Follow the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.'s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country's best amateur baker by testing the competitors' skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
Pies & Tarts
Friday, Oct 6 at 3pm
Follow 12 amateur bakers as they enter the competition tent for their first hurdle: cake. The Signature Bake requires a Swiss roll, a seemingly simple task fraught with risks. For the Technical Bake, bakers must duplicate Mary Berry's classic cherry cake, to Berry's exacting standard. In the Showstopper Bake, the competitors tackle classic British cakes - in perfect miniature - 36 of them.
One week down and 11 amateur bakers remain. Let the biscuit baking begin. The Signature challenge is to create biscuits that go well with a cheese course. For the Technical, the bakers must follow Mary's basic instructions for her Florentines recipe. In the Showstopper, bakers are tasked with creating three-dimensional "biscuit scenes." Who will leave the competition tent?
It's week three and the remaining 10 bakers get ready to brave bread. For the Signature, they must bake 12 perfect rye bread rolls, shaped as they prefer. The Technical calls for ciabatta loaves, using judge Paul's recipe. For the Showstopper, the bakers have to make a filled centerpiece loaf with as much impact on a table as on the judges. Who will rise to the occasion?
The competition stiffens like whipped peaks. For the Signature, bakers must create so-called "saucy puds" - delicate cakes hiding a gooey filling or saucy surprise at the bottom. In the Technical, bakers take on Mary's tiramisu. In the Showstopper, they have to beat the odds and the heat to make the perfect baked Alaska. Meltdowns ensue.
Almost half-way through the baking competition, the remaining bakers face pies and tarts. Custard tarts are their Signature challenge, followed by mini pear pies - one of the more unusual Technical challenges in the competition tent. Finally, contestants battle their biggest bake yet: three-tiered pies. The Showstopper allows them only four hours to create a towering collection of pies.
And then there were six. The remaining bakers now face three European cakes. For the Signature, bakers are asked to make yeast-leavened cakes. Their work's cut out for them in the most demanding Technical challenge yet: they have two hours to make the 24-step Swedish Princess torte. And finally, for the Showstopper, they must create a contemporary version of the Hungarian Dobos torte.
Week seven in the tent sees the bakers tested on all kinds of weird, wonderful pastries. They're assigned Signature savory parcels, ranging from pasties to samosas. The Technical challenge throws them into uncharted territory with a pastry none has heard of ... the round and crusty kouign amann. Paul tests the bakers' patience in a challenge to create this multi-layered, buttery pastry. Finally, Showstopper eclairs will give five lucky bakers a spot in the quarter-finals.
It's the quarter-finals of the competition and only five bakers remain. Mary and Paul up the ante to see which bakers will rise to the challenge. The competitors must make enriched sweet fruit loaves for their Signature, followed by a Technical challenge that stretches them to the limit. Finally, the bakers must make 36 showstopping doughnuts, demonstrating skills and ideas that take baking to a new level.
It's semi-finals time and the tension is palpable as the bakers take on patisseries. First, they're challenged with Signature baklava. Next is a most demanding Technical task - making the tricky German schichttorte, cooked in stages under a grill to create 20 layers. The Showstopper raises the bar even higher: the final four work non-stop to create two elegant entremets.
Just three challenges lie between the three finalists and the trophy. And what a trio of challenges they are: mastery of a classic pastry technique that normally takes a day - in just three hours; a Technical test that requires mastering the basics - with no recipe; and a Showstopper that demands delivery of perfect sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petit four in the bakers' final five hours in the tent.
Paul makes a blackcurrant and licorice Swiss roll, while Mary prepares cherry cake with lemon icing. Paul demonstrates two savory biscuits and Mary shows the correct way to make Florentines. She concludes with miniature coffee and walnut cakes.
Paul makes ciabatta and his showstopping roquefort and walnut loaf. Mary prepares layered tiramisu cake from desserts week. Paul shows his saucy side with chocolate volcano fondant puds, while Mary finishes with flamboyant Neapolitan baked alaska.
Mary makes chocolate and orange tart and the complicated Swedish Princesstarta. Paul uses pastry skills to make mini sausage plaits and de-mystifies the kouign amann that so baffled the bakers. Mary constructs a two-tiered dobos torte with caramel.
Mary prepares lemon and raspberry eclairs, while Paul makes cherry and chocolate loaf. He explains how to make povitica and his showstopping raspberry and chocolate doughnuts. Mary finishes with elaborate double chocolate entremets.
Watch the 12 remaining contestants bake 36 perfectly thin and crispy bread sticks and technically tricky English muffins. The Showstopper features outrageous loaves of bread ... from a Christmas wreath to a proud peacock and a psychic octopus.
Follow the remaining 11 bakers as they deal with desserts: a trifle of biscuit, cake, jelly or custard in distinct layers; perfect Floating Islands; and a Showstopper of 24 petits fours. For the first time, there's a baking burglary in the tent!
Watch the remaining bakers undertake double-crusted fruit pies, a challenge to even the most experienced bakers; English custard tart - a centuries-old recipe that causes a wobble for the contestants; and phyllo pie, with dough made from scratch.
Join eight bakers as they produce favorite traybakes, offering twists on everything from bakewells to banoffees and brownies. The Technical challenge is a French classic-tuiles. For the Showstopper, they construct biscuit towers of epic proportions.
Watch the bakers work with sweet dough, making tea loaves that are connected to home, and 36 sweet European buns, from Swedish cinnamon buns to German schnecken and French brioches. They also face Paul's most twisted Technical challenge yet.
Meet the 12 bakers as they tackle a back-to-basics British classic, a popular cake with a fatless sponge and tricky chocolate work. The showstopper is sophisticated and high-end. With this cake, there's nowhere to hide.
Follow the 11 remaining bakers tasked with making 24 elaborately decorated biscuits; a biscuit that requires perfect piping; and a biscuit structure that demands precision baking-and reveals a little more about each of the contenders.
See how the bakers tackle three of Paul's toughest challenges ever: preparing a sweet dough with a twist; avoiding a burnt bottom and a soggy top; and using three different flours to create a huge showstopper centerpiece.
Join nine bakers for the first-ever batter week. They prepare a British favorite that demands a uniform bake across the batch; a technical challenge that requires a perfect pastry, sweet filling and delicate icing; and a showstopping Spanish classic.