I enjoyed the Great British Bake Off this year. I really enjoyed the programme which went out before the final catching up with last years contestants. It hit me then that I hadn't been absorbed in this years bake off like in years past. For some reason I just didn't care as much about the contestants, I wasn't on the edge of my seat waiting to see if their biscuits would hold together or their custard curdle.
That's not to say the contestants were not as talented bakers or less likeable in some way. And in no way did they deserve the abuse they garnered, read Ruby' s eloquent and excellent piece about that here . I was delighted to see the final fought out between three clearly intelligent and creative women.
Perhaps the show format has just run it's course? As a nation we are still in love with baking but perhaps we need to shake it up a bit? Revolving chairs, guest judges, macaroon makeovers? Who knows.
When it comes to last years contestants though, it was like meeting up with old friends seeing them on my screen. I love John, I would love to chat with Sarah-Jane, I had forgotten how hilarious Cathryn is. And James? Well any man in a fair isle sweater, geek glasses and a penchant for bread baking is fabulous in my book.
I'm thinking that purchasing his book wouldn't be an indulgence as such but an investment to inspire new blog posts, yes?
Last month Sainsbury's* magazine had a couple of his recipes which have all turned out to be great, so that's like trying before you buy isn't it? A sensible, measured purchase? Oh stuff it, come to me Brilliant Bread book.........
So here is the tea bread I made using James' recipe. I followed it to the letter - letting it prove overnight in the fridge. Baking this first thing in the morning was inspired. The smell of your breakfast baking as you pour steaming coffee, be still my foodie heart.
*I also read Vogue so that cancels out being an avid Sainbury's magazine fan ok?