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Spunkygal

S04.E02: Cookies and Breads Week

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I found bread week especially dispiriting.  The bread sculptures were mostly pedestrian.  I can’t help but compare to the British offerings.  No bicycles from this crew!  They are sending the right people home I think.  Tina seems like the one to beat.

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This show is missing something, I don't know what it is, but compared to the British version, it's dull.

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I wonder if na'an is in Jiwan's regular repertoire.

That Christmas tree bread looked really good. 

I wanted to try many of those sablets. Cookies, icing and macarons= winner to me!

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Now that I know they just get a day or two between "weeks" I can give them a pass for not being as up to par as their British counterparts.  They know what they will be making a whole week ahead of time and can practice vs. people away from home with a day?  It is unfair to compare the two.

I felt like I've watched The Holiday Baking show on Food Network too much because I kept hearing Nancy freakin' Fuller in my head saying "Where's the holiday?"  A flower pot sculpture?  Come on.

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My friend is still in it!! I guess with just one episode left, I can reveal that it's Tina. It's so exciting - she's a terrific person, really talented and passionate about what she does. I was so happy that she got star baker for her cookies! Her Facebook page is blowing up and she's been featured in various local newspapers and other media outlets. I've been really hesitant to ask her any in-depth questions about the show, as she's been so inundated. I don't even know what the winning prize is - the winner does get something, right?

Overall, I wasn't that interested in the bread stuff. However, I can now appreciate how difficult it can be to work with bread, what with the kneading and the rising and the challenge of making sure the bread is evenly and consistently baked throughout. 

Now every time I see a macaron, I'll be looking for the foot!! Who knew???

Edited by Biggie B
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1 hour ago, kj4ever said:

I felt like I've watched The Holiday Baking show on Food Network too much because I kept hearing Nancy freakin' Fuller in my head saying "Where's the holiday?"  A flower pot sculpture?  Come on.

I know, right? I wonder when this was filmed, are thunderstorms usual in winter months in England?  Not sure I'd think holiday in July.

1 hour ago, Biggie B said:

I don't even know what the winning prize is - the winner does get something, right?

On the British version they get a cake plate.  Thanks for sharing that you know her, that make it more fun. I do like her and Jiwan as well.  I don't dislike anyone and I do think the right ones have been sent home.

1 hour ago, kj4ever said:

Now that I know they just get a day or two between "weeks" I can give them a pass for not being as up to par as their British counterparts.

Gosh, yes, and how exhausting that must be. The bakers on the British show often reference the large numbers of times they have practiced things so to have only a couple of days (where I bet I'd just burrow in and sleep) really must be difficult.  Definitely deserve a pass.

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My DVR only recorded this for 75 min!  I saw the Cookie part, but only 15 min of Bread.  I will have to see if On Demand will have this later so I can see the rest.  Thanks again for the awesome service, Comcast.

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9 hours ago, Frost said:

I found bread week especially dispiriting.  The bread sculptures were mostly pedestrian.  I can’t help but compare to the British offerings.  No bicycles from this crew!  They are sending the right people home I think.  Tina seems like the one to beat.

I liked the centerpiece. 

2 hours ago, Biggie B said:

My friend is still in it!! I guess with just one episode left, I can reveal that it's Tina. It's so exciting - she's a terrific person, really talented and passionate about what she does. I was so happy that she got star baker for her cookies! Her Facebook page is blowing up and she's been featured in various local newspapers and other media outlets. I've been really hesitant to ask her any in-depth questions about the show, as she's been so inundated. I don't even know what the winning prize is - the winner does get something, right?

Overall, I wasn't that interested in the bread stuff. However, I can now appreciate how difficult it can be to work with bread, what with the kneading and the rising and the challenge of making sure the bread is evenly and consistently baked throughout. 

Now every time I see a macaron, I'll be looking for the foot!! Who knew???

 

I like her too! I think she has been pretty consistent throughout the competition. 

Edited by libgirl2
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There is an article on mashed, "The Untold Truth About the Great American Baking Show" (about past seasons --no spoilers) that says the contestants have to start filming at 6am and don't finish until 10pm and that there is a one or two day break between episodes. The audition process alone seemed pretty time-consuming as well, according to Dr. Michael Wolfe, a past contestant. http://mashed.com 

I went on a trip to England and France years ago, and I battled severe jet lag--almost missed the tour of Notre Dame because I fell asleep in the back of the tour bus! I can imagine what these bakers must feel.

