A Little Introduction
Hello! Welcome to The Great Bham Bake Project and my first post! My name is Alexandra and I am about to take an adventure halfway around the world while remaining in my Alabama kitchen recreating the recipes in the challenges featured on the television show, The Great British Bake Off.
Let me start by explaining the show so I can hopefully convince you of my genuine love for this program and why I have decided to start this page. The show takes place in a huge white tent in a field on various stately British properties. We are welcomed every episode by our hosts, Mel and Sue*, who are always ready with ingenious wit and a pun for every occasion, and who introduce us to the theme of every episode. A group of UK home bakers compete in a series of challenges judged by the intimidating and steely Paul Hollywood* and the delightful, yet honest Mary Berry* for the title of great British baker.
Every episode contains 3 challenges:
Round 1 – The Signature Challenge
Contestants create a bake consistent with the theme of the weekend with your own personal twist.
Round 2 – The Technical Challenge
Contestants bake something exactly according to a recipe that is provided to them. The challenge is the recipe is not a complete step by step and tests the bakers skills and general baking knowledge.
Round 3 – The Showstopper Challenge
Contestants create the most amazing bake that is both visually appealing and tastes great that is consistent with the theme of the weekend and within the parameters given to them (must be x amount of layers, x total of an item, x types of an item, etc.)
In general, competitions on television stress me out. I swear those people who make tv seek out only the most outspoken and competitive extroverts to bash strangers and talk smack.
This is where GBBO is so different. This is a competition show, but as far as I can tell, there is no super-duper exciting grand prize of how ever many dollars, a new car, and the house of your dreams. No. It’s a glass trophy and the honor of saying you won and, as a result, the contestants are actually pleasant human beings to their fellow competitors. Mix that with our 2 judges who genuinely judge with expert opinion on every element of a bake and 2 hosts that I am dying to be my best friends and you have a competition show that I can watch without checking my heart rate.
While I delight in this stress-free viewing experience, I can’t help but think, “I can do that.” “Why have I never heard of this before?” “Gosh, I would love to bake this!” Watching these other home bakers nail recipes and techniques that I maintained could only be accomplished by professional pastry chefs has always been so inspiring.
So I finally forced myself to put my money where my mouth is and actually see if I could do it by completing every challenge of GBBO available on Netflix US. Approximately every week, I will complete a round and document every success, failure, and an honest assessment of taste as I complete these challenges while also commenting on my favorite contestants and Mel and Sue one-liners.
Join me by subscribing to my blog and following me on social media. Here’s to becoming a great Bham baker!
*If you follow the show at all, you will be familiar with the recent changes to the show hosts and judges after a move to another programming network. For the present purposes and scale of this blog, I will only be referring to the episodes I can readily view in the US, which is currently Series 4-6, and will expand my scope as more episodes become available.