Review: The Great British Bake Off: showstoppers

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I’m addicted – ADDICTED – to the Great British Bake Off.  I like very few television programes but I’m guaranteed to get all stabby and annoyed if you talk through the Bake Off.  Be warned.

I was delighted, then, to be sent the book from the current series: The Great British Bake Off: how to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers.  The book contains loads of Showstopper Challenges, inspired by the competition.  Each section shows the basic recipe, for example a brioche dough, and then three different challenges, for example sweet brunch rolls, a more technical Camembert brioche, and finally herby brioche rolls.  The recipes are all labelled with their difficulty (easy, needs a little skill, etc) and the recipes are all clear and easy to follow.

I was keen, after watching last night, to have a look at the instructions for Paul technical challenge, the plaited loaf (I’m definitely going to give this a go) and it seems a lot easier than on the show: explaining how to number your strands of dough from 1-8 and then placing them under or over the other strands as you go… mind you, I expect it’s a lot easier in the comfort of your kitchen than under the timed, slightly stressy atmosphere of the bake off studio!  Some of the recipes don’t have photos, which is a bit frustrating, especially with recipes like the autumn wreath – a plaited yeasted bread wreath that I think really needs a picture to help you along.

If you’re a lover of the Bake Off, there is also a new app that you can get if you’ve got an iPhone with fifty recipes from the series, searchable by occasion, skill level, etc and featuring some kind of whizzy technology which means you don’t have to touch your phone with icky fingers while you’re baking.

The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers by Linda Collister is out now, priced £20 and the iPhone app is £2.99.

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