Tonight, The Great British Bake Off’s 12th annual Bread Week will air in the U.K.—but here in America, Netflix won’t be delivering the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show ‘til Friday. (We needed to give the show a special name here in the States, because the only thing this country loves more than baking is litigation.)
Historically, GBBO’s Bread Week is the best week. That’s because, of all the asinine baked goods this show forces its contestants to make, intricate sculptures made from multiple types of bread are without a doubt one of the asinine-iest. While we don’t know exactly what this year’s Bread Week Showstopper Challenge will be, judging from the 30-second preview tacked onto the end of last week’s episode, it is absolutely going to exceed my wildest expectations.
As I’ve firmly established in many of my somehow still not Noel Fielding-approved Great British Baking Show recaps, gone are the days when a British baker’s skills would be put to the test in a sane, rational manner. Case in point: during the first ever Cake Week back in 2010, the Showstopper Challenge was to make a very nice chocolate cake. In contrast, this year’s Cake Week Showstopper was “gravity defying cakes,” and though that sounds entirely ridiculous, it was still a shade saner than 2020's theme: cakes that (theoretically) look like celebrities’ heads.
The second episode of the season is always
Cookie Biscuit Week, which, in the show’s first season, called for the bakers to make four different cookies in four hours for their Showstopper. Cut to last week, when Biscuit Week had the GBBO Class of 2021 making interactive three-dimensional toys for Paul and Paul to play with, before ripping apart hours of intricate cookie engineering with their bare hands while the bakers were forced to watch. It was nearly as painful to watch as this season’s cold open which, in case you’ve scrubbed the sight of it from your memory, looked like this:
It’s abundantly clean that there is no challenge too ridiculous or debasing for The Great British Baking Show to throw at its contestants, and with seven more episodes to go, and an infinite number of seasons ahead of us, what sort of
torture challenging bakes would you like to see go down in England’s happiest tent?