Ten things I’ve learnt from the Great British Bake Off


Ten things I've learnt from the Great


Definitely an appointment to view tomorrow with the start of the new series of Great British Bake Off, though it’s hard to believe this is series 6. Which made me think about the things that the first five series have taught me:

1. Apparently you can make your own filo pastry from scratch.

But why would you? I cannot believe Paul Hollywood made his own when he worked in Cyprus. And life is too short to make it. Likewise puff pastry.


Kitchenaid Pink


2. A KitchenAid is a treacherous piece of kit

I don’t care how lovely it looks, my dull by comparison Kenwood Chef has never covered me in flour. I wonder how many episodes in we’ll get before it happens.


Glenn Cosby on tour in Edinburgh


3. It’s not always the winner who does best

I seem to hear more of some of the non-winners than some winners. Or maybe it’s just that I read the Guardian so see Ruby’s recipes on a regular basis. Or hear of Brendan’s classes. Or was in Edinburgh for the festival when Glenn was on tour.



4. It’s best, but not essential, to know your sugar from your salt

Didn’t do John Whaite any harm to mix them up. Although others have not been so lucky, even celebrities.I suggest very big labels in the kitchen. We did nearly have a nasty salt in tea incident here, so not learnt lesson very well.

5. Always check you’ve switched the oven on

Grilling cake tends to be limited to Schichttorte, otherwise it’s best to turn the oven on. And check it feels warm when you put a cake in. Otherwise there may be panic at some point.

6. Plaiting an eight strand loaf requires a lot of concentration

About the same as learning to French plait hair. I’ve given up on both.


Oh dear, she didn't like that


7. If you’re up in front of Mary Berry, make your own fondant

Who can forget that look? But if it’s not Mary coming round, then I’d cheat. Though not with the Sainsbury’s own brand stuff. Horrid in my view.

8. About episode 2 I’ll be really glad again that I didn’t enter

Every year throughout the series someone nags me about entering. I vaguely consider it given that I love baking, and people, generally, seem to like my baking. And then they do something spectacularly over the top, and I think “thank god I’m not there!”

9. I’ll still want one of those ovens

It’s all about those slideaway doors.

10. I will forget every week to get some baked goods in the house

It’s not the same watching it with just a cup of tea. Must get organised and get baking in preparation to settling down to enjoy the hour.

So here’s to enjoying the trials and tribulations ahead of the bakers and seeing what challenges lie ahead, of cakes we’ve never heard of, and those we long to try.


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Helen Tarver

Collector of great gifts and fabulous food, mum, cake baker & eater, wine opener. I write about food and the gift of it in its many forms.

One thought on “Ten things I’ve learnt from the Great British Bake Off”

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    Lynne says:

    I need a like button under each and every one of these points. Especially #8…..

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