The Great British Bake Off has a magical way of bringing out the inner baker in all of us. Episode 2, featuring the challenging flatbreads, left both the contestants and viewers on the edge of their seats. Today, we dive into our personal experience and reflections on why flatbreads, although versatile, can sometimes be a bit “flat” when it comes to excitement.
The Versatile World of Flatbreads
Flatbreads are undoubtedly a staple in many cultures across the globe. Their simplicity and flexibility make them a popular choice in kitchens worldwide. However, Episode 2 of GBBO challenged the bakers to elevate this humble dish to new heights.
One of the most fascinating aspects of flatbreads is their incredible diversity. From Indian naan to Middle Eastern pita, there’s a flatbread for every taste and occasion. This rich tapestry of flavors and traditions is a testament to the culinary world’s ability to adapt and evolve.
The Art of Dough
At the heart of any good flatbread is its dough. Achieving the perfect consistency can be a daunting task, and it’s where many bakers faced their first hurdle in Episode 2. Kneading, proofing, and stretching the dough require both skill and finesse.
The Challenge of Episode 2
Episode 2 of GBBO introduced unique challenges to the bakers. From creating an assortment of flatbreads with distinct flavors to mastering the art of presentation, it was a rollercoaster of emotions and culinary twists.
Flavors That Matter
Infusing flavor into flatbreads can be a delicate balance. Episode 2 showcased the importance of finding that sweet spot – not too overpowering, yet distinct enough to tantalize the taste buds. It was a tightrope walk that some contestants unfortunately stumbled upon.
Presentation Is Key
In the world of culinary arts, presentation plays a crucial role in elevating a dish. The flatbreads had to not only taste exceptional but also look visually appealing. Achieving this balance turned out to be a significant challenge for many, as they struggled to strike that perfect chord between taste and aesthetics.
The ‘Flat’ Feeling
As we watched the bakers battle it out in Episode 2, we couldn’t help but empathize with their frustrations. The flatbreads, although versatile and capable of culinary greatness, sometimes left us wanting more. It’s not that they lacked potential; it’s just that they can be quite unforgiving to those who underestimate their complexity.
While Episode 2 may have left us with a ‘flat’ feeling about flatbreads, it also taught us valuable lessons about the world of baking.
Respect for Tradition
The diverse world of flatbreads deserves our respect. The centuries-old traditions and techniques involved in crafting these delicacies are a testament to human ingenuity and the love for food.
The Beauty of Imperfection
Not every bake will turn out perfectly, and that’s okay. The journey of baking is filled with highs and lows, and it’s often the imperfections that make it beautiful and relatable.
Perseverance Is Key
Watching the contestants face challenges head-on in Episode 2 reminded us of the importance of perseverance in the kitchen. Baking is as much about determination as it is about skill.
While Episode 2 of GBBO may have left us feeling ‘flat’ about flatbreads, it’s essential to remember that every bake, whether a triumph or a challenge, contributes to our growth as bakers. Flatbreads, with their diverse history and potential for culinary creativity, will continue to be a beloved canvas for experimentation in the world of baking.
So, the next time you embark on a flatbread-making adventure in your own kitchen, remember that even if it doesn’t turn out as expected, it’s all part of the wonderful journey of baking.
Why I felt ‘flat’ about flatbreads – GBBO episode 2
225g plain flour, sieved
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
25g trex (vegetable fat)
50g creamed block coconut, grated
130 ml hot water
zest of 1 lime, chopped very small, approx. 3g
handful of finely chopped coriander leaves, approx. 6g
vegetable oil for surface
- Sieve the flour with the baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Rub in vegetable fat to resemble the texture of polenta. Grate in the coconut block.
Add in the coriander and lime zest to the bowl and mix through.
- Add water slowly mixing to make a soft dough.
Knead in the bowl for a few minutes until smooth.
- Cover and leave for 15-30 minutes to allow it to relax and make rolling out easier.
Divide dough into 6 portions, each will be approx. 69g if total weight is 415g. Roll each by hand into a small ball and then form more tightly under your palm on the counter.
- Flour a rolling pin and the counter.
Flatten slightly and then roll out into a circle approx 22-20cm wide and 2-3 mm thick .
Cover with clingfilm until ready to cook.
- Heat a flat griddle, frying pan until very hot, then turn heat down to medium
Cook each flatbread for 60 seconds on 1 side, turn over and cook for a further 60 seconds and then return to the first side to cook for a final 30-60 seconds if needed. On the first side look for small air bubbles appearing around the edges of the bread. Flip over and use a spatula or fish slice to push the rising air bubbles down and distribute the hot air between the flat bread.
- In the final turn the bread may puff up fully.
Wrap in a teatowel to steam, and cover with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.