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Why is this even filmed in England? The other versions are shot in their own countries. And do they think Americans don't know what "bake off" means, so they use "baking show"?

Baby Spice apparently knows zero about baking. I think the hosts were picked because they have "spice" in their names.

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3 minutes ago, Writing Wrongs said:

Why is this even filmed in England? The other versions are shot in their own countries. And do they think Americans don't know what "bake off" means, so they use "baking show"?

Baby Spice apparently knows zero about baking. I think the hosts were picked because they have "spice" in their names.

It's the same production company that makes both the UK & US versions, so I think that's why they film our edition in England as well--they already have a whole team in place there. And the reason for the name change is  due to a copyright issue, per this article from PBS. Apparently Pillsbury has the rights to the term "Bake Off" in the States, which is why both the British & American versions are branded differently when they air here.

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2 hours ago, NichD said:

Hi! As surreal as it is to see Jason on TV, it's even weirder to see myself in our apartment--and our cats are TV stars! Obviously a bummer not to make it to the end, but he was so thrilled just to get to bake in the tent & be a part of it all. One thing that didn't make the episode (but WAS featured in the commercials, so I think it must be OK to mention) is that Jason got a handshake from Paul Hollywood for his rugelach, which you can see in this photo.

 

Jason.jpg

Sorry to see Jason go, I liked him. I clicked on his instagram and his bakes do look delicious as well as the cakes he has done for friends. He seems to have talent.

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6 hours ago, kj4ever said:

I felt like I've watched The Holiday Baking show on Food Network too much because I kept hearing Nancy freakin' Fuller in my head saying "Where's the holiday?"  A flower pot sculpture?  Come on.

I was critical Destane's flowerpot sculpture too (didn't she say they were poinsettias?), but my mom reminded me of those paperwhite pots she always used to receive around the holidays as teacher gifts.  They're just bulbs that are forced so they bloom at Christmas

I am fast forwarding through the hosts.  They really don't add anything to the show for me.  It was funny to see Football Spice get literally pushed out of the kitchen though.  How many other bakers have wanted to do that on the various shows?  Get moving and let them cook!  

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10 hours ago, GaT said:

This show is missing something, I don't know what it is, but compared to the British version, it's dull.

The skill level isn't that high, I don't think. In the preview we heard Baby Spice say, "The best amateur baker in America is..." and I thought, Nope. None of these people come close to being the best amateur baker in America.

5 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

I do like [Tina] and Jiwan as well.  I don't dislike anyone and I do think the right ones have been sent home.

Same here, on both points. The people sent home had a bad episode from start to finish, so they were consistently underperforming.

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3 hours ago, NichD said:

Hi! As surreal as it is to see Jason on TV, it's even weirder to see myself in our apartment--and our cats are TV stars! Obviously a bummer not to make it to the end, but he was so thrilled just to get to bake in the tent & be a part of it all. One thing that didn't make the episode (but WAS featured in the commercials, so I think it must be OK to mention) is that Jason got a handshake from Paul Hollywood for his rugelach, which you can see in this photo.

 

Jason.jpg

Wow the HH!! That really should have been on t.v. Jason's rugelach looked fab.

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14 hours ago, Frost said:

I found bread week especially dispiriting.  The bread sculptures were mostly pedestrian.  I can’t help but compare to the British offerings.  No bicycles from this crew!  They are sending the right people home I think.  Tina seems like the one to beat.

If you see the first few seasons of GBBO though, they were about the same. It's just been the last 4-5 that have been more elaborate.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

The skill level isn't that high, I don't think. In the preview we heard Baby Spice say, "The best amateur baker in America is..." and I thought, Nope. None of these people come close to being the best amateur baker in America.

Same here, on both points. The people sent home had a bad episode from start to finish, so they were consistently underperforming.

To be fair all cooking/baking shows say, the "best". And I always say, I'm right here, but I'm not going to compete. Just kidding. But there's probably thousands of people who don't tryout, who are just as good, if not better. That includes those who go on Chopped or Top Chef. 

