…*hangs head*

So…I’ve been toying with different titles for this post. Until 5 minutes ago I was torn between

A) Shot down in a blaze of filo.

and

B) That awkward moment when your jaunty nautical display is making a mockery of you & your attempted-pastry crap-pile.

Upon re-living the fiasco on TV tonight, I went with “…*hangs head*” because it really sums up my feelings at the moment. I always knew pastry week would be my Everest but I could have made things easier for myself. I just don’t know how to do things normally, there’s always a new idea, there’s always a voice in my head telling me to do something different. The times when this approach has worked for me actually far outweigh the catastrophes but television is unkind in it’s nature and now I feel like a bit of an idiot. It turns out no amount of preparation can give me time management skills!

My nerves and terrible time-management got to me in a big way and far from my low-stakes home baking I let the pressure of the situation send me into a panic. Usually when I feel things starting to go wrong with a bake I take my time, google possible solutions, put it to one side and revisit it after a cup of tea or just bin it but none of those are an option in the Bake Off tent! The second I started to get flustered the cameras moved in en mass, which gave me shakey hands and made me even less productive. Once Anna starts visiting your station more frequently, you know you’re in trouble (as much as I loved our little chats). 40 minutes from the end of the challenge I knew my Bake Off journey was over and by the time Anna said stop baking I was mentally preparing to get my coat. Having to go through the formalities of judging and elimination was painful but unfortunately there isn’t a back door.
DSCF1726DSCF1728DSCF1729DSCF1730

Given the immense talent of the 10 bakers ahead of me, I don’t think there was anything I could have done to stay anyway. Ranging from lovely to intimidating, their pastries all looked and tasted fantastic. I just wish I could have stayed at Camp Bake Off a bit longer. Getting to know these brilliant people, who also happen to be tremendous at baking, has been such an amazing experience. The idea of competing with them was daunting from the beginning and completely went against the atmosphere in Tinnakilly while filming. I have made some truly wonderful friends.

12bakers

Part of me feels like I should be more disappointed with myself and the poor pastry performance but I’m so lucky to have been one of the 12 and though I was knocked out early, I remain very proud. I never would have considered applying to do it 5 years ago, it’s a miracle I got as far as I did and I have to say that the whole process gave me so much confidence. I wouldn’t change it for the world! Far from disappointed I am absolutely chuffed with myself (so much so, I made myself this badge!)

 badge

That said, I was really looking forward to biscuit week (among others)! I’ll post the recipe & pictures of what I was planning to make for each episode anyway.

Never one to waste a recipe!

Vive La Sourdough!

I have to recommend an amazing bread book called Bread Revolution. I have so far made the bagels, the white bread in a lovely plait and the nettle & chive flower pot loaves and they’ve all been delicious.

You can buy it here on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bread-Revolution-Duncan-Glendinning-Patrick/dp/174266668X

If you are at all curious about making your own bread, the steps and pictures in this book make it so easy to get great results. They also throw in a few extra recipes for accompaniments -chutneys, dips, even curry.

You knead this book (so witty it hurts).