The Great British Bake Off sees passionate home bakers take part in an elimination competition to test every aspect of their baking skills. Each week the surviving bakers are put through three challenges in a particular baking discipline, such as cake, pastry, pies, bread, or biscuits.
Round One is the Signature Challenge, which contestants will have had a chance to practice. However Round Two, the Technical Challenge, is unknown to them until filming, and they are given identical ingredients and a vague recipe to follow. Finally, the Showstopper Round tests their ability to impress the judges with outstanding workmanship, decoration, and design.
Judging the baking are professional baker Paul Hollywood and food writer Mary Berry, who was replaced by restaurateur Prue Leith after the show's move from the BBC to Channel 4.
The Bake Off is back for another year, welcoming the tent's youngest-ever baker and the oldest. All 12 bakers will be challenged on their baking skills from every angle by judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, all the while helped - or hindered - by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. But their first hurdle is cake.
As they enter the tent for the very first time, their first Signature Challenge is to make a swiss roll. But with such a seemingly simple challenge comes a risk - who will have the tightest roll? Whose roll will split? Should the bakers go for the classic or push the boat out to impress?
Recovering from their first challenge, they face their first ever Technical Challenge. It's cake week... it's a Mary recipe... it's a classic cherry cake. But will the bakers be able to suspend the cherries and ice their cakes to the exacting standard of Ms Berry?
As the next day dawns so does the Showstopper. The bakers must make classic British cakes... in perfect miniature... all 36 of them...
30 challenges, 12 brand-new bakers, two judges and two presenters, but there can only be one winner.
On your marks, get set... bake!
One week down. Having survived cakes, the remaining 11 bakers are tested on biscuits.
Serving up signature savoury biscuits, the bakers must push themselves on flavour to create biscuits that go well with a cheese course, and Sue learns the dirty secret behind the invention of the ice cream cone and the start of the UK ice cream industry.
In the technical challenge Mary sets the bakers her recipe for florentines. With their chewy caramel sauce and lacy brandy snap texture covered in tempered chocolate, the bakers must follow Mary's basic instructions, adding up to a more exacting bake than expected.
And finally a showstopper like no other - in the most ambitious biscuit challenge to date, the bakers are challenged to create three-dimensional biscuit scenes. They can make any scene they like as long as it is made entirely from biscuits and doesn't fall over... easier said than done in the Bake Off tent. The bakers are really put under scrutiny as the biscuits must taste as good as they look, as the judges make their decision about who will leave the Bake Off tent.
In week three, the remaining ten bakers get ready to brave bread.
The boys are confident that this is their week, but the girls have other ideas. Knowing that Paul will be watching their every move and prove, the bakers must bake 12 perfect rye bread rolls, shaped in any way they like and using as much rye flour as they dare.
Paul is enigmatic in the technical challenge, telling the bakers to 'be patient' with his recipe for ciabatta loaves. But which bakers will listen to his words of wisdom and which ones will lose their nerve?
The bakers have their work cut out for them in the showstopper challenge, making a filled centrepiece loaf that will make an impact on a table as well as on the judges. Mary and Paul are looking for real talent and natural instinct, creativity and baking brilliance - but which one of the bakers has what it takes?
It's week four in the tent and the baking is getting serious. Having seen the bakers make cake, biscuits and bread, Mary and Paul up the ante - for the first time, we see how the bakers cope with multi-tasking across several baking skills at once.
For their signature challenge the bakers must bake saucy puds - delicate sponges hiding a gooey saucy filling or a saucy surprise at the bottom. If baked for just a fraction too long the sauce won't ooze upon cutting, but they won't know if it has worked until they are judged.
Sue explores the origins of the Paignton pudding - a pudding larger than a cow that caused a riot in Paignton in the 19th century.
For the technical challenge, Mary sets the bakers her tiramisu cake. It's a new kind of tiramisu requiring the bakers to temper chocolate, bake beautifully thin coffee-soaked sponges and assemble to create perfect layers of sponge, cream and chocolate... but only if they read the recipe properly.
For their final flourish the bakers are challenged to bake incredible showstopping baked alaskas made up of cake, meringue and ice cream... on the hottest day of the year so far. In the centre of a field in the middle of the English countryside the bakers have the odds stacked against them, as temperatures soar and tempers fray.
There is still everything to bake for... on your marks... get set... bake!
Almost halfway through the Bake Off and the remaining bakers are facing pies and tarts. No self-respecting home baker is complete without being able to make all kinds of pastries, and today the bakers are challenged to do just that.
Starting with a signature custard tart that gives more than one of them a wobble, the bakers must make sweet custard tarts of their own invention, ranging from 'rhubarb and custard' to 'chocolate and coconut' to a 'tropical Manchester tart' (a tart with tropical flavours made by a Mancunian).
Paul sets the bakers mini pear pies; one of the more unusual technical challenges that the Bake Off has seen. The bewildered bakers get in a twist as they attempt to wrap poached pears in a spiral of rough puff pastry, whilst Mel investigates the ancient wedding centrepiece that was the aphrodisiac known as bride pie.
