Bread: But not a peacock in sight

This week’s Great British Bake Off was Bread Week. As I mentioned previously, this is my least favourite category. I have always found bread bakes difficult and I find it less easy to be enthused over different types of bread than beautifully decorated cakes and biscuits.

So, the question was, which bread item featured on the show would I attempt this week? To be honest, I didn’t leave much choice as I really wanted to make a sweet bread and there was only one to choose from. Breadsticks and English muffins did not excite me either. I could not help but feel that some of the elaborate designs this week were a bit wasted on bread and didn’t look as defined as with iced cakes. (Yes, I do have a heavy bias in favour of cakes!) That was my excuse for not even attempting to sculpt/knead (?) Ruby’s white chocolate and orange bread into the decorative peacock shape. One step at a time anyway……

Unfortunately I could not get ground cardamom so decided to mix in some cinnamon instead. After proving the dough I separated it into three to make a plait. It turned out so much bigger than I anticipated! It barely fit in my oven and took a long time to bake right through. I had to cover with tinfoil as it was getting rather brown/burned on top. As the time was ticking on and on I was beginning to despair that it would ever bake through.

After an hour and a half I decided to cut my losses and get it out.



it is a bit burnt in places, but do bakers not call that “well fired”? I am sure there are people who like it like that! I couldn’t resist but try the “knock knock” test and was pleased to find it did make the satisfying noise – in most pieces of it anyway! I decided to slice up and have a taste.



The flavours are actually very good and it does taste lovely warm. I am not convinced that we will get through all of this though and some may well end up with the birds. if it does, I am sure they will have tasted a lot worse. I am even less convinced that Mr Hollywood would give my bread pass marks, but next week’s another week.

I can’t say I am bursting to try more bread making again, but I tried it and while I may not have conquered it I won’t knead (get it!) much encouragement to try another slice of my white chocolate and orange creation tomorrow.

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3 Responses to Bread: But not a peacock in sight

  1. chromebiatch says:

    Ah, you had the same issues as me! I made the Peacock bread at the weekend, but I couldn’t find ground cardamom anywhere. I read that it was a spice used for curries and I tried to think of a close alternative. I didn’t fancy adding cumin or anything so opted for mixed spice, though I considered cinnamon as well.
    700g of flour makes a BIG loaf of bread, so I knew that making it into a classic loaf shape would mean I might struggle getting it out of the oven!
    I did my best at replicating what Ruby did, and even doing that and covering the bread in foil for most of the cooking time, it still got a bit burned.
    The bake didn’t turn out as well as yours though, mine is incredibly dense and tough – I think I overworked it when doing all the shaping which took me about an hour and a half haha!!
    Oh well.

    • dolster12 says:

      I am not confident enough with my spices to choose an alternative and I kind of thought cinnamon was a good one for sweet bread. I don’t think I used enough though as I couldn’t really taste it. I should have thought about a bit and maybe used about half of the ingredients to make a smaller loaf. The taste has actually turned out ok and most has been eaten surprisingly. I think it may be more like a giant, weird shaped danish pastry. I think I did use about 14g salt – it did seem quite a lot. I do not have digital scales though so I may not have been bang on. Hoping for more success this week. Good luck to you.

  2. chromebiatch says:

    By the way, did you add 12g of salt? I thought that was a misprint, it seemed an extraordinary amount, so I only put 4g in.

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