Another year has passed, and it’s once again time for us to visit ‘The Great British Bake Off’ tent. The baking programme has become essential British viewing over the years, and it’s so easy to get inspired to make your own kitchen creations! If you want to know how to get Bake Off ready so you can cook alongside the baking stars, we’ve got you covered.
You won’t be making much progress without getting the bare baking essentials ready! The equipment you need will be specific to the recipe you choose; if you’re making gooey chocolate brownies, you’re not going to need a rolling pin. Take a look at what kitchen concoctions you want to try and stock up on what you need.
A good place to start is a stand mixer – this will be a welcome addition to your kitchen if you regularly make cakes, as well as a variety of other treats. Cake tins, mixing bowls, and a set of measuring scales are a worthwhile investment too. Those will suit a variety of sweet and savoury creations, no matter what you choose to make.
These are just the basics, of course – if you want to do more intricate stuff like piping, you’ll need to stock up on piping bags and an assortment of piping nozzles to make your buttercream stand out from the crowd. For things like game pies that we often see in Bake Off challenges, you’ll likely need a special tin so as to keep your pie in check in the oven.
The best way to get inspired is to take a look at recipes to tempt your tastebuds. If you want a good place to start we have a variety of tasty recipes right here on our blog. Recipe books from your favourite chefs is another great place to start, or even food bloggers can give you an idea of where to get started.
Remember that baking is supposed to be fun, so pick something that gets you excited to start cooking! Things like croissants are more complicated, so certainly aren’t for the less confident – it can take days to prepare the pastry for that particular delicacy. If you consider yourself more of a novice, choose something fun and simple to get you started. Why not give our Eton mess a try? Or for the more adventurous, this gin and tonic cake is the perfect recipe to start with.
If you’re up for more of a challenge, why not try creating your own recipes? Have a think about what flavours will combine well, and get experimenting. Be wary of more potent ingredients like lavender or liquorice – the strong flavour can often make them difficult to use. Start with a basic Victoria sponge or crumble recipe, and then add your own twist.
Practice, practice, practice
The best way to make sure your baking excels it to keep practising. If you get the hang of the basics, you’ll be well on your way to Bake Off ready. Don’t be put off by burning your caramel, or your souffle sinking – it’s better to try, try, and try again until you whip those baking skills into shape.
We’re sure your family and friends will be all too willing to taste your bakes, so you can get the feedback you need to improve. That pavlova didn’t turn out as you expected? Bake another one! The flavours are spot on, but that piping needs extra work? Keep practising with those piping bags until everyone marvels at your buttercream prowess. You can practice by using a glass or a mirror to pipe onto. Not only will these let you view your beautiful designs, but they’re easy to wipe clean afterwards.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get it right the first time around. Paul Hollywood wouldn’t be a bread extraordinaire if there weren’t a few duff loaves along the way! You can learn from your mistakes, and find yourself a better baker at the end of them.
Now that you’ve got all the knowledge you need to get started, it’s time to go and get baking! The best way to get Bake Off ready is to keep practising and going over those essential skills. If you keep up the hard work, you’ll be a star baker in no time at all.
To get you in the habit of baking regularly, why not enter our Bake of the Month competition over on Facebook? We encourage everyone to share their kitchen creations with us at the end of each month, and you could even win yourself a lovely baking prize too!