Finally the bakers battle their biggest bake yet; three-tied pies. In just four hours they must create a towering collection of pies from any pastry or pastries they like. With 'three-little pig' pies and a 'pieful tower', Mary and Paul have their work cut out for them and Mel and Sue really will eat all the pies...
On your marks, get set... bake!
Past halfway in their baking marathon and the remaining six bakers face three European cakes.
For their signature challenge the bakers are asked to bake yeast-leavened cakes; a tricky cross between cake and bread that sees some of the bakers opting out of Europe...
Mary sets the bakers their most demanding technical challenge yet in which they must make a Swedish princess torte. With 24 different stages and only two-and-a-quarter hours to do it in, the bakers have their work cut out for them, while Sue explores the events that led to the huge array of Danish cakes and pastries in the Danish cake table tradition.
And finally, a showstopping finale that puts the hungry into Hungary... The bakers must make their own contemporary version of the dobos torte. Traditionally a multi-layered Hungarian cake, the bakers must go one step further and make a two-tiered dobos torte with an emphasis on all things caramel in every way they can imagine... but whose Bake Off will come to a sweet but sticky end?
On your marks, get set... bake!
Presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins set the remaining contestants three tasks involving pastry, beginning by asking them to make signature savoury parcels. For the technical challenge, they must prepare a cake that hails from the Brittany region of France - the kouign amann, which none of the bakers has ever heard of - before creating two different types of eclair in the showstopper round. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood judge the hopefuls' efforts before deciding who is star baker and who is going home.
The nation's favourite baking contest is about to get a whole lot hotter in the kitchen, as it reaches the quarter-final stage, and just five amateur bakers remain. They've all impressed to various extents during Bread Week - at least sufficiently to make it through - but now their skills are thoroughly tested as they take on enriched doughs. They have a signature bake in which they must work with soft dough to create artful works, a technical that sees them recreate an Eastern European cross between bread and pastry, and a showstopper involving doughnuts.
It's Patisserie Week, and the remaining four bakers will need to demonstrate that they have skills worthy enough to see them through to this year's final. The bakers are challenged to make a signature baklava - two types of any flavour they like, before the technical challenge demands they knock up a German Schichttorte, a cake cooked in stages under the grill to create 20 layers of different coloured sponge. Finally, the showstopper sees the semi-finalists baking non-stop to create two entremets in which they should demonstrate as many personal skills and techniques as they can.
The three finalists face a Signature Challenge in which they have just three hours to prove they have mastered a pastry technique that usually takes a whole day. They then have to tackle a Technical Challenge without the aid of a recipe, before rustling up a Showstopper that turns sponge, caramel, choux pastry and petits fours into a winning combination.
After 10 weeks of stiff competition, calm finally descends on the Bake Off tent as judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry take up the reins to demonstrate how they would have tackled the contest's signature, technical and showstopper challenges had the roles been reversed. They begin with tasks from the first two weeks of the series, with Paul making a blackcurrant and liquorice Swiss roll and two types of savoury biscuits, while Mary prepares a cherry cake with lemon icing, Florentines and miniature classic coffee and walnut cakes.
Back in the Bake Off tent, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood roll up their sleeves, baking the challenges that they set the bakers in bread and desserts weeks on the Great British Bake Off.
Paul takes us through his ciabatta technical and his show-stopping roquefort and walnut loaf one step at a time and Mary shows us how to make her layered tiramisu cake from desserts week. Paul shows his saucy side with chocolate volcano fondant puds and Mary finishes off with her flamboyant neapolitan baked alaska.
We catch up with last year's bakers, who have come a long way since their time in the tent.
This programme looks back at the golden moments - and recurring nightmares - of the bakers dozen from last year, as they revisit their time in the tent and share their memories as the Class of 2013.
Once again taking over the Bake Off tent, Mary and Paul tackle the signature, technical and show-stopper challenges from the second half of the series.
Just as the challenges got harder for the bakers, Mary and Paul must also make their more elaborate bakes, showing us how to achieve the perfect results at home.
Mary makes a swirling chocolate and orange tart and the most complicated technical challenge of the series, the Swedish prinsesstarta. Paul dusts off his pastry skills making mini sausage plaits and demystifies the delicious kouign amann, which so baffled the bakers in the tent. Finally, Mary constructs her own version of the two-tiered dobos torte, complete with caramel of all kinds, with hints and tips on how to achieve perfection at home.
In the final masterclass of the series, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood dust off the flour one last time, creating the signature, technical and show-stopping challenges from the last part of the Great British Bake Off.
Mary makes a pair of chouxs with her lemon and raspberry eclairs, while Paul gets fruity with his cherry and chocolate loaf. Paul explains how to stretch your skills to make the technical povitica, followed by his show-stopping raspberry and chocolate doughnuts. And Mary finishes with her elaborate double chocolate entremets that will impress at any dinner party, giving helpful advice to inspire you to achieve the same at home.