Episode 5 – Red, White & Blue

This was the only episode filmed midweek. It was a busy and hectic two days with several visitors, including a journalist from the Daily Telegraph who interviewed us all. The weather was still pretty grim  – I had to wear a fleece until the warmth from the ovens kicked in. The salmon coulibiac was one of the few things I made that I could honestly say really was a signature bake. I often make it for Christmas lunch and have experimented over the years with the fillings and pastry. Having tried several versions I had decided that a brioche pastry worked best.

However, there was just not enough time to do a proper brioche on the day so, in a last minute panic, I remembered the Scandinavian pastry with quark that a Norwegian friend had told me about some time back. I tried it once the day before filming and it worked beautifully. With so little practice I had to just hope that I could made it work again in front of the cameras but it was fine. This has since become a favourite pastry. I have a recipe up my sleeve using this pastry that I plan to put on the website soon.

The hand-raised pies were as much of a nightmare as they appeared on the show. By the end I’m not sure that any of us were any the wiser about how to work with the dolly. In fact, I reached the conclusion that they were instruments of torture thought up by Paul. Sadly the editors left out a wonderful moment at the end of the judging when Mel ran with one of the dollies down to the nearby pond and threw it in. We all stood by laughing and cheering. It was antics like that which helped keep us all sane. Mel and Sue were just brilliant at that.

I enjoyed making the American Pie. My chiffon pie was something I invented for the programme after scouring various books and the internet for a pie that could be made to look interesting and colourful. In the process I learned quite a lot about the tradition of pie-making in the US. An eye-opener.

It was fantastic that Ryan got ‘star baker’. He is really inventive and has nerves of steel! But we were all really sad to see Manisha go. She is a lovely person with a big, warm heart and a great sense of humour too!


6 Responses to “Episode 5 – Red, White & Blue”

  1. Steve
    September 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Hi, which mixer do you recommend for making bread doughs? Thanks!

  2. brendan
    September 20, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    The Kenwood Chef is excellent.- one in the £300-£400 range is fine for iccasional use, but if frequent useage, go for a strong motor, which will cost in the £600 – £750 range.
    Personally, I do nit use the Kenwood for bread-making.(I do use it for croissant dough, but that’s it). I prefer to knead by hand. A good 8-10 minutes of kneading is all that’s needed to work the gluten. Also, I find the action of kneading very therapeutic. I talked about machine-kneading versus hand with Paul Hollywood, and he prefers hand-kneading. Only for large quantities of dough would he use an industrial mixer,
    Hope that helps.

  3. Darren
    September 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I love your posts on here, giving us little extra insights, and of course the baking tips are awesome. I was on the edge of my seat for the 18 Sept episode, and was glad they decided to keep everyone, as that was the fairest decision in the circumstances. Keep up the amazing work on this website.


  4. Jay
    October 3, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Brendan, I just wanted to come here and say me and my friends are cheering for you when we watch the Great British Bake Off. Your knowledge and designs are brilliant!

    • brendan
      October 3, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you Jay and also to your friends for their support. I really appreciate it. I am now at the stage where I want to pass on the skills I have and I intend to do something about that by end of year/early next year. Baking and cooking has always been a passion and still remains so. all the best to you. Brendan

    • brendan
      October 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Thank you Jay for your encouragment and kind words. I do appreciate them as each episode is a test of your skils and knowledge – in a very fast-moving and strange environment! But you grow from the experience. Warm wishes Brendan

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