Great British Bake Off: "Welcome To Yeast"

03/09/2013 17:25 | Updated 22 May 2015

The outcome of bread week could be a metaphor for modern life, says Emma Sleight, or it could just be about peacocks and chocolate. As ever with Great British Bake Off, it's hard to know when totally obsessed is too totally obsessed...

Mel and Sue found out how many puns they could make about buns, Paul Hollywood revealed he likes a large muffin and tomatoes on top of a tomato loaf do not make a tomato twist. We learned ALL of this in the joyful second episode of Great British Bake Off. In the words of dough's very own silver fox PH, "welcome to yeast".

It turns out yeast is the Wild Wild West of baking. Just ask poor old Kimberley. Why? Well, there comes a time in Bake Off when a contestant must think they're destined to be crowned star baker.

"After all," they tell themselves, "I've had a winning batch of breadsticks, produced the finest muffins and even brought Paul Hollywood to the edge of a dough orgasm by showing off my translucent bread window.

"Even my showstopper was a winner!" they internally exclaim. "And anyway, how could I possibly lose with a loaf so ornate and politically correct it's called itself 'Peace Bread'?"

Yet victory was snatched away from Kimberley by Ruby's pretty Mexican twists and a showy peacock stuffed with chocolate. A metaphor for our time? A trick of the camera? An overdose of yeast causing dough-related confusion in Paul and Mary? Whatever the reason, let's be frank - Kimberley got a little bit Bake Off screwed this week.

Anyway, let''s go through the basics. Episode two was all about the bread, which meant decorative loaves, more plaits than Matthew Williamson's A/W 2013 catwalk show and the answer to one of life's big questions: how should one knead dough?

Do you go for the GBH slap favoured by Mark? The massage by Beca? Kimberley's stretch and flop? Ruby's roll? Christine's rub? Deborah's pat? Or the almost disgusted stroke preferred by bread amateur Ali?

Howard, with his drawling Yorkshire accent, perplexingly brilliant flavours and unflappable good humour – even when Sue elbowed his muffins to oblivion - is fast becoming a weekly highlight all by himself. Frankly he should have won star baker for his pronunciation of Moroccan spice mix Ras El Hanout alone. Who wouldn't want a breadstick drizzled with the mysterious eastern promise of 'Razzle Hanooo?'

For horticulturalist Lucy, however, it all went wrong this week and her Bake Off dream ended. She looked ready to take a baseball bat to Paul's face after he battered her muffins with his meaty thumbs and glowered at her simple tomato loaf, so it's probably for the best.

The producers seemed determined to inject some drama into the episode as the cameras swooped in for an extreme close up of Kimberley during the awkward moment when she realised young gun Ruby had pipped her to the accolade of star baker.

Alas, it didn't matter how much she grinned and clapped, she wasn't convincing anyone she was pleased her Jewish and Arabic fusion loaf, scattered with Iranian rose petals was beaten by an extravagantly plaited peacock.

So, last week's baking almost-casualty Ruby is storming ahead. Next week it's deserts and petit fours and something tells me that silver hulk Glenn and shouty Mark are in for some fondant fancy trauma. Question: how did we ever survive without this?

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