As we mentioned yesterday, The Great British Baking Show is back where it belongs….on PBS! The highly popular British reality/baking show, which airs under the title The Great British Bake-Off in the UK, will hit American television screens once again beginning Friday, July 1 with twelve new contestants all hoping to be the next Mary Berry.
One note of caution, however. The forthcoming series on PBS will, technically, be series 3. When originally transmitted in the UK on BBC One last August through October (2015), it aired as series 6. So…don’t anyone head off to Las Vegas to place bets on who might win. Also, do your best to stay off social media!
“Cakes” — Friday, July 1 on PBS
Lest you think this is some easy, fun challenge, consider what’s in store for the 12 contestants in the weeks ahead with a look at Week 1!
For the first challenge, the bakers were given two hours to make a Madeira Cake, which was chosen as an “easy” challenge for the bakers. The cake should have a dome and a crack on top, though Mary stated the cake should not differ too far from the original. For the technical challenge, the bakers had one and three quarter hours to make Mary’s recipe for a Frosted Walnut Cake, which should have three layers and a meringue coating, along with caramelized walnuts. A Black Forest gâteau was set as the final challenge. In three and a half hours, the bakers were tasked with making a cake that should be extravagant, and should “impress” Mary and Paul.
Even though the winner was crowned last Fall, The Great British Baking Show is perfect appointment telly. Series presenters, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, join cookery writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood who will, once again, be the judges for what is, perhaps, the best reality show ever. Let’s meet the first six of the twelve ‘bakers’ hoping to be crowned the UK’s Best Amateur Baker.
Alvin – 37
Father of two, Alvin is originally from the Philippines but now works as a nurse in Berkshire. According to the BBC, he’s a true perfectionist who once repeatedly baked bread each day for three weeks until he got it just right.
Dorret – 53
Originally from the West Indies, Dorret actually grew up in Preston and now works as an accountant. She enjoys hosting dinner parties with her husband to “impress their friends with their skills”.
Flora – 19
The youngest baker in this year’s competition, Flora is an assistant at a contemporary art gallery and is currently waiting to start her history of art degree. Expect some tastefully arranged cakes.
Ian – 41
Travel photographer Ian lives with his wife and two children in Cambridgeshire. Recently, he’s become more of a house husband, making his family fresh bread every day, but that doesn’t stop him being the Dalai Lama’s personal photographer when he’s in the UK.
Marie – 66
This year’s oldest contestant, Marie was entered by her daughter who claims the baker couldn’t “even boil an egg” while she was growing up. The turning point was when she moved to Paris and was inspired by the patisseries. We’re expecting some amazing croissants.
Mat – 37
Fire Fighter Mat began baking three years ago in between work shifts and is a self-confessed “competent amateur” who “learns every time he bakes”. His ambition, apparently, is to one day own a dishwasher.
Check back tomorrow for a quick look at the remaining six contestants. After that, your oven will be preheated and ready for the July 1 premiere of The Great British Baking Show on PBS.