Great British Bake Off contestants avoid elimination during bread week

Rebs and Abdul were both absent from the third episode due to sickness.
Rebs and Abdul were both absent from the third episode due to sickness.

The Great British Bake Off contestants could breathe a sigh of relief on Tuesday after it was revealed that no bakers were to be eliminated from the show.

The third episode of the Channel 4 show saw eight contestants tasked with baking two signature pizzas, a pain aux raisin technical challenge and a decorative Swedish Smorgastarta showstopper.

Opening the show, co-host Matt Lucas told the contestants that fellow bakers Rebs, a master’s student from Northern Ireland, and electronics engineer Abdul were feeling “under the weather” and would return to compete next week.

During their deliberations, judges Paul Hollywood and Dame Prue Leith said the bottom three bakers were “all so equal” that they had to look at their scores carefully when deciding who would leave the competition.

Dame Prue added that the showstopper challenge was “one of the most difficult” she has ever judged.

When the time came to eliminate a contestant, presenter Lucas said: “This week nobody is going home. The judges felt given the quality and the fact that Rebs and Abdul aren’t here, everybody deserved the chance to bake again.”

Dame Prue later confirmed that two amateur bakers will have to be eliminated during the same show at some point.

She said: “They were all thrilled to bits because nobody had to go, they are all friends, they don’t want to see their friends go home.

“But sooner or later, we have to send two bakers home and that’s not nice.”

It was also good news for 34-year-old personal assistant Janusz, who was awarded the coveted star baker title for the second time after impressing the judges with his artistry.

Hollywood said: “Janusz is very artistic, almost illusional in some of his bakes. He’s clever and he certainly is one to watch going forward.”

The first challenge saw the contestants create two sharing-sized pizzas in two hours, taking inspiration from around the world.

The contestants opted for a wide range of pizza toppings, with Janusz creating a full English Breakfast pizza, Carole inspired by a French tartiflette and Syabira opting to create a Malaysian prawn sambal pizza.

In the technical challenge, the contestants were tasked with making 12 identical pain aux raisin equally filled with a “smooth creme patissiere”, with Hollywood specifying he “didn’t want tails”.

“You have to be fast and accurate with this recipe,” he added.

The technical was won by Polish-born Janusz, with architectural assistant Maxy placing second and nuclear scientist James coming third.

Janusz said: “I just cannot believe I got first in technical in bread week because bread is wow, it has a mind of its own.”

For the final showstopper challenge, they were tasked with creating their “own interpretation” of the Smorgastarta sandwich cake, a Swedish savoury celebration cake.

Hollywood described it as “bread layers with savoury fillings all the way down” while Dame Pure added: “It must look like a cake but taste like a sandwich.”

Janusz’s fish and chip shop inspired Smorgastarta with curry sauce flavoured icing made Dame Prue “eat her words” after she initially branded the idea as “disgusting”.

Meanwhile, Swedish-born Maxy’s seafood sandwich cake was described as “messy” but impressed the judges with two different types of bread.

Kevin’s fish-pie inspired Smorgastarta was topped with a decorative cucumber fisherman but failed to impress the judges as his bread was deemed “slightly overbaked and dry”.

Speaking of Syabira’s Malaysian-inspired Nasi Lemak Smorgastarta, Dame Prue said: “It looks absolutely astonishing, it is beautifully constructed, it’s really original, it’s wonderful.”

The popular baking show returned to Welford Park in Berkshire for this series after two years of filming at Down Hall in Hatfield Heath, Essex.

The Great British Bake Off continues at 8pm on Tuesdays on Channel 4.