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It's the sweeping generalization that bothers me. Why not just say, "And the winner of the Great American Baking Show, Holiday Edition, is..." There's no need to supersize it.

15 minutes ago, luvapickle said:
15 hours ago, Frost said:

I found bread week especially dispiriting.  The bread sculptures were mostly pedestrian.  I can’t help but compare to the British offerings.  No bicycles from this crew!  They are sending the right people home I think.  Tina seems like the one to beat.

If you see the first few seasons of GBBO though, they were about the same. It's just been the last 4-5 that have been more elaborate.

This season is pretty current, though, right? Meaning it was shot in 2017/18? So the bakers should have some idea that they need to step up with their designs. On the other hand, the bakes they're given don't necessarily lend themselves to a super fancy presentation, so there's definitely some lacking on both sides.

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11 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

It's the sweeping generalization that bothers me. Why not just say, "And the winner of the Great American Baking Show, Holiday Edition, is..." There's no need to supersize it.

This season is pretty current, though, right? Meaning it was shot in 2017/18? So the bakers should have some idea that they need to step up with their designs. On the other hand, the bakes they're given don't necessarily lend themselves to a super fancy presentation, so there's definitely some lacking on both sides.

I think about Chopped where people are astounded by the weird ingredients or how short of time they have. You have to know what the show is about! I remember one contestant studied up on weird foods and how to cook them. He won. 

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1 minute ago, libgirl2 said:

I think about Chopped where people are astounded by the weird ingredients or how short of time they have. You have to know what the show is about! I remember one contestant studied up on weird foods and how to cook them. He won. 

I never watch that show mostly because I would never want to eat anything they prepare.  Who wants a dish made of gas station Ho-Hos, beef tongue, and peppermint sticks.  They combinations are just too bizarre.

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3 hours ago, Writing Wrongs said:

 

Baby Spice apparently knows zero about baking. I think the hosts were picked because they have "spice" in their names.

To be fair, none of the British hosts have a clue about baking either.  Mel and Sue sounded more informed but they also spent six or seven seasons with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.  They were just as clueless the first few seasons.

I like Spice and Emma.  Their job is to keep it light and fun.  I think the writers need to work a little harder because some of the bits are lame.

Bread sculptures would do me in.  Forget it.  Write my ticket home.  No way could I do a centerpiece like Tina or Amanda (she was the winner this week, right?)

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3 hours ago, Writing Wrongs said:

Baby Spice apparently knows zero about baking. I think the hosts were picked because they have "spice" in their names.

She replaced last year’s host, Curry. Not a joke. Ayesha Curry. 

I am rooting for Tina to win. She has a great personality and seems very talented.

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48 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

This season is pretty current, though, right? Meaning it was shot in 2017/18?

It was filmed this past August 2018.

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7 minutes ago, Destiny74 said:

I like Spice and Emma.  Their job is to keep it light and fun. 

I was ready to punch Spice this week.  He was taking up valuable time with the one woman (can't remember which one) who had to physically shove him out of the way.  That kind of stuff makes me stabby.  At least Mel and Sue occasionally helped out in a crisis rather than distract an already tense person with inane chatter.  And pouring a contestant's ingredients down his gullet was just crude.

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8 minutes ago, Biggie B said:
56 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

This season is pretty current, though, right? Meaning it was shot in 2017/18?

It was filmed this past August 2018.

Thanks, @Biggie B. Then there's no reason not to understand what the show is about. If you're interested enough to apply and go through that process, find out what the show is about. 

On the other hand, it's the show that picks these people, so maybe there's some passive-aggressive swipe at Americans going on? Heh.

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I enjoy the show so much, even though this American version seems SO different.  I think it's the bakers' accents in the tents are not as charming as the British ones!

Amanda is not 1/10th as witty and clever as she thinks she is.  She is trying too hard to be entertaining verbally and it drives me nuts.  Just be natural. 

I laughed when Paul called himself "fat with white hair".  I thought he was far too vain to ever say that so good job, Paul!

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5 minutes ago, MerBearHou said:

I think it's the bakers' accents in the tents are not as charming as the British ones!

 

I keep getting surprised that Jiwan sounds like the absolute American he is, rather than sounding British (since so many SE Asians have appeared on the British show with their adorable accents).

