The Great Australian Bake Off

Bake Off recap: Breadwinners

Dough you know what time it is? Grab your packets of yeast, invest in a proving drawer, and treat yourself to a bouquet of flours... It's bread week on The Great Australian Bake Off!

This week’s Signature Challenge is straight outta the ‘90s – are you ready for some focaccia?

Maggie’s not messing around, asking to take a peek at everyone’s dough and throwing down the world’s best “what are you doing with your life?” stare when Robert dares to use dried olives instead of kalamata. You better believe he changes his mind after that exchange.

The bakers are whipping out flavour combos like garlic and thyme (Chris), chorizo and tomato (Alex), goat’s cheese and walnut (Marcus), and it’s to their credit that we don’t 100% lose our appetite when Alex reveals that everyone refers to him as ‘Daddy’ in the Shed. Thankfully Marcus takes our minds off that with a delightful piano interlude. We call this one ‘Ode to Dough’:

Maybe the yeast is getting to the bakers’ heads, because the next thing we know Claudia has donned these bad boys, citing their onion protection qualities. We’ll be selling them off as official Bake Off merch by the end of the episode.

Sweet Matt Moran shows his innocence when he asks where pear comes from, forcing a now glasses-less Claudia to give him ‘the talk’.

Of all the bakers, Robert’s focaccia is best, and he keeps flying high after last week’s Star Baker victory. Poor Emma struggles to get her spelt dough to rise, hoping this mishap doesn’t spelt the end for her Bake Off dreams. When she declares that she’s “just glad it resembles bread”, our hearts break like a crusty sourdough loaf.

Maggie ‘The Riddler’ Beer is tasked with setting this week’s Technical Challenge, offering the following cryptic clues: “Don’t be scared of a wet dough. Think tall and straight. The lightest touch of any bake you’ll ever make.” She’s obviously talking about pumpkin scones. Obviously.

For those looking for 'sconfirmation' of the correct pronunciation of scone, we’ve got you:

Resident Frenchman Max looks to be in trouble: “I don’t know what is a scone...” but with help from Chris and Michelle he pulls it together like Claudia at a glasses fashion parade.

Maggie and Matt love Robert, Claudia and Max’s scones, but Emma, Raeesa, and Chris could be total sconers if they don’t step it up for the Showstopper.

Speaking of the Showstopper, it’s a total dough-verload this week with a pull-apart centrepiece fit for a special occasion. We stand by the statement that any centrepiece can be a pull apart if you pull hard enough, and any occasion is special if it’s got bread.

Our bakers are pulling out all the stops with their pull-aparts, with dishes like deconstructed apple pie (Chris), baklava-inspired bread (Raeesa), and a French onion soup bowl (Marcus). Then, of course, there’s some standard stuff from Emma: “I’m also taking some inspiration from the shape of where negative particles are in an atom”, which is, of course, everyone’s fave bakery treat.

To Mel’s delight, Max has attempted a bread frog. Suuure, Max. Sure you did.

Even though Marcus has put on a hell of a show this week with a piano recital, juggling routine, and bread-sculpted soup bowl, it’s Dame Edna Claudia who pulls off the Star Baker win. Unfortunately, it’s Alex’s time to go home. Bye, Alex. You don't know what you've got til it's scone.

Next week? We’ll be a bis-cuit above the rest.

Keep up with the baking mayhem on The Great Australian Bake Off, Thursdays 8.30pm on Lifestyle.

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