The Great British Bake Off

Hubby and I have been following this year’s Great British Bake Off since it started three weeks ago. We enjoy eating most baked goods, so the contest is of interest to both of us. Moreover, it is really rather wonderful to watch the contestants come up with the most imaginative baked creations. I wish I were as creative as they are!

One of the judges of The Great British Bake Off is Mary Berry. The BBC says that ‘with sixty years cooking experience, Mary Berry is considered to be the doyenne of baking’.

Over the years, she has published over 70 cookery books which have been enjoyed by millions of people around the world. She has recently been recognized for her contribution to the culinary arts by the Queen, being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours.

(www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013pqnm/profiles/mary-berry)

Well, Hubby is certainly a fan of Mary Berry and has bought one of her recipe books. However, I am still awaiting that special cake from his new book – he hasn’t tried any of the recipes out yet.

Paul Hollywood is the other judge in The Great British Bake Off. The BBC proudly presents Paul Hollywood as one of the UK’s leading artisan bakers.

He cemented his reputation as the leading authority on bread making by publishing the best-selling book “100 Great Breads” which has been translated into seven languages and was named as the “Top Bread and Pastry Book” of 2005. In 2008 he created the most expensive bread in Britain; an almond and Roquefort sourdough that was sold for £15 a loaf at Harrods, which Paul describes as the “Rolls-Royce of loaves”!

(www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013pqnm/profiles/paul-hollywood)

The aroma of fresh bread as it bakes in the oven is probably one of the most gorgeous smells in the world. It makes me think of bright sunshine and blue skies with pretty birds chirping cheery greetings to one and all. The beautiful smell of a hot piping loaf when it leaves the oven makes me want to break off a piece of it and bite into the crusty crust and soft white or brown centre.

The ability to bake well is such a skill, and I wish I were a great baker. I used to bake more when the kids were younger and Hubby bakes sometimes. He makes the most delicious banana bread whenever I can coax him to do so. However, I have to admit that I am rather too lazy to bake. It is all the bother of measuring this and that and then cleaning up and putting everything away again. I do enough of that already as it is.

So I do the next best thing instead. One of the choices on our breakfast menu is a basket combination of croissant and muffin. As I am not a baker, Hubby and I purchase handmade croissants and muffins from a place (which shall remain secret) where the goods are made and baked by hand. I don’t think we have ever had anyone not enjoy these fresh-baked croissants and muffins.

Breakfast foods

Breakfast at Blenheim Lodge.

I am looking forward to viewing more episodes of The Great British Bake Off. My current favourite to win is the Scottish chap, James. He is always innovative and seems to know what he is doing. I really do wish I could try the bakes that some of these contestants serve up. Yum!

Now, if only I can persuade Hubby to start baking from Mary Berry’s recipe book . . .

‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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