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I was taken aback by Paul's crack about Jiwan's flatbread tasting just like it would from a Bedouin tent.  According to his bio, Jiwan is from San Diego.  I'm assuming because of his headwear, that he's Sikh.  The Bedouin are generally Arabs in the north African desert or the Arabian peninsula, not Sikh from India.  It's just seemed like a weird, inappropriate joke to me.  

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I thought it was interesting when the showed the instructions for one of the technicals, I think it was the Madeleines, it showed the temp 170 and the baker said 350 Fahrenheit. Do they give them a conversion table?

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4 minutes ago, dgpolo said:

I thought it was interesting when the showed the instructions for one of the technicals, I think it was the Madeleines, it showed the temp 170 and the baker said 350 Fahrenheit. Do they give them a conversion table?

but wouldn't the ovens be marked in Celsius? That's kind of odd. Unless they imported some American ovens, which seems over the top, but maybe would make sense for a bunch of Americans. Although perhaps all digitally controlled ovens these days can be set either way (I wouldn't know as I've never tried to change mine).

Edited by dleighg
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I am a big fan of all iterations of this show, and I'm especially interested in the cookie (love them!) and bread (I have made rolls and loaves) weeks, but this was just about unwatchable for me.  I think all the contestants are fine, and good bakers given the constraints they have to deal with.  I've always liked Paul as a judge, and I think Sherry, while not as interesting as Prue, is quite knowledgeable.  What is ruining it for me - especially in these episodes - are the awful sidekicks , whose names I don't know because I've started to FF every time they're on (except briefly to find out star/dismissed baker).  They're not funny, they're not helpful and especially the man, are totally ignorant about baking.  I assume that the man was hired to bring in sports fans (men) who wouldn't normally watch the show, but that has to be a total fail.  Or, there's blackmail involved, because I can't believe anyone would hire such a charmless, ignorant (of baking!) person, especially for a show with such a dedicated following.

Since I'm on a rant, I might as well state I'm not a baker, by any means, but I don't want to hear completely basic stuff (like about the gluten) over and over.  Speaking of which - I don't want to have to hear the judging criteria for the technical over and over, we get it, or can figure it out by watching what happens.  I also have never believed it was really blind judging, the judges can see the contestants' reactions, especially when the field has been culled to six or less. 

My feeling is that Jiwan is the one to beat, although Tina is pretty close.  Of course I am usually wrong, so I hope I haven't jinxed either of them. 

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12 hours ago, kj4ever said:

I felt like I've watched The Holiday Baking show on Food Network too much because I kept hearing Nancy freakin' Fuller in my head saying "Where's the holiday?"  A flower pot sculpture?  Come on.

I had the same thought. I could almost hear her screeching in my head about no red and green on some of the bread showstoppers.

I was sad to see Jason go--I really liked him. I am now rooting for Tina or Jiwan.

Edited by jcbrown
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3 hours ago, oldCJ said:

She replaced last year’s host, Curry. Not a joke. Ayesha Curry. 

I am rooting for Tina to win. She has a great personality and seems very talented.

She's been the most consistent baker.  She also did the quick switch in the cake round and passed with flying colors.

3 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

I was ready to punch Spice this week.  He was taking up valuable time with the one woman (can't remember which one) who had to physically shove him out of the way.  That kind of stuff makes me stabby.  At least Mel and Sue occasionally helped out in a crisis rather than distract an already tense person with inane chatter.  And pouring a contestant's ingredients down his gullet was just crude.

Mel and Sue have been in the way a few times and I remember them running around with Deborah's mousse during her season.  I agree that the hosts get a bit "handy" at times but it's not just Spice and Emma.

And there hasn't been one elbow in a bread bake or broken cookie topper this season...yet.

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2 hours ago, Frost said:

I was taken aback by Paul's crack about Jiwan's flatbread tasting just like it would from a Bedouin tent.  According to his bio, Jiwan is from San Diego.  I'm assuming because of his headwear, that he's Sikh.  The Bedouin are generally Arabs in the north African desert or the Arabian peninsula, not Sikh from India.  It's just seemed like a weird, inappropriate joke to me.  

Coming from someone who had never heard of a Bedouin tent, was that a crack and not a compliment? I thought he was saying it tasted authentic to wherever the flatbread originated, not having anything to do with Jiwan's heritage.

