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Monz recaps The Great Australian Bake Off Episode 6: Get bready to rumble.

Happiness is the smell of freshly baked bread.

With a whopping slab of salted butter to go with it, spread an inch thick and eaten with gusto.

With seven bakers left, all charged with the task of making the best bread they can, AND gratuitous shots of butter being unwrapped from foil packets, this episode is a veritable feast for the soul: bread, every which way you like it. Thankfully, I’m on a low carb diet. That is, whenever I feel low, I eat carbs.  So let’s do this.

Bread looks simple but is exceedingly tricky to bake, and tonight’s episode sorts the wheat from the chaff.

The first thing to note is Ben is now sporting a sort of Tom Hanks Castaway facial hair and I wonder if he is ok. Or if he feels marooned on an island of carbohydrates.

gabo episode 6
Image via Foxtel/Castaway.

SIGNATURE BAKE!

There’s twelve savoury flatbreads on the menu. Which means naan, quesadilla, turkish, and all matter of breads done flat.

Angela, the blue ribbon baker, does some Spicy Potato Pockets, which is just carbs on carbs, so basically she’s gently extending a polite middle finger to anyone on paleo.  Not that they’d be watching, they’re all over on the Discovery Channel watching Bear Grylls drink his own wee. Matt Moran LOVES her potato on bread combo and tells Angela he could sit there and eat it for lunch all day.

Nathan also puts potato in his bread, which is compared to an ‘adults chip sandwich’.  Except for some reason, Matt Moran HATES it.  Seems unfair. But then I realised Nathan missed the essential ingredient; chicken salt.  Come on, Nathan. A million fish and chip shops can’t be wrong.

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Suzy Sparkle is struggling because she can’t put love hearts or glitter on her flatbread so she goes the next best thing: Chicken Kebab.  Now we just need the judges to drink 18 beers before they get to judge her and she will not only win it, but they will smother her in the glitter and love hearts she so desires.

Ben’s Garlic Naan misses the mark.  Maggie, who couldn’t say a bad word about anyone or anything, asks him gently “Is that the texture you were hoping for?” but it’s her face that says it.

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“This is just the most awful thing”. Image via Foxtel.
James the lovely baldie is making a Gozleme with his own preserved lemons. Booyah. Maggie admits she’s never eaten one of these pockets of delicious, probably because she’s not the type to go to a music festival and drink six ciders and need to mash a spinach and cheese Gozleme in her face from the heavenly tents that dish them out.

Seems no one can quite work out how to pronounce it either because it’s called Goz-le-may, Goz-leeam and  Goz-lee-mee all within about 2 minutes.

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Just nod and smile, James. No one knows how to pronounce it. Image via Foxtel.
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Anyway, judges both agrees he nails it, and Maggie even says she’s now going to have to line up for it when she’s in the city next. See you there, Maggie. We can make hay with Gozleme.

TECHNICAL CHALLENGE!

The bakers have to make eight identical knotted rolls.  It’s a Matt Moran recipe and he talks about the dangers of overproving, underproving, underbaking, overbaking, and killing your yeast. At NO POINT does he say “It’s KNOT very easy” and that is a crying shame.

Ok so here’s the other thing: bread is tricky but it’s not that exciting.  There’s a LOT of waiting.

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Waiting… Image via Foxtel.
gabo episode 6
Waiting… Image via Foxtel.
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And in an effort to “Jazz up” the show we then we start seeing other shots.

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Random dog. Image via Foxtel.
gabo episode 6
Random bird. Image via Foxtel.

Finally the bakers get out their dough and start knotting it into little rolls. “There’s stress and tension in this shed right now” says James, which is kind of hard to believe, because 3 minutes ago Nathan and Sian were playing a hitty hand game and we were watching a magpie peck at the grass.

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Boredom. Image via Foxtel.

At judging time Matt and Maggie taste all the bread rolls and for once, St John’s Ambulance don’t have to be on standby to administer a diabetes test afterwards. The judges remark on how much Suzy Sparkle has lost her sparkle. Harsh, guys. She totally wanted to turn her knot roll into a love heart but was stymied by Moran’s rules.

Nathan, big red, wins bread. I haven’t hardly mentioned Nathan so far in these recaps because he’s so non-descript, I just forget about him all the time.

On his win, he says ” “I’m thrilled.  I love bread”.

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Told ya. Image via Foxtel.

Ben, who seems more and more like he’s checked out with every minute that passes, comes last.  His beard greys slightly. He says to the camera “I’ve never made a bread roll in my life”.  I wonder if he’s ok.

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Wilson? Image via Foxtel/Castaway.
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 SHOWSTOPPER!

The bakers have to make a Stollen Centrepiece. Which is a delicious yeasted cake filled with Marzipan and dried fruit and all manner of mixed peel and brandy and loads of butter.

“I haven’t even seen one before the competition. Never eaten one” says Ben, who by now has also drawn a face on a Volleyball that he’s keeping in his oven.  “I’m winging it today.”

The judges arrive at his table and he tells them that he is making a “frankenstein dough” and the judges can hardly hide their disgust. Maggie makes a kindly no face but Matt Moran can hardly hide his dislike.

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Franken-no. Image via Foxtel.

I like this side of Moran. It’s interesting and a nice juxtoposition to Maggie Beer, the Marcia Hines of baking judges where no one can do any wrong.

Example, Sian spends hours crafting tiny, perfect marzipan fruit to go on her cake. And it’s truly a masterpiece. And Sian knows it’s da bomb. She has that look on her face like “oh, this? Oh I just whipped this up” but you KNOW she’s spent 6 months of her life perfecting this craft.

But then Moran tells her in one fell swoop that he doesn’t get it.  That they don’t go.  That she has a date, chocolate and hazelnut bread, so WTF are these tiny perfect peaches, pears and blueberries doing on the cake? It’s an amazing smackdown.

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“I don’t know how they all go together.” Image via Foxtel.
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Meanwhile, Suzy Sparkle, having been accused of losing her sparkle is like COP THIS.  She plates up a spiced stollen with ground cherry spice, ouzo, an elaborate toffee basket, hand painted eggs, and enough piping that it’s almost like a Magic Eye puzzle where your eyes go crossed staring at it:

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TAKE THAT. Image via Foxtel.

And James nails his Stollen with a bitter fruit allegedly called ‘Barberry’. Maggie Beer is v impressed because she likes people that use ingredients that sound exotic and made up (see: Verjuice).

And then it’s Ben’s turn.

gabo episode 6
Image via Foxtel.
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His peach and coffee stollen has stollen no one’s heart.  “I’m finding it hard to find a positive” says Matt Moran.

This be Ben:

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Image via Castaway.

And thus Ben’s torch is extinguished and he leaves the Bake Off mansion.  Bye Ben. We will always have your Bacon Macarons.

And Star Baker this week goes to JAMES!  The quiet achiever. The hard worker.  A man who preserves his own lemons and who brought Gozleme to Maggie Beer.

“It’s the highest honor you can get!” he says.  Which is so delightful.  No one reminds him about the Olympics and OAMs and Prince Phillips knighthood. Let him have his moment.

gabo episode 6
Image via Foxtel.
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So, guys, we have six bakers left. Bring it.

Who do you think should have gone home?

Here are the best of the episode:

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