Rahul rises to the top of 'The Great British Bake Off' in bread week

Katie Archer
(Channel 4)

The Great British Bake Off has a clear frontrunner after Rahul was named Star Baker for a second week, winning a place in viewers’ hearts with his lack of confidence.

Rahul was a bag of nerves all episode as he stressed about living up to last week’s win, but it didn’t stop him from baking his way to success once more as fans fell over themselves offering to be his new best mate.

But before we get to that…step forward Paul Hollywood, it’s your special subject – bread week!

This week’s theme sorts the contestants into two categories – those competitive and foolhardy enough to try to create something even more historically significant than Paul’s bread lion from series 6, and those who wisely understand that it is a feat never to be beaten and only to be referred to in hushed tones.

Excitement for the show heated up in now-traditional style, by tweeting your best song puns on the week’s theme. These ones rose to the occasion…

The Signature Bake

Easing us into the episode was a Chelsea bun challenge, although we were momentarily distracted by Karen who seems to be rivaling Noel Fielding for wacky outfits.

This week she was sporting a tie-without-collar and bright red beret combo, followed later by a suit inspired by either Beetlejuice or Robin Thicke, depending on who you consider scarier.

Antony went for an ambitious breakfast-themed recipe that included bacon, caramel and raisins, Ruby chose a delicious-sounding gujarela (carrot and milk) filling, and Karen did her favourite flavour – Bakewell.

There was a hairy moment for Terry, when he admitted to making a mistake in his sugar sprinkling technique as his buns went in the oven, declaring “oh, my life”.

Meanwhile, hearts broke all over the country when we learned that Rahul, nervous about living up to last week’s Star Baker title, bakes to make friends.

Dan earned this episode’s first Hollywood Handshake with, according to Paul, “annoyingly perfect” Chelsea buns.

However, Ruby was told her flavour didn’t sit right in a Chelsea bun, whilst Prue Leith and Paul both deemed Antony’s creation “dry, dry, dry”.

And Manon’s complaint that she just couldn’t find the range of bakeries in the UK that there were in France did not go down well with Paul or the viewers.

Who won the Technical Challenge?

Garlic naan breads may have seemed like a simple enough order from Paul and Prue, but it set in motion a chain of utter panic in the Bake Off tent.

Most of the contestants said they’d never made naan before, and issues ranged from not knowing what shape they should be, to overcrisping in the oven (can a bread ever be too crisp?).

The bakers may have been struggling with the bread, but lots of viewers were having a problem with something else.

Kim-Joy, usually so precise, was ranked last and told by Prue that her naans were inedible.

But next – come on, Terry! The moustachioed wonder was crowned the winner of the Technical Challenge with delicious, flaky, perfect breads that had us reaching for the takeaway menu.

Surely, it’s a popularity contest between Rahul and Terry from here to the final?

The Showstoppers

Korovai? No, we’d never heard of it either, but it’s a celebratory bread structure that’s featured at weddings and looks incredibly impressive. We hope.

Amazingly, Kim-Joy themed her korovai, or kit-ovai, on a cat wedding, which sounded like a storyline worthy of The Mighty Boosh.

Despite offering the bakers a hefty five hours, it still wasn’t enough given the mammoth task facing them and many struggled to finish in time.

But judging time waits for no baker and the contestants had to serve up whatever they could manage – starting with Kim-Joy’s incredible cat cake.

Paul and Prue were bowled over by Rahul’s swan-covered design, and out hearts melted as he held back tears at the praise. Rahul has to be the clear favourite now.

Ruby is still storming through the challenges, too, with Paul telling her that her bake was “perfection”, but Jon and Antony both underwhelmed with the look and taste of their breads. However, we do need to take a moment to acknowledge the zip line that Antony included on his korovai.

Manon was told by Paul: “The design is impeccable, but everything inside is wrong”, while Prue added that the overuse of orange water made it taste like bubble bath.

Terry and Briony both underbaked their korovais, leaving the nation clutching their heads in frustration – will Terry ever just have an easy pass into the next week?

Who went out?

Let’s get the bad news over with – Antony is out.

He had an absolute shocker of a bread week, with underbaked breads, timing issues and a lack of decoration on his korovai that even that stupendous bird zipline could not make up for.

Who won Star Baker?

Rahul is on fire! For the second week in a row, he was crowned Star Baker – not that you’d know it by his reaction.

The good news seemed to tip poor Rahul over into an even greater state of nerves than he started out with, as he tearfully acknowledged his win.

Long live King Rahul, and hopefully his confidence will rise as much as his bread did.

Tonight’s highlight

Rahul. Just everything about him. He’s our highlight of the series, never mind the episode.

From his bid to win friends by baking, to his delight at seeing two passing peacocks, to his second victory, Rahul was the best of Bake Off tonight.

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

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