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4 hours ago, Frost said:

I was taken aback by Paul's crack about Jiwan's flatbread tasting just like it would from a Bedouin tent.  According to his bio, Jiwan is from San Diego.  I'm assuming because of his headwear, that he's Sikh.  The Bedouin are generally Arabs in the north African desert or the Arabian peninsula, not Sikh from India.  It's just seemed like a weird, inappropriate joke to me.  

 

54 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

Paul could have phrased that a lot better, if that's what he was trying to say. As is, it came across as culturally insensitive at best.

No I think you are being a bit silly. Jiwan made the flatbread with za'tar seasoning, no? That's middle eastern or Bedouin tent if you will. Perfectly fine comment by Paul.

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I agree with others that Tina and Jiwan are the ones to beat.  I like both of them but I'm partial to Jiwan because he and his turban remind me of Raj from GBBO a couple seasons ago whom I liked very much and also because he (Jiwan) has nice eyes.   And, of course, he can bake.  

A couple of the bread creations were pretty impressive but no one is ever going to top the bread lion made by Prison Paul.  That was so spectacular that everything else looks inferior by comparison.

I like Sherry Yard but her style and the fact that the contestants are American have changed the show.  Without Mary Berry the atmosphere is much less genteel and I miss that aspect.  The hosts are annoying and unfunny and contribute nothing IMO.  

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7 hours ago, mlp said:

The hosts are annoying and unfunny and contribute nothing IMO.  

The hosts totally ruin this for me. They are completely annoying and unfunny and whoever thought getting them both as hosts because of the lame "spice" name connection deserves a big, huge lump of coal from Santa. Or a soggy bottom. They suck all the charm out of the show.

In addition to Tina and Jiwan, I also like Destane. She may be the one to watch.

Edited by Spunkygal · Reason: Corrected the spelling of Destane’s name!
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2 hours ago, Spunkygal said:

The hosts totally ruin this for me. They are completely annoying and unfunny and whoever thought getting them both as hosts because of the lame "spice" name connection deserves a big, huge lump of coal from Santa. Or a soggy bottom. They suck all the charm out of the show.

In addition to Tina and Jiwan, I also like Destine. She may be the one to watch.

 

I like Destane too, and feel for her because of the amount of times she must have to spell/pronounce her name for strangers.

No idea who the female judge is, but she needs to put her cleavage, black roots, and curtain-pull necklace away and stop talking with her mouth full.

Edited by Brookside · Reason: Spelling of Destane, thanks!
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4 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

I believe her name is spelled Destane.  Which probably makes the pronunciation something she has to deal with daily.

Thank you! I corrected it on my post. As someone with an unusual name, I hate it when I misspell or mispronounce a name. It’s rude to see how people just don’t care when they say your name wrong. Hey, I didn’t name myself! 

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14 hours ago, rhys said:

 

No I think you are being a bit silly. Jiwan made the flatbread with za'tar seasoning, no? That's middle eastern or Bedouin tent if you will. Perfectly fine comment by Paul.

 

Exactly.

Jiwan used Zatar heavily to favor his bread, which is sort of the signature spice blend of the Bedouin. Now, I only know this because I watch a lot of cooking TV and enjoy eating out at "trendy" foody places. Zatar isn't a very common ingredient I don't think, so most people wouldn't know what it is or what it tastes like.

Further, as a person of British origin, Paul H is perfectly aware of what a Sikh is (far more than Americans, in general). 

 

I took the compliment to clearly mean "You used this uncommon flavor as well as someone who grew up with it", not that he is confused amongst all brown people.

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21 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

It's the sweeping generalization that bothers me. Why not just say, "And the winner of the Great American Baking Show, Holiday Edition, is..." There's no need to supersize it.

This season is pretty current, though, right? Meaning it was shot in 2017/18? So the bakers should have some idea that they need to step up with their designs. On the other hand, the bakes they're given don't necessarily lend themselves to a super fancy presentation, so there's definitely some lacking on both sides.

Yea, it's up to date. But what they're asked to do(and expected to do) will be different than those on GBBO.  I've been watching some of the other countries' bake-offs & they're pretty much the same as ours. I'm sure if this went on for a few more years, the expectations would increase.

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