While Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry take a break from The Great British Bakeoff, ITV step in with a brand new series ‘Britain’s Best Bakery’. Hosted by bread expert Peter Sidwell and cake connoisseur Mich Turner, they put small independent, family run, and community bakers to the test.
The bakeries are split into 12 regions, and must compete to win a place in the regional final at the end of the week. The first region to take part is Dorset and Somerset. The three shortlisted bakeries are patisserie owner Mark Bennett, who decorated the wedding cake of the Duke and Dutchess of York, The Thoughtful Bread Co, eco warrior bakers, and the traditional family run bakers the Oxfords Bakery.
Challenges include choosing one item to show off as their speciality, including a nettle and chive bread, and a lardy cake; and the bakers dozen challenge, where each bakery must make and show the judges 13 of an item chosen by the judges. For this contest, they choose a Dorset apple cake. Patisserie Mark Bennett’s fancy speciality and cupcake-sized Dorset Apple cake are good enough to send him through to the next round.
I didn’t find it quite as entertaining as The Great British Bakeoff, but the main thing that may count against the show’s success is its early broadcast time, when many people will be at work.
Devon and Cornwall are the region featured next time.
Britain’s Best Bakery is on ITV1, weekdays at 4:00pm
Watch it on ITV Player here