Bread week’s rising star
GREAT BRITISH Bake Off’s bread week has historically been a biggie. Until last year, the winner of this round in each series had gone on to reach the final.
Stacey Hart, the Jewish contestant from Hertfordshire, regularly dabbles in dough, having shared that she bakes a challah each Shabbat.
“This is a big week for me. It’s my chance to show them I can bake bread” she said in Tuesday’s latest instalment of the show on Channel 4. She needed a good round to take her from the drop zone, with her only notable bake to date, glittery marshmallow brownie sandwich biscuits. Would Hart’s bread save her from fetching her coat?
The signature bake task was to make 12 perfectly formed tea cakes. Stacey, despite being spooked by judge Paul Hollywood’s warning that her chosen milk glaze would make her cranberry and cinnamon-flavoured treats too soft, earned praise from both judges. “It’s a good teacake” said Prue Leith, with Hollywood begrudgingly agreeing it to be “decent” while maintaining the milk was a mistake.
After the revelations of his Nazi fan- STACEY WATCH Stacey Hart nailed her cottage loaf , but her showstopper bonnet lacked flavour
cy dress in the Sunday papers last weekend, it was a relief to see Hollywood in his usual combo of jeans and shirt.
Stacey was happy but still hankering for higher praise: “All I want is for them to say ‘you’ve nailed it’, and that hasn’t happened yet,” she complained.
The technical round was the seemingly simple task of making a cottage loaf. Stacey, getting plenty of airtime this week, was gleeful. “I do know what a cottage loaf is — I’ve made it before,” she smiled.
Her experience paid off as she cruised to victory. Punching the air, she was delighted: “First in the technical on bread week. That is massive!”
Going into the showstopper round
as frontrunner had turned her fortunes around. As Prue Leith said: “Bread week has blown it wide open”. Even Hollywood was rooting for her: “I’d like to see her do well in the showstopper. She’s set herself up to be star baker.”
The task was to make a colourful bread sculpture using natural colours. Stacey’s creation, a bonnet with a challah brim and breadsticks poking up from the crown was judged elegant, but crashed and burned on taste.
She came so close to glory, and although she did walk away with first place in the technical, for Stacey, this will be the week that got away. Still, she lives to bake another day with Liverpool granny Flo leaving the tent.