Really not sure how to feel about this one.
I mean, obviously a final is exciting. But what in God’s name am I going to do with my Wednesday evenings now?
Bakeoff is a way of life. Not having to do the mad Wednesday night baking, going to bed covered in flour, or get up early on Thursday mornings to get just the perfect natural light?
WHAT am I going to do?
The final was definitely the most emotional there has ever been.
You’d need a heart of stone (me) to no tear up even a tiny bit when Mary Berry’s voice started to break a bit at the end.
She’s absolutely the cutest lady to ever exist.
I’m going to spoiler away here because it’s Friday, and if you haven’t watched the GBBO final then why are you reading this anyway?
Nadiya was, to be fair, a deserving winner. But I was team Tamal I have to say. Anyone that turns sticky toffee pudding- the best dessert known to man- into a massive showstopping cake confection, should win in my book.
The final is so touch and go though, it really does depend on who performs on the day. Any of them could have won it.
Have to say though- the “what have they been up to since” bit of the show was a bit depressing. After all that, Nadiya is just baking away as normal? I really hope we see bigger and better things from her in the future. Please not blue bubblegum eclairs though, no offence.
Anyway, for the Bakealong this week. The technical challenge and the Showstopper were both kept a secret before the episode. The BBC website eluded vaguely to the technical as “something all the bakers had struggled with before”, and the Showstopper was just described as “British cakes”. I quite liked that air of mystery though, especially for the final.
So I set to the Signature- filled iced buns, made with enriched dough. I thought that challenge would be double entendre heaven, but surprisingly things were slightly higher brow than usual. Disappointing.
…..but I got it completely wrong.
I made enriched rolled buns (cinnamon roll type buns). Filled with strawberry jam, white chocolate, and tangy lemon, and slathered with fresh lemon icing. They were filled and iced, so I thought that hit the brief?
An iced bun is apparently like an iced finger. You live and learn.
Because I was taking my buns (oh here we go), to a GBBO final party, I didn’t get a good photo before they all got eaten.
BUT I did reserve some of the enriched dough, and used it to make a plaited loaf. It was, in theory, a miniature plaited loaf. But once it’d risen it became pretty frigging huge. Oh well, more to share.
The plaited loaf was so simple to do, and it looks like it’s properly difficult. I decided to fill each strand alternatively with dark chocolate and jam, which made things a little tricky. The filling was trying its hardest to burst out. But if you don’t fill the strands it’s honestly so easy.
One prove, pop in the oven, and it’s done.
Sweet, soft dough, rich and delicious filling.
And it looks quite pretty too!
Chocolate and strawberry braided loaf
This is less of a recipe and more an instruction manual.
Follow Sally McKinney’s Cinnamon Roll Recipe, making the dough as instructed. This recipe is the one I used every single time I make enriched dough rolls. It’s soft, fluffy, easy to work with, and only requires one prove. And it works every single time. The woman is a genius.
Her recipe will make approximately 4 of these braided loaves, but what I did was take approximately 1/4 of the dough for the loaf, and made rolls with the rest. Once you have rolled your dough out into a rectangle you can fill it however you like. I did white chocolate, strawberry jam, and fresh lemon juice and zest mixed with a bit of cornflour to prevent the filling being too moist. You could do the butter and cinnamon sugar filling, as stated in the recipe, but other good ideas are chocolate spread (Nutella I’m looking at you) or even a savoury filling such as goats cheese and mango chutney.
Make sure though, that if your filling has a high sugar content (like jam), to place a piece of tinfoil over the rolls near the start of their oven time, as they are liable to burn before they’re cooked through.
SO the braided loaf.
-Take your dough after it has been rested for 10 minutes.
-Divide equally into 3.
-Roll into strands of dough (equal lengths)
-If filling, flatten the strand (by hand or with a rolling pin) and put the filling in a line down the middle.
-Pinch the outside bits of the dough together to completely cover the filling. Try not to overfill or it might burst through and things could get messy in the oven. Nobody has time to clean burnt on chocolate from the bottom of the oven.
-Pinch the three strands together and plait. Tuck the ends underneath. Be gentle with the dough and don’t try to stretch it too much.
-Leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
-Brush the loaf with a beaten egg wash, and put in the oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes. If it starts to colour too fast (this happens a lot to enriched dough), the pop some tinfoil over the loaf during the baking.
-The loaf will be done when it sounds hollow if you tap the bottom.
Serve warm, slathered in more jam.