Overworked and underbaked: Your guide to Great British Baking Show-isms
A language guide to all of the GBBS terms and British-isms for the rest of us.
This month, The Great British Baking Show descended on the CBC and our lives are all the better for it.
The thing is, unless you're well acquainted with British slang, recipes, and any other baking jargon, you may find yourself growing concerned about the prevalence of soggy bottoms. Still confused? That's why I've made the only guide you'll ever need.
Let's keep things simple: originally introduced to the UK in the 1920s, Jaffa Cakes consist of sponge cake and orange gelatin, covered in chocolate. They are delicious and available at UK bakeries/specialty shops in Canada, and despite host Paul Hollywood doing so, should not be dunked in tea.
English puddings can be sweet or savoury, and certainly not of the Jell-o variety as I learned after embarrassing myself at a British pub a few years ago. In short: Yorkshires represent the former. Consisting of flour, milk, and eggs, they're meant to rise in the oven thanks to being cooked in smoking-hot oil, and can be eaten with Sunday roast, which I recommended. Based on my own experiences, 85 per cent of the time they don't rise at all and you won't know why, leaving you to question your entire existence.
Not scones. Not the southern variety with gravy. Not exactly cookies. Also not crackers. Think: digestives. Gingerbread. A snack with a snap. No soft middles, nothing gooey. The backbone of the GBBS.
Not only a character on Homestar Runner. Instead, it's a "confectionary" (shout-out to Google), consisting of sugar, almond meal, and egg white to bind. It can be rolled out and used as an icing kind of like fondant (which is baked then decorated), or used as part of a cake or marchpane tart. The Tudors really had a thing for it.
Deer! Pigeons! Hares! Pheasants! And a partridge in a pear tree. These are what you'll find under the subject, "game."
A type of cake that seems ridiculously complicated and, between you and me, overrated. It's a yeast-based cake, which means it has to rise — before being covered in fruit, cream, chocolate, and caramel shards (homemade caramel, BTW). It must be moist and perfect-looking. And angels wept.
A pastry book
Picture this: the most delicious pastry ever, consisting of several layers. It begins with pastry dough, wrapped around butter that's been beaten into a sheet. Then, you roll it out, and fold it into a rectangle before chilling it, rolling it out again, chilling once more … and continuing until it's impossible to keep going.
Note that some of us have set our ovens on fire after adding too much butter in, so there is absolutely something as too much of a good thing.
The worst thing your pie or tart can have — a.k.a. A crust that sags under the weight of your own disappointment and whatever filling you've used. A source of true sorrow in the Baking Show tent.
Dough that's been handled too much. Think: pastry dough that falls apart, biscuits that can't retain their shape, bread that's had the life squeezed out of it. Its first symptom is your slow realization that maniacally adding water will not keep your dough (or life) together.
To start, note that it's "proofed," not "proved." It's a "proofing drawer," not a "proving door." (I learned this after extensive Googling.) And when saying it, know that you're referring to a dough being left to rise. If overproofed, the bread will likely collapse in the oven, while underproofing will make for a denser loaf condemned by anyone judging you. Either way, it's a tragedy.
Your bake isn't cooked all the way, and everybody is upset about it.
See: "scrumptious." See: Mary Berry sees and respects you. Or at least your bake.
As in, "That's cracking." As in, the only compliment you really need from Mary Berry, because you've done it; you've won the world.
If you're a fan of GBBS and want more, CBC will be premiering The Great Canadian Baking Show this fall. Everything you love about this series but with a Canadian flare (and vocabulary). Stay tuned for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more info!