Ask the expert: GBBO does bread

19 August, 2015

It’s bread week on the Great British Bake Off (GBBO), so who better to speak to for our #AskTheExpert blog than master baker Wayne Caddy.

The bakers will kick off tonight with quick breads, incorporating different flavours. For Caddy, the key to success in this round will be thinking about colour and inclusions and how they work together.

He says: “It is about keeping things simple and making sure the grains and flour you are working with complements your inclusions. Take corn bread, for example: it’s a fantastic yellow colour, so think about adding contrasting red chillies or pan-fried chorizo.”

Quick breads require no proving, so should the bakers really take a risk and experiment? Caddy thinks so. He continues: “It’s always worth taking a risk. If you are doing a classic you have to execute it well, but you have to show creativity.”

The technical challenge is something Caddy says is the true “measure of a good baker” - the baguette.

He explains: “It’s a very unforgiving product as it’s so thin and slender, so you have to be in control of the process. Ensure the ingredient and recipe balance are correct, respect the temperature of the final dough, and be in control of fermentation. You’ve got to be perfect with your shaping, which is down to practice. The last crucial bit is scoring the baguette. Use a razor-sharp blade - a razor not bread knife, then bake in a hot oven with lots of steam to generate a good egg-shell crust.”

Caddy at the Masters de la Boulangerie 2014

The show stopper – ‘finesse, not clunky’

GBBO would be incomplete without its jaw-dropping showstopper rounds, and this time the bakers will get to make edible 3D bread sculptures. According to Caddy, these can be created by using two types of dough – dead doughs and live, leavened doughs – which can be baked in small components and then assembled. He says: “The biggest thing is to be creative with doughs to create colour contrast. Keep it so it has nice flowing lines – it needs to have finesse and not be clunky. It’s a one-off masterpiece, so it needs to be an eye-catching creation in a simplistic way. Sometimes the trick is to use the space rather than fill it. If it were me, I might make something to symbolise what’s great about Britain, but it depends on the brief.”

To round off his advice for this one, he states: “It needs to be grand.”

  • Will you be watching tonight? Tweet us your thoughts on @BritishBaker, where we will be live-tweeting the episode





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