It was 'advanced' dough week (the PhD of the enriched dough world). Paul got competitive over doughnuts while Mary (complete with new hair do) happily tucked into the Baileys
Last night, the five surviving amateur bakers battled it out for a place in the semi-finals over fruit loaves, doughnuts and yet another technical challenge that we hadn't heard of (well, that was until Chetna made one in the signature challenge).
The first round – 'free form' (ie no tin) sweet fruit loaves – saw Luis' black forest cherry tree and Richard's Swedish tea loaf impress, while Nancy went rogue and finished off her first prove IN THE MICROWAVE (cue evil stare from 'the male judge'). Said judge took great pleasure in her plaited plum loaf being underproved, while Martha sprung a leak and Chetna the flavour queen got carried away with the cinnamon.
Next up, the technical challenge, povitica. An eastern European cross between bread and pastry, it looks like a normal loaf on the outside but inside it's all swirls of chocolate and walnuts. Luckily for Chetna, she made one of these in the previous round – and she couldn't hide the expression of glee on her face.
Nancy went back to the microwave (um, why?) and Richard planned on "learning by watching". Nobody could spread their filling without damaging the longest, thinnest dough in the world, so Nancy decided to put hers in an icing bag – and everyone copied (well, you would, wouldn't you?).
Luis' was stunted and doughy, Nancy's and Martha's were raw inside, Richard's was lop-sided (er, isn't he a builder?) and Chetna took the top spot (weird, huh?).
Onto the showstopper and it was all about the doughnut: 36 in two different flavours to be exact. Possibly the best dough-based snack ever invented, Paul boasted that he'd eaten around 30,000 but we think we could take that crown.
Mary was high on Luis' mudslide and mojito cocktail doughnuts while Martha tried and (*sob*) failed to "be interesting" with her chocolate and passion croissant-doughnut hybrid (oh Martha, do you not remember Norman's lavender meringue?). Chetna's needed 'more body', Nancy's limoncello and chocolate rings were dry and Richard impressed with the only ones we actually fancied eating; caramel and rhubarb and custard in the shape of a heart.
Richard and his pencil took star baker (for the FOURTH time) and, it pains us to say this, Martha was sent home.
Next week, it's all about patisserie for a place in THE FINAL. Surely we can put our dictionaries away for this, right?
High point: Luis' doughnuts-in-a-cocktail-glass idea. Does it get any better than that?
Low point: the technical challenges are making us question our baking knowledge. Can we have one we've heard of next week, please?
Top tip: if you're planning on entering the next series take note: Bezza is partial to Baileys.
Did the right baker go: We love you Martha but it wasn't your week. We're quite sad about this.