The third series of The Great British Bake Off began airing on Tuesday 14 August 2012. The series was filmed at Harptree Court in East Harptree, Somerset. Seven thousand applied for the competition and twelve contestants were chosen. For the first time, all three finalists were male: Brendan Lynch, John Whaite and James Morton. The competition was won by John Whaite.
The first episode is all about cake, and the pressure is on from the very first challenge. The bakers tackle an upside-down cake for their signature bake. The feared technical challenge sees the bakers tackle Paul's recipe for rum babas, a hybrid of cake and enriched dough. It is an unusual and and unfamiliar recipe that baffles some of the bakers. And to keep hold of their place in the bake off tent, the bakers attempt to produce a showstopping cake that reveals a hidden design when it is sliced into. Who will impress the judges and become star baker and who will be the first to leave The Great British Bake Off?
From the off the atmosphere in the Bake Off tent is charged as eleven bakers attempt to make flatbread. Tempting Paul and Mary with two varieties, the bakers are under pressure to produce 24 perfect flatbreads each. The feared technical challenge has the bakers in a twist as they attempt Paul's recipe for the notoriously difficult eight-strand plaited loaf. Remaining in the competition rests on pulling out all the stops in the showstopper challenge. Attempting a technique new to Bake Off, the bakers endeavour to make bagels. Boiled before they are baked, the eleven hopefuls have to produce 12 sweet and 12 savoury bagels. But who will impress and be named Star Baker and who will fail to make the grade and leave the Bake Off tent?
Things are hotting up in the Bake Off tent as the remaining ten bakers do their best to wow Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry with some unusual flavour combinations for their tartes tatin. Baking know-how is the all important ingredient for coming through the technical challenge unscathed. Mary's treacle tart seems simple enough, but its lattice top proves to be the undoing of some of the bakers. So the pressure is on - a showstopping tart is no easy task when baked under the gaze of Paul and Mary, but it is the bakers' best chance to achieve the accolade of Star Baker, and more importantly to avoid going home.
The bakers face three challenges, all designed for a sweet tooth. Starting off with a tempting array of decadently rich tortes, the bakers then face the technical challenge. This time it is a mainstay of French baking, the crème caramel, and for some there is more wobble than expected. Proceedings are rounded off with a mammoth six-hour challenge to produce a mighty showstopping layered meringue. But who will claim the accolade of Star Baker and who will hang up their apron for the last time?
The bakers turn their attention to pies. For their first task, they must master a perfect Wellington. When they have recovered, it is straight into a fiendishly difficult technical challenge - hand-raised pies. None of the bakers have used a pastry dolly before and it proves the downfall of many. With several bakers in the danger zone, everything rests on the showstopper challenge - American pies. Who will be this week's star-spangled baker and who will be leaving the bake-off?
The bakers go all out to impress Mary and Paul with two types of delicious sponge puddings. The technical challenge sees them face a Queen of Pudding, a recipe direct from the archives of the Queen of Bakes, Mary Berry. The final test is a showstopping strudel that stretches the bakers to their limits.
Facing three sweet dough challenges, the bakers start their campaign by creating their signature regional buns. Paul Hollywood opens his recipe vault for the technical challenge of jam doughnuts and in a final bid to hang on to their place the bakers produce a showstopping enriched dough loaf fit for a glorious celebration. But who will make it through to the quarter-finals and which two bakers will be saying goodbye for good?
It is the biscuit based quarter-final, and Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are taking the challenges to another level. The signature bake sees the bakers' organisational and baking skills put to the test, as they attempt to deliver a huge batch of perfectly baked crispbreads. Then the bakers have to throw away the baking rule book as time and temperature work against them to produce six perfectly tempered chocolate tea cakes for the technical challenge. A place in the semi-final will be hard earned as the final challenge tests not only the quality of the bake, but how well it works as a building material.
There are only four bakers left vying for a place in the much sought-after final of the Great British Bake off. The weight of the occasion is getting to the most unflappable of the bakers as they frantically work against the clock to deliver petits fours to Paul and Mary's exacting standards. The hardest technical bake ever seen on Bake Off finds two of the bakers left wanting as their fraisier cakes collapse. It's possible to hear a pin drop in the kitchen as the bakers pull out the stops for their showstopping choux gateaus. Paul and Mary think they have seen it all until they are presented with a tribute to the Tour de France..
After weeks of pastries, cakes and bread, three bakers have made it to the final. They now must face the most demanding of challenges yet as every aspect of their baking skill is scrutinised. To prove themselves to judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, they must create pastry perfection with a signature pithivier. Then on to one of the most intricate technical challenges ever devised - fondant fancies. Finally, it all comes down to their last ever showstopper, creating a masterpiece with a notoriously difficult chiffon sponge. After two days of baking, only one of the finalists can claim the title, winner of The Great British Bake Off.
It is the calm after the baking storm, and Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry take over the Bake Off tent to show how the technical challenges should be done. Free from the frenzy of whipping, piping and kneading, Mary and Paul tackle treacle tarts, rum babas, creme caramels, hand raised pies and Paul's infamous eight-strand plaited loaf. Going through every step of the first five technical recipes of the series, they show exactly how to avoid the mistakes some of the bakers made.
A year after taking part, we catch up with the bakers from series 2 of The Great British Bake Off. What was it really like to compete in the tent, be judged by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, and comforted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins? And how has their shared love of baking and appearing on the series changed their lives?
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are back in the Bake Off tent to show exactly how to tackle the remaining technical challenge recipes from the series. From the queen of puddings to chocolate tea cakes, jam doughnuts, fraisier cake and fondant fancies, Mary and Paul prove that no bake is too big or too small. They go through every step in detail to show how to avoid the mistakes some of the bakers made
With the Bake Off tent all to themselves, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood show, for the first time ever, which signature bakes they would have chosen if they had been in the bakers' shoes. Armed with sieves and spatulas, they show their signature sponge puddings, flat breads, wellingtons, sweet buns and tarte tatins. They go through every step of their recipes, with no soggy bottoms in sight, proving that anybody can give baking a go if they follow their advice.