Bake Off review: Jürgen defends the judges' Star Baker decisions
The Great British Bake Off 2021 semi-finalist talks Biscuit Week.
Jürgen Krauss is back with another column as The Great British Bake Off continues on Channel 4.
This week's Bake Off theme saw the remaining bakers in the line-up tackling Biscuit Week, with a marshmallow biscuit for the Signature and a classic custard cream for the Technical, followed by a spectacular Showstopper biscuit creation of the bakers' favourite meal.
But while some really impressed, one baker in particular snapped and was sent home.
After creating a picnic lunch with a very interesting-looking tomato biscuit, Keith became the second contestant to be eliminated from the show. It didn't help that Josh also had a tomato biscuit in his burger tower, which didn't look anything like the one Keith had created (see pictures below).
Here, Jürgen gives his thoughts on Biscuit Week, while sharing his expert tips on how to achieve the perfect crunch when it comes to biscuits, and the judges' decision to name Tasha Star Baker, despite Josh's great efforts.
You can watch Jürgen share his verdict on the final below. Keep watching at the end of each video for more from the baker.
Oh, there were quite a few! Tasha's no doubt. I think her marshmallow biscuit looked amazing and I didn't get so much of a glance of the Showstopper. I found they showed it very quickly, but also Josh's burger looked amazing!
I was very excited about Biscuit Week. It was a very high standard all the way through. I didn't really have a least favourite this week. I thought they had all really exciting flavours – some things I wouldn't have combined, but in this case, I probably would have tried all of them with gusto!
It's really sad to see Keith go. But in this instance, I think he's said himself on the show that precision wasn't his domain and that showed in his Wagon Wheels, and it also showed in his Showstopper. I think his line about the south coast having good growing conditions, that will become a classic!
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Tip of the Week
Biscuits can be really tricky with these kinds of viennese dough, the very soft dough. I had my problems with it and I will have my problems with it in the future. Obviously chilling is a big thing. Chilling and not overworking and knowing when to put your dough back into the freezer. So with custard creams, it shows a difference in handling more than anything else. And also it's important to keep to exact measurements. So a few drops of water or a slightly bigger egg can change the whole thing into a mess!
This week Tasha won Star Baker. Some fans have said that it should have been Josh - what do you think?
I think Tasha was just slightly more consistent over the three bakes. So if you look at the Signature and at the Technical as well, then I think Tasha was more consistent. Maybe not talking all that much about the Showstopper, but overall I think she earned it.
Do you think contestants should have to score well over all three challenges to be considered for Star Baker?
Well, it's really a difficult thing for the judges. I think they have a personal leeway in terms of how strongly they rate the individual bakes. So if there is a strong Technical - I won the Technical in my semi-final, but there were reasons in the Showstopper and the Signature that are so strong that they override the Technical, so that's in the discretion of the judges and they should have this discretion.
On the German franchise of Bake Off, they publish the points system, so it's all very obvious, but in a way that makes the show so boring. Sorry, Germany, to say that, but they also have this leeway. So they put the leeway into points. It looks more calculated, but in fact, it would yield the same result, I think. So there needs to be some leeway for the judges to say: "This Showstopper was exceptional, let's not look at the Technical so closely. That was a bad day," or something like that.
A week in the life of Jürgen
So this week is really going to be exciting. I arrived in the US on Monday afternoon. I went running through Philadelphia. I haven't been here before. I really love this town. It's all made up of squares, so if you get lost you just need to go to the next block and you find your way again.
It has stunning architecture. Yesterday, I walked around probably 10 kilometres, touching a lot of sites and a lot of sites important for American history and in turn also for the current history, understanding more about the struggle of American democracy and the state so it was touching, really touching.
I'm meeting local people who I have contact with via Instagram. After this, I'm meeting a trombonist who got in touch with me after Bake Off and then after that I have a judging event - German baking at Barnes & Noble - and the book signing and then I'm off to New York to events in New Jersey, and then Baltimore and New York again.
German Baking: Cakes, tarts, traybakes and breads from the Black Forest and beyond by Jürgen Krauss is available to buy at Amazon.
The Great British Bake Off airs at 8pm on Tuesdays on Channel 4.
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