Bringing Baking Back

The Great British Bake-off Rises Above Its Genre


I have never seen, smelled or tasted a mini pear pie, and neither have the seven bakers on the Great British Baking Show. Still, during this technical challenge they have two hours to create a magnificent poached mini pear pie covered in layer-y marble-y rough puff pastry.
The tension in the baking tent is palpable, but at the same time the bakers charm in the way only a British baker could.
In an aside segment viewers can see how the pears are supposed to be but through the rest of the technical challenge the bakers are forced to guess on the instructions. Some guess right but others make horrible mistakes and that is all it takes to separate the week’s star baker from the baker sent home.
It’s not that other cooking shows are less difficult but the average time given to cook in those shows is 30 minutes to an hour. In the Great British Baking Show the average bake time is two hours which allowing the judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, to interact with the bakers while the audience agonizes over their decisions at the same time the bakers create jaw-dropping, pun intended, confectionary assortments.
When all is said and done, the bakers’ cakes, biscuits, bread, desserts, pies, tarts or pastries are deliberately picked apart and judged with harshness equal to judges like Gordan Ramssey.
Still, these bakers are unique, each and every one of them takes the criticism with grace and kindness.
This show is the perfect blend between Cake Boss and Master Chef. The technical skill necessary requires bakers to have have an encyclopedic knowledge of every assortment of bread while at the same time they must have a creative and professional level of presentation.
The Great British Baking Show has pioneered the eclair stair, storybook scenes made entirely of biscuits and a meat pie pyramid high enough to make your head spin. Each baker is competitive but simultaneously the nicest person in the tent.
At some point I have wanted to root for each of the bakers which is why the Great British Baking Show is the best cooking show on television.

Check out the show here.