“The Great British Baking Show,” the delectable baking competition that has grown into a beloved international phenomenon, returns for a fifth season this summer, premiering Fridays at 8 p.m. beginning June 22 on Arizona PBS. Featuring the original cast of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, this season has never before been seen in the U.S.
Once again, viewers will meet 12 of Britain’s best amateur bakers who will don their aprons, enter the iconic tent and tackle culinary trials that increase in difficulty as the competition unfolds. Vying to be crowned star baker, challengers prepare three creations in each episode: a signature bake, which tests their creative flair and baking ability; the devilishly difficult technical challenge, in which contestants have to bake creations using only ingredient lists and minimal instruction; and finally the showstopper, designed to fully showcase each baker’s skill and creativity.
Follow 12 bakers who tackle an upside down cake for the Signature bake. In the Technical, they undertake Paul’s recipe for rum babas—baffling some of them. For the Showstopper, they attempt to produce a cake that reveals a hidden design when sliced.
See how 11 bakers make 24 flatbreads for the Signature bake. The Technical challenge has them in a twist as they attempt an eight-strand plaited loaf. To stay in the tent, they must produce 12 sweet and 12 savory bagels for the Showstopper.
Watch the remaining 10 bakers try to wow Paul and Mary with unusual flavor combinations in tartes tatin. A treacle tart in the Technical seems simple, but proves the downfall of some. Producing a Showstopper under the judges’ gaze is no easy task.
The bakers start off with an array of rich tortes in the Signature challenge. They then face the Technical: crème caramel; for some, there’s more wobble than expected. The six-hour Showstopper is a mighty layered meringue.
In the Signature, the bakers must master a perfect Wellington. The fiendishly difficult Technical challenge, hand-raised pies, proves the downfall of many. American pies are the Showstopper feature. Who will be this week’s star-spangled baker?
For their Signature challenge, the bakers go all out with two types of sponge puddings. In the Technical, they face Queen of Pudding, a recipe direct from the archives of Mary Berry. A Showstopper strudel stretches them to their limits.
Last week, after a food processor accident led to an unprecedented decision, there are seven bakers left to prepare regional buns in the Signature, jam doughnuts in the Technical and an enriched dough loaf in the Showstopper. TWO bakers must go.
The Signature demands delivery of perfectly baked crispbreads. Time and temperature work against the bakers in producing chocolate tea cakes in the Technical. The Showstopper tests the quality of the bake and how well it works as a building material.
Four bakers vie for a place in the final. Each labors to deliver petits fours to Mary and Paul’s exacting Signature standards, and two watch their fraisier cakes collapse in the Technical. All pull out the stops for the Showstopper, choux gateaus.
Three finalists attempt pastry perfection with a Signature pithivier. Then, after one of the most intricate Technical challenges ever devised—fondant fancies—they’re on to the Showstopper: a masterpiece made with notoriously difficult chiffon sponge.