My sister recently encouraged me to check out a British baking contest show. If you have not heard of it, allow me to introduce you to my new favorite show…
The Great British Bake Off!
This is the best contest show I have ever seen. EVER.
While perfection is still the standard, I have never seen such respect and kindness for contestants in a television competition. No one arrives with the arrogant taste of victory already on their tongues. Instead, contestants cheer each other on to do their best. Everyone is pleased for the “star baker” announced at the end of each weekend. Everyone is sad to see their fellow bakers eliminated.
There is an air of friendship and comradery among the bakers. It’s refreshing to see that humble kindness in a competition.
The hosts are amusing, and full of encouragement for the contestants. The judges watch and taste for perfection in every bake, but their critiques are without cruelty (though very honest and thorough, which I also admire).
Secondly, I now feel like an absolute baking failure… in the best way possible. 🙂
My eyes have been opened to the simplicity of my baking. I am now resolved that I need to bake more, a LOT more, and bake different pastries, cakes, breads, rolls, etc. I want to improve as a baker and fully expand my repertoire. It was such fun seeing baking challenges come together that I did not even know existed!
I was oblivious to the fact that I have been stuck in my American pancake, cupcake, quick bread world (with the occasional pizza crust or French baguette thanks to my trusty bread machine).
Now I feel alive and excited contemplating the unlimited baking possibilities!
I saw bakers make choux pastry, French patisserie desserts, intricate and flavorful bread centerpieces, some phenomenal sugar work, and more mini pastries than I can pronounce.
The most exciting thing was listening to the bakers describe how and why they put things together in certain ways. The tidbits of baking knowledge were fascinating.
I often experiment with flavors, but I lack the scientific knowledge of how other elements affect the dough or batter or filling. It would be truly thrilling to understand the science behind the size, the heat level, the gluten, the moisture content, what makes the recipe too tough, too soft, too crumbly, too wet, etc. It all plays an enormous role in baking.
I’m a little starry eyed just thinking about it. It’s absolutely fascinating!
I was inspired to put together a baking bucket list, which I’m certain I’ll add to in the future. Click HERE to see it. 🙂 I will probably fail… a LOT… before I succeed, but there will be new baking in my kitchen soon!
I’ll miss my scrumptious post this week (I’m delighted to be hosting Thanksgiving!), but should be raring to go next week! 🙂
In the meantime, check out the show! And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
P.S. My orange rolls would have kicked me off the show (under-baked and a little sickly sweet), but my kids enjoyed them. And it was delightful to bake something new in my kitchen!