The Great Australian Bake Off 2016 - Episode 5 - Bread Week - Awesome Week!!

Ahh bread week - nothing more therapeutic than kneading bread... that aroma as it bakes...the air thick with yeast and so many puns it's guaranteed to make you roll your eyes!

LOVED bread week. I had SOOOOO much fun test baking ideas, dough after dough, tweaking, testing, mixing it up....eating...... What an awesome bake week.

Signature first up as always. Hamburgers!!! Can I just say at this point, thank you for this one.... was an excuse to make at least a 1/2 dozen varieties of burgers for the family dinners and kept us in good stead with frozen buns for months!

After trying oodles of new recipes I find an awesome milk bun recipe. A little tweaking and I can call it my own now. A desperate moment late at night saw me swap milk powder with Coffee Mate and tadaarrrr... a fab bun - not only looks great, tastes awesome with a soft pillowy centre and a firm textured crust... hamburger bun heaven.....

What to fill it with? Hubby "please don't do anything crazy, just make a good old fashioned burger like you used to get at the corner store and everyone will be happy"... ok I am listening this time.... good point honey - done!

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In true "Monica" style - a little Moreish flair "had" to come along with it, to the tune of Nutella and Frangelico milk shakes, Parmesan fries and organic tomato sauce - I had to put a little Italian into my Americana theme!

Winner winner, chicken dinner with this one - only issue? My meat patties were a little under done but the quality of meat the food team had provided was so good, it was lovely anyway! If you get a chance to make these burgers, including the patty, make it! So delicious! We continue to make these as a firm staple in our household.

Technical bake? Baguettes! Round ends, pointy ends, what ever - it's a baguette and had really happy to finish in 3rd! Chuffed!

 

And now for the showstopper - by now I seem to have inherited the "Show Stopper Queen" title from the cast and crew.......I think I like it!

Am smiling as I type this, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this challenge, even with creating a flipping 3D edible bread basket and 2 different types of bagels... it's was bloody awesome! I went nuts with details and discovered so many dough options it was hard to choose.

Test baking at home and I discovered fairly quickly a round bread basket was for me. And I wanted it to have a lid (just to be different). Seeing the British version and salt dough gave me additional options to decorate with, so flowers and mini strawberries saw their way into the bake. Not to mention my ever present desire to decorate so out came the edible gold paints etc.

In the shed everything went so well. Plenty of time spare to socialise, help others and arrange/style the bake. Matt had a great idea with adding Gruyere to the top of my French Onion bagels so I asked the awesome food team if they had any squirreled out the back and shazzam, they did! So grateful as it what they need to go to the next level (Great tip Matty!).

Poor Noel had the baking paper stuck to the bottom of his bagels, so I was therefore a good 5 to 10 minutes scrapping bottoms! I couldn't look at Antonio's basket as it was picture perfect! Too beautiful!

The strawberry bagels, while probably boiled for 30 seconds to long were still fabulous, the flavour was sensational. And the judges faces when they saw my finished product still makes me feel great now. Maggie lit up with "Oh and there is even a cornucopia!". The lid was perfect, you could hold it by the handle and it fit perfectly on the basket. Happy days!

My little french themed baked came off perfectly.

Check out the details that you may have missed on screen...

Monica Cavallaro