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The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off

Tue Aug 27, 8-9pm, BBC2

By Claire Winter
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What is it about baking that keeps us enthralled? How can rising bread and cake decorating keep us watching, year after year?

It’s bread week for the motley team of baking competitors, and this charming retreat from TV competition nastiness sees loaves styled into octopi and peacocks, and more English muffins than you’ll ever have seen at any one time. The drama of whether these muffins will set correctly may seem frivolous in the grand scheme of things, but let’s face it, it’s probably – hopefully – more familiar to us than your average soap-opera storyline, and for that reason it’s strangely fascinating.

Baker-teacher Glenn sums it up nicely: ‘I said I wouldn’t be one of those lunatics kneeling by the oven...’ he says, peering grimly at a loaf of bread, ‘... and here I am.’ Making 20 minutes of gripping television out of baking breadsticks is quite a feat – for now we’re content to join Glenn among the lunatics.
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