THIS IS THE BEST COOKING SHOW EVER ON TV EVER! Seriously. No exaggeration.
It was inevitable. Anyone who used to listen to the Popmatic Podcast knew this day was coming. And now it’s here.
THE LIBRARY HAS ALL THREE SEASONS OF THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW ON DVD! And you can watch them!
Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout, but it’s just so exciting. I love this show. My friend and I stumbled across it one night while flipping through the channels. But we were only able to watch about 5 episodes of the first season before we were too sleepy to continue. Then we spent the next month stalking PBS, trying to find out when it was going to air this show again. And we were not alone. It seemed like everyone wanted PBS to bring back Paul and Mary and the crazy host ladies. So they did.
The basic premise is that roughly a dozen amateur bakers in Britain come together in the English countryside to bake hard things in a portable tent. The judges are famous British bakers, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. I had never heard of them before the show, so I’m taking the show's word for it. The hosts are hilarious British comedy team Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. The bakers have three rounds based on one aspect of baking, for instance bread. They can practice the first and third challenges, but the middle challenge is a surprise. Mary or Paul provide a recipe that the bakers must use to demonstrate their technical ability.
The first time I saw the show, I thought, I could so do that. The thing that is most intimidating about American baking shows is that you have to do everything on the fly. But if I could actually practice ahead of time, I’d be unstoppable. Then I realized that the recipe for the middle challenge is not quite as comprehensible as I would have hoped. For instance, if a recipe calls for sponge cake, the recipe would say “Make sponge.”
So I probably wouldn’t be quite as dominant as I initially imagined, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying. I have made a couple of the recipes from the show with some success. There’s hope for me yet. Be warned – if you check out any cookbook tie-ins, the recipes are going to be very challenging to replicate here in America. Their terminology is different: they have caster sugar and icing sugar where we have sugar and powdered sugar. Also their oven directions are completely weird and I wish you good luck with that.
I love this show so much that I just bought all three seasons from Amazon. This means that you actually have a chance of being able to borrow them from the library. You’re welcome.
If you are any kind of baker, you need to check these out. Trust me.