Tea loaves, European buns and a complicated twist: Week 6 on The Great British Bake Off

This week the remaining Great British Bake Off contestants were challenged to make sweet dough: a tea loaf, some buns and a twisted loaf all seemed so easy, that is until we saw the poor contestants struggle their way through the three rounds. 


At this stage in the compeition nothing ever comes easy as judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry do their best to sift (sorry!) out the strongest bakers. Sweet dough we thought, ‘ahhh this’ll be a breeze. A little brioche? No problem!’ How silly we had been as it appeared as though this was unchartered teritory for a lot of our remaining Bake Off contestants.


Last week, the girls continued their lucky streak as poor Rob was voted out, so we were quietly rooting for one of the boys to take centre stage this week. So, as we are more than half way through, the competition intensified in the way only The Bake Off could, with mostly good humour and a few puns from hosts Sue and Mel mixed in with a few wobbly moments from the contestants. 


Signature round: Tea Loaf


Perhaps a little less glam than the usual signature round, the humble tea loaf is something which is often looked over in favour of a fancy cupcake but everyone loves a classic now and then. Sliced and spread with butter beside a cuppa? Oh, it’d be rude not to.


Make a classic tea loaf with easy recipe


So, anyway back to the Bake Off…  


Made sweet with tea-soaked fruit, these traditional loaves came in many shapes and sizes this week. There were chai loaves, hemp loaves and even a panettone loaf amongst the offerings for Mary and Paul this week but what was even more interesting was some of the contestant’s techniques.


Teacher Glen was left unsure of his cooling process after Paul planted the seed of doubt in his mind when he asked how his bake was going to be cooled. Charmingly inventive, Glen managed to prepare some sort of pulley system with a pan, string and a handful of metal skewers to hang his panettone upside down, avoiding the ever-present soggy bottom.


Poor Howard was left deflated after presenting his date and hemp Yorkshire tea loaf to the judges only to be told, quite flatly, by Mary that it was ‘different’.


Technical challenge: Apricot couronne


In classic Paul fashion his Techincal Challenge was something hard to
pronounce and something even harder to make – a sweet dough ring
called a couronne which requires much kneading, proving and nimble
fingered twisting. 


Without much instruction and with a lot of challenges the bakers dove headfirst into the signature bake this week with many having never made one before.

It was again a battle of the boys at the bottom of the pack, as Glenn’s apricot twist was voted into last place for being too thin, doughy and over baked – ouch!


Fancy twisting some dough of your own? Our sweet almond plait is made the same way as a couronne and can easily be given a Paul Hollywood twist with a little apricot jam and a wreath shape. Recipe here. 





Showstopper: European buns 


A suitably vague title proved (sorry, again!) to translate as a whole host of options. The bakers were challenged to bake their way to victory by making a vast 36 perfectly puffed buns. There was Swedish cinnamon buns to German schnecken and French brioches.


Now, this is usually our favourite round, but the showstopper this week proved stifling for the creatives of the group with only one or two presenting their buns in an interesting fashion. We were disappointed but knew that there would always be couple who would persevere with elaborate presentation and fiddly decoration.

Being in the unfortunate position of being unable to taste the creations we went purely on the looks – shallow of us we know. We loved the look of Howard’s little peachy buns that were baked with a spoon handle across the top to create a peachy dent and decorated with a leaf.

In true Francis style she brought her buns to the table with a flourish and presented her two bun recipes as alternating naughts and crosses. If only she had let us play!

Poor Glenn had a nightmare with his cinnamon swirls as they stuck to the tin and wriggled all over the place, having only minutes earlier declared proudly that nothing could go wrong – whoops!

Try whipping up a warm and buttery brioche at home with our easy recipe


Week 6 summary


Ruby was told off for ‘always coming forlorn and saying ‘if only” by Mary as she apologised for her chocolate buns which she thought were over baked. However the judges received them well and congratulated her on her delicious and well baked goods.


We think Howard became a bit of a national sweetheart during his stint on the Bake Off and we were sad to see him go. Seemingly we weren’t alone in our forlorn state. Glenn felt the full effect of Mary and Paul’s decision as he wept onto Howard’s shoulders that it should have been him. Emmm shouldn’t Howard be the one in emotional distress? Come on Glenn, you’re the last boy left! 


Best bake: Purely based on looks, Howard’s buns

Best moment: Kimberly profiling all other contestants by describing their baking personalities!

Star baker: Ruby

Going home: Howard

Puns of the week:  ‘Why where her buns so famous?’

Next week: Pastry



Where to next? 

See all the Great British Bake Off technical challenges

Where are they now? See what the old Bake Off contestants are up to

Caught the baking bug? See all our lovely cake recipes 


This recipe has already been read 547 times!

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