In Tuesday night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Tasha was crowned Star Baker, while Abbi, a 27-year-old from Cumbria, bid farewell as the third baker to leave the 14th series.
The nation’s most renowned tent was once again set up in the picturesque grounds of Welford Park. Presenters Noel Fielding and Alison Hammond guided the latest cohort of 12 bakers through thirty entirely new challenges, meticulously set by Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, spanning across 10 episodes.
During week three of The Great British Bake Off, the bakers took on the challenge of baking bread with the formidable ‘Breadmaster’ Paul Hollywood. They commenced with a classic cottage loaf for the signature bake, then journeyed to Devon for the technical round. Finally, they tackled a plaited bread centrepiece, creating a delightful twist.
At the conclusion of the third episode, Alison revealed Tasha as the Star Baker, while Noel undertook the tough task of informing Abbi that she would be the third baker to bid adieu to the tent.
On the show Abbi said: ‘It’s ok, I knew it was coming and you know what I am really proud of myself. I never thought I would be able to do this, it has given me such a massive confidence boost and I have met such amazing people I am going to remember it everyday for the rest of my life, honestly!…although I am quite looking forward to getting back to my vegetables.’
Here Abbi talks about her experience:
‘I’m going to take away a real sense of achievement of being in the series and also of defining myself as a baker—I feel I have a proper baking style now, and have discovered what I love to do the most and what I am best at. I’m also going to take away a massive amount of love and family from all the rest of the bakers and the crew. It would not have been the same experience without a single one of them.
‘I was already pretty sure I was going to be leaving, so I wasn’t that surprised. I was sad obviously but also quite relieved not to have to do chocolate week! I knew that the thing I was going to miss the most was all the fun times with my fellow bakers. They did a brilliant job cheering me up by complimenting my nettle bread and reminding me that I’m an amazing baker—and then with drinks later at the hotel!
‘I have learnt so much about who I am as a baker and also about why I bake, and what I value in the outcome of a bake. I have also learnt so much from my fellow bakers and the judges about flavours, techniques, and all sorts of baking tips and tricks!
‘My best moment was either in cake week when Paul couldn’t find fault with my sheep cake, or in biscuit week when Prue said my custard cream was better than shop-bought. My worst moment was probably during the bread week technical when we were waiting for the results of the judging and I knew that I was in trouble and that that meant I was very likely to be going home.
‘My favourite challenge was the cake week showstopper. Cake is my biggest strength, and I had so much fun designing and baking my lovely Herbert the Herdwick. I would say though that my bread week showstopper was a close second, even though I went home with it, because it really said who I was as a baker. The worst challenge was the bread week technical. I only had a vague idea what we were making and we all really struggled for time.
‘I still think Nicky’s “moist beaver” in week one is one of the funniest moments in recent Bake Off history. I was laughing so hard I was crying. And I love how genuinely kind everyone is, and how much it’s a team effort, and that everyone gets that. It really felt like a family and I know we have all made friends for life. I have made some truly wonderful memories with them and this shared experience is a bond like no other!
‘Next up for me in the baking world is making myself an elaborate birthday cake (this is how I celebrate most years)—I’m thinking something mushroom-y—in appearance rather than flavour of course! After that, we’ll see. I’d love to do more with my seasonal baking and using foraged ingredients in my bakes.
‘I would absolutely encourage amateur bakers to apply for the next series. It has been the best experience of my life, if a very crazy, intense and overwhelming one, but so worth doing. And even if you only make it so far in the auditions—the work put into those alone is such a valuable way to discover your own baking style and passion. And there is nothing to lose by applying!’
To submit an application for the forthcoming series of The Great British Bake Off, visit www.applyforbakeoff.co.uk.
Abbi will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Thursday 12 October, airing on Channel 4 at 8.00 pm, alongside celebrity guests Martin Kemp and Ellie Taylor.