Like many others, I decided to pick up a show to watch over the recent Thanksgiving break. What better way to spend the time than by relaxing? I personally popped on some episodes of The Great British Bake Off, (or the Great British Baking Show as it’s called on Netflix US) . This is the first year I’ve watched Bake Off during the same year it aired, so I was very excited for it. I was actually able to keep up with some of the tweets and memes as they were coming out.
I think that is one of the better parts of Bake Off. There is a community centered around it, and that’s something everyone’s missed in 2020. The pandemic did, of course, put a new set of struggles on the cast and crew. However, they persevered and were able to preserve the community aspect. The bakers, cast, and crew all lived in their own little bubble for the entirety of filming to ensure total safety of everyone involved. They filmed on site in the same classic tent, and it seems as though everything went smoothly.
As usual, the original 12 bakers included a diverse mix of people from all around the UK. The further along the competition goes, it feels as though you become more connected to each of the bakers and it gets harder and harder to see them go home each week. Even still, it is amazing to see what these ordinary home bakers can do within their time constraints.
Another one of my favorite parts of the show are the hosts. This series included returning host Noel Fielding, and new host Matt Lucas. Lucas and Fielding have a chemistry that I wasn’t expecting at first. I adore the duo together and they add a wonderful comic relief to the stress of the bakers fighting the clock. They also provide support to the bakers when needed, and they really help make the show into the lighthearted and fun thing that it is.
Each week, the bakers tackle a new theme filled with challenges. Series 11 brought the first Japanese Week to Bake Off. This brought up challenges including steamed buns, matcha crepe cakes, and a showstopper inspired by the kawaii culture of Japan. The show also featured 80’s week, where the bakers were challenged to make quiches, custard and jam donuts, and beautiful and elaborate ice cream cakes.
Some of my favorite bakes from this series were Laura’s Freddie Mercury cake, Hermine’s gelatin cake, and Peter’s series-winning showstopper, the “Bonkers Bake Off Bubble Cake." This show makes me remember how much I love baking every time. I love watching them make insanely elaborate cakes and bakes.
Peter Sawkins, 20, ended up becoming the first Scot to win the competition, as well as the youngest person to win the show in ten years. He was consistently successful throughout the entire series and his bakes were enough to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Lieth. This would be impressive from anyone, let alone someone who is still a student in university. The win is truly deserved and it made viewers ecstatic to see Peter win.
This season was really a spark of joy during the dull and dreary year we’ve had so far. Bake Off is a thing that many people look forward to, so I’m pleased that despite the current situation, there was still a way to make it happen. It added a wonderful bit of happiness to my Thanksgiving break, and it will make anyone who watches it want to get up and bake.