**BAKE ALONG HAS ENDED**
If it has not been made clear yet, I am very fond of the British reality baking series – The Great British Bake Off. For someone who is not fanatical, especially when it comes to pop culture, I fell pretty hard for this show when it aired in America on PBS. After all, I’m a southern belle, but I’m also an unabashed Anglophile. Ever since studying at “uni” in England and tromping around the countryside, I’ve been dying to go back. But, watching the British Bake Off every week is one way I get to experience my home away from home.
As a gardener, baker, self-proclaimed Anglophile, and lover of whimsy, this show hits all my sweet spots (how punny!). Unlike the prototypical dramatic and anxiety-ridden cooking shows we have here in the States, the Great British Bake Off is a peaceful antithesis. First of all, they film the show in what looks like a giant greenhouse (it’s actually a really nice tent).
The lighting is airy and bright – who wants to bake in a cramped box of stainless steel, anyway? They give glimpses of the gardens when the contestants are interviewed outside of the tent, which only intensifies my itch to go back to England and explore the gardens again. The contestants are made up of all different kinds of people, yet all are very cordial, entertaining, and suitably British. It’s great to see how each one approaches a challenge – and it’s very encouraging as an amateur baker to see some of the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ approaches they take. Nothing is taken too seriously – it’s just a baking show, after all – and the judges’ critiques are always very informative.
The best part, though: the bakes! Eclairs, puddings, pasties, tarts, breads, sponges, cakes, muffins, scones, you name it! For all that we have in the U.S., we are sadly lacking in the variety and high quality of European pastries. Let’s look beyond Betty Crocker cake mixes and buttercream, people!
I’m challenging myself to go through at least one select contestant recipe from each episode of the latest season, season 6, currently airing in Britain (if you live across the pond like me, you can find each episode a day after it airs on YouTube). It will hopefully sharpen my baking skills and strengthen my repertoire of European pastries.
I invite you to join me in this challenge!
**I am linking up my bakes with other GBBO lovers and bloggers this season. The lovely hosts are Ala with This Particular Blog and Amanda with Rhyme and Ribbons. Get updates from the bake along via Instagram & Twitter | #bakeoffbakealong