great British blog off

Great British Blog Off: I’m Back (Sort Of)

Remember that time I set out to bake my way through the Great British Bake Off cookbook?

Well, as you know I took a bit of a break from blogging about this journey, which turned into a break from the entire project. The second section of the book, Biscuits & Tea Time Treats, just felt so easy compared to the complicated cakes I made in the first several weeks of the challenge. This made it hard to write about the experience, and then made me feel unmotivated to keep pushing altogether.

I also really wasn’t sure I’d like the Cardomom Lemon Buns that I was supposed to make. So, I took a longer break than planned until one day I decided I wanted to bake again.

Cardamom Lemon Buns

Since then, I’ve completed the Biscuits & Tea Time treats chapter at long last, making the aforementioned buns and some Viennese Wheels. These recipes were both fairly easy compared with some of the others I’ve done and were a nice re-introduction to regular baking.

Viennese Whirls

Now, I’ve entered the Bread chapter. If you know Bake Off, you know that Bread Week is always a bit make or break. And so far, I’ve found it to be a bit more challenging than expected. While the first bake, a boulle loaf, was fairly straightforward, I completely folded with the crunchy beer bread.

Why? Because I tried to rush it, and you can’t rush bread. Bread proves when bread proves, and it will not bend to your schedule. So, my bread ended up underproved and nigh-inedible, which was disappointing to say the least. The basic flavor was good, which makes me want to try this recipe again in the near future.

Crunchy Beer Bread (Attempt)

Today, I’m in the kitchen making the next bread recipe, Black Olive Flatbread. It feels nice to be back in a semi-regular baking groove. I can’t promise to bake and blog every week like I used to, as I’m entering the busiest part of my work year here soon. But, I wanted to give an update and say I’m very much still determined to bake my way through this book eventually.

I’ve learned so much about baking from doing this, and I find baking to be such a soothing, mindful activity. Hopefully I come out of bread week(s) with some really stellar bread skills. If nothing else, I’ll have learned a spot of patience. Maybe.