We are all so glad that The Great British Back Off is back and this week it was really well-bread, with the focus on rolls, buns and other doughy items. Before we dive headlong into this week’s goings on, we decided to have a chat with 2011 GBBO finalist Holly Bell (above) to get the backstage scoop on our favourite duo Mel and Sue and to see what she thinks of this year’s show.
Holly, author of new bestseller ‘Recipes From A Normal Mum’ still loves to watch GBBO. She tells Grazia that, "the standard of bakers is just so high now" and we totally agree after seeing the fantastic breads created this week. Whether it was the orange and cardamom bread from the lovely Kate or Luis's Spanish Roscón de Reyes saffron crown (below, top right); this week's offerings were we have to agree with Holly, were simply fantastic!
Holly can understand Kate and Luis's success as she tells us, "the best moment for me in Great British Bake Off was the week I made cheese, onion and potato pie. Paul Hollywood announced he didn't have anything bad to say about it. After weeks of harsh criticism this left me utterly speechless.
Enough of the GBBO chit chat, Grazia was desperate to get the lowdown on everyone’s favourites Mel and Sue. Holly tells us, "Mel (above) is really lovely whilst Sue is a true show women. Sue is one of the most kind hearted people I have ever met, she made a real point of coming to talk to the contestants during breaks even when the cameras weren't rolling. She especially counselled people who were having a bad time".
Having their own bad time this week was 'Captain Chaos" himself Jordan. After a very shaky strawberry cheesecake sweetbread (above, bottom pictire) the I.T manager from Nottingham was sent home. As Iain from Belfast would say, he didn't “rise to the challenge".
A perfect moment this week was when Martha and Mel were listening to the sound of bubbling cheese inside Martha's sunflower shaped centre piece bread. This showed just how much fun the duo are. Holly tells us, "Mel and Sue were so mischievous, always stealing ingredients. You had to keep your eye on raspberries and chocolate as these were their favourite snack! Also not very helpful when you have limited ingredients!"
According to Holly, Mel and Sue were always up to mischief, explaining that "they would come up to you when you were trying to do something really intricate and it was so hard not to giggle."
Finally, we asked Holly as a busy mum of three who is constantly baking when she isnt writing articles for Mother and Baby Magazine, what kept her sane? Her answer, "My secret weapon is Nelson's Calendula Hand Cream, saves my little dry hands and keeps me happy!"
Holly's Book Recipes from a Normal Mum is out now. Find it here.
Best Of Mel & Sue This Week On GBBO
1. To kick off the episode Sue asks Mel, "Got your thermal gurdle on?" Sue retorts, "I never take it off" to which Mel replied "Well I sleep in mine".
2. When watching Kate knead bread Sue exclaimed, "Wow you have the face of a wood nymph and the body of Ryan Gosling". I can’t decide if that is good or bad!
3. Sue measures Norman with the temperature gun (above). Whilst Norman blushes, Sue exclaims, "Wow you've got up 0.1 of a degree". Norman blames the presence of Sue, almost catching her off-guard as she replies "Ha, thanks Norman!" Go, Norm!
4. Time is coming to a sharp end for the contestants during one of the challenges and Sue shouts, "Five minutes and we unleash Mary Berry and the mahogany tiger." Grrrr.
5. When explaining that the bakers had to create a bread centre piece, Sue explained, "Whether it is tear and share or keep and weep, it is entirely up to you.”. We’d go for the tear and share, please Sue!
Great British Bake Off continues Wednesday 27th August, BBC One 8pm.
Follow Vic on Twitter @VicGrier