIDDY, STAND YOUR GROUND!

Uh oh.  Things are not looking good for Tom and the music has gotten dramatic.  Not a good sign.

Tom

‘Can I have a go at tearing?’ Biddy asks fearfully.

Biddy says that the contestants have risen to quite a technical challenge.

RISEN, they’ve RISEN.  Get it?

My colleague Paul is loving this, by the way.  It’s his first Bake Off experience and he’s hooked.

So they just bake things? Great!

Sinead on the other hand is an emotional wreck over poor Will’s sad face at coming 9th.

There we go!  Maryanne, top of the class again!  What did I say?

Stephen is the star baker this week, and I’m delighted for him.  He’s a bloody charmer.

stephen

As expected, Tom is the one to go, and he’s holding back the tears so it turns out my concerns about his emotional well-being may not have been completely unfounded.

Tom

Next week looks like a good one.  There appears to be lots of potential for mess, and Maryanne may actually mess up.

Not that I’m wishing for her to mess up, I’m not that mean.

We’ll be back then, so do join us!  I’m off to make wheaten breads.

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