Great Australian Bake off Series 3: Episode 2 BREAD WEEK {recap}

You can read my Week 1 recap here

Oh Bread week, one of my favourites in the Bake off tent near or far and probably because of my DEEP love of all things carbs. Specificially bread. Mostly because with bread you get to add butter on top. At this late stage in January these virtual TV bakes should be the only carbs I am consuming but alas, let’s brush the breadcrumbs off my shelf of boob and ample gut and let’s get on with…BREAD WEEK!

This week the 11 bakers have the challenge of an Italian signature, an Aussie technical and a show stopping centrepiece.

So far we can see that Barb is pumped and confident (watch it Barbs, it’s how the mighty have fallen), Chris loves bread (don’t we all mate?), Alex confident and Max needs bread like oxygen so we are expecting BIG things.

First up we have the Signature bake of Foccocia: Italian flatbread sweet or savoury in 2 hours.

Max is making an Olive oil & rosemary focaccia topped with figs, walnuts & prosciutto. Cold dough start warming up mate.

Robert, our star baker from last week is making a rosemary foccocia topped with tomatoes feta and black olives and get’s a SERVE from Maggie that makes me panic a little. Change your olives darls, stat.

Chris a Garlic & Thyme focaccia will be topped with red onion, feta & zucchini. Dough looks good Maggie & Matt are making all the right noises as he starts to massage his dough with EOO. Werk it…

Alex, the Dad of the Spanish focaccia topped with vine tomatoes, chorizo & goat’s cheese. There’s talk of flat dough, let’s hope not.

We then turn to Marcus who is giving his dough a solid work out (STOP TOUCHING IT MARCUS IT’s NOT A PIANO despite him saying as such). Goat’s cheese focaccia with glazed walnuts, smokled beetroot and herbs.

Raeesa is making an eggplant & caramelised onion focaccia topped with cherry tomatoes, herbs and dukkah. There’s a LOT going on…which may be genius or disaster.

Barb is going FANCY with her simple focaccia doing a variation on a family favourite an olive oil focaccia topped with rosemary and olives. It’s looks oily and delicious, like most things that are oily and delicious.

Emma spelt focaccia contains cherry tomatoes and anchovies….spelt may be an issue here.

Michelle is making a quarto formaggi focaccia contains ricotta, parmesan, feta and gorgonzola and I’m immediately ready to name her start baker…hello 4 cheeses!

Claudia’s kitchenette(?) focaccia will be topped with beer, orange glazed onions and pear and running the gauntlet with the timing.

Dave surprisingly is going extra orderly with his pine nut & grape focaccia decorated with grapes (27 of them) sea salt (56 flakes) and rosemary (26 sprigs).

It’s Judging time:

Barb’s great flavour, Chris’ well risen, Michelle’s a little underbaked, Emma’s spelt underflavoured, Marcus baked it on the stone so not crispy on the base and Marcus hasn’t used enough oil. Dave has unbaked his, Raeesa has made hers too busy, Claudia under baked hers, Robert NAILED his. I’m just wanting to douse myself in oil and eat bread.

Next we have the Technical bake: an Australian classic: 12 identical pumpkin scones with a bit on the side (their own butter PRAISE BE).

Max could be in trouble as he doesn’t know what one is, Dave never made or tasted one but of course is using a ruler to serve up his butter, and Alex is spending a large amount of time making noises (similar to ones I make every day with my 2 year old) of frustration as he stuffed up the butter.

It’s judging time:

Dave’s golden & even, Emma’s too small, Barb’s uneven distribution of dates, Robert good colour (course he does look at those locks!), Marcus’ glaze has stopped his rise, Raeesa’s overcooked, Melissa done well, and Claudia great & Alex a little inconsistent in size.

Last place goes to Emma, then 2nd Claudia and 1st to Robert.

It’s now showstopper time and I need this episode to end because I can’t stop eating pieces of bread with lashings of butter. They have to make a Pull-apart bread centrepiece (sweet or savoury) with one or mixture of doughs in 4 hours.

Chris is making an apple pie centrepiece pull apart with scrolls galore (SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY CHRIS) custard, cinnamon and apple scrolls.

Raeesa baklava pull apart with white dough of nuts, honey and spices.

Emma feeling the pressure as she is down the bottom hoping to come through with the goods with an Atomic pull apart with a mixture of light and dark rye topped with caramelised onion and caraway seeds.

Marcus is not only making a French onion pull apart with a base of caramelised onions, garlic & thyme and cheese with a hollowed out bread bowl to fill with French onion soup BUT he’s giving us lessons in onion cutting whilst looking special with his tongue hanging out. It’s quite disturbing.

Rob has the karate kid scarf out and ready to win given his success so far this ep. He’s making a cheesy pull apart with white rolls with cheese, garlic & chives. Looks a little basic but what would I know, I love plain white sandwich bread, so you know.

Alex has the pressure of his Mum on this bake as he makes a variation of his Mum’s Easter bread with a Tsoureki filled with chocolate & almond paste.

Michelle is making a sweet & savoury Christmas centrepiece which includes a sage & spec bread with cranberries on top and a star brioche filled with jams.

Max making 4 different breads from different parts of France with different flavourings to match a Tour de France of flavours if you will.

Claudia is going down a heritage road with her Edelweiss pull apart with stollen bread, sticky buns and apple & orange & lemon buns. She’s looking good here.

Barb is making a pumpkin pull apart bouquet of spinach & cheese roses – a tribute to her Grandma.

Dave is making an enchanted (precision) rose. In a bread dome thing. That’s also precise.

It’s Judging time:

Mostly it appears to be a good week from all bakers, Barb, Alex & Robert perhaps a little simple (Barb nailing hers, Rob not so much as he panicked and threw bacon at it…a good technique at most tricky times in life I think and Alex a good shine but hardly showstopping worthy). It appears that Claudia has nailed it with her bake: lots of different breads and styles and all delicious as has Michelle’s with her Christmas bake. Dave’s enchanted rose is a work of art that tastes good too. Highly commended are Chris’ apple pie scroll cake, Raeesa’s baklava pull apart. Raeesa got a Maggie Beer nudge which I think means that she did good, Max is slightly underbaked but a good concept. Most oohing and ahhing seems to be going to Marcus and his great presentation and flavour and Emma heading back down below with presentation a bit off but a good fluffy rye.

So that means that…
Star baker is Claudia!
Sadly that means that going home is Alex aka Daddy…who will be missed.

Let’s see what happens next week…BISCUIT week. Great, this is not going to work out well for my new year weight loss.


  1. I was sad to see Alex go home.

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