2 September 2013

Technical Challenge Failure

Great British Bake Off is back, very excited here at Cakes and Cardies, very excited. I have mentioned my love of GBBO before and if you can stretch back into the mists of time (2011) you will remember my attempt to bake the technical challenges from series 2. I did three (Iced fingers, Tart au Citron and Miniature Pork Pies), blogged about the first two but not the third (can't remember why). Then my personal life took a turn for the worse and blogging silence ensued. But as you can see from the last couple of months I am now back in earnest.
So as series 4 of Bake Off gets of to a start so does my new challenge to make all the technical bakes from this series. I want to try to do them in the week after they are aired if possible. As I only decided to do this as the second week started I am already behind, not a great start, but hopefully I will catch up by the end of this week. Week 1 was Angel Food Cake, I will be making this on Friday.
And so to my failure. Week 2 was English muffins, bread week. Bread is good for me, I have been making it for a couple of years now and feel comfortable with it so this should be easy....oh dear. To cut to the chase, these were a disaster. So many things went wrong and I'm not sure why.
First I decided to make half the mixture as 8 muffins are a lot for two people to consume, four on the other hand is perfect, two each. Halving the ingredients was fine apart from the egg, how to halve an egg? I have done this before but it isn't an exact science. I pretty much beat the egg and then added half using the that-looks-about-right method. The dough was a bit sticky but that's not usually a problem, I think I may not have kneaded it for long enough because it didn't really rise very much. Then instead of rolling out the dough (as specified in the recipe!) I did it by hand and so the dough wasn't even. I should have started again but I carried on regardless. I cut out two muffins which were very thin and then rolled the dough again and cut out a huge one and used the remaining dough to fashion the fourth muffin.
As you can see, flying by the seat of my pants, not very Bake Off. They rested for 30 minutes and then came the cooking. I used my heavy based frying pan and heated it to a high temperature before putting in the muffins. I lowered the temperature once they were on and gave them 6 minutes on each side. But, they were all different sizes so some were done before and the big one....well lets just say Paul would not have eaten it!! See what you think...

If I had produced these on Bake Off last week it would have been me leaving, definitely. So I need to try again and see if I can get it right. I have to say that they tasted good and had a light airy texture (apart from the giant one, I still ate it though). Many lessons to learn. I don't know how they do it on the show without all the instructions and to a time limit, pretty impressive.

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