Contestant eliminated from Great British Bake Off during show’s bread week

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Amateur baker Rochica has become the third contestant to leave the tent on the latest series of The Great British Bake Off.

The 27-year-old junior HR business partner from Birmingham, who is inspired by her Caribbean heritage, was voted off after a few unsuccessful bakes in bread week.

The 10 contestants tried to prove their ability to the judges by creating a signature perfectly baked focaccia, 15 even breadsticks in the technical and a themed, milk bread showstopper.

Italian-born Giuseppe clinched the top prize of star baker after receiving a coveted handshake from judge Paul Hollywood.

After the elimination, Rochica said: “I have really, really enjoyed it and not everybody gets to bake in the Bake Off tent so I’m proud of where I’ve got to and I’m just going to keep baking, just don’t do anything till that time.”

The contestants were first challenged to create an Italian focaccia bread in any style or flavour they desired, as long as it had a crispy crust and open irregular crumb structures.

Giuseppe, who hails from Italy but is now based in Bristol, brought some of his family roots to his bake by creating “Breakfast in Gaeta”, which contained olives from his hometown Gaeta and his father-in-law’s oil.

At the beginning of the episode, the 45-year-old admitted: “I should feel comfortable with this because bread and pizzas are what I do at home, but it takes a couple of days. In a couple of hours, it’s very very challenging.”

However, he impressed Hollywood, who not only asked for the recipe but also awarded him a “Hollywood handshake”, which brought the Italian to tears.

Hollywood said: “The thing that I particularly like is that you haven’t gone overboard with flavour and made a beautifully light focaccia, and you get a mouthful of everything in every bite and that’s all focaccia is. I think it’s beautiful, well done.”

For the technical challenge, Hollywood tasked them with making 15 olive and cheese ciabatta breadsticks, served alongside a homemade tzatziki dip in two hours.

Producing an even-sized batch proved trickier for others, with Rochica and 26-year-old Crystelle, a client relationship manager from London, both undercooking their breadsticks which caused them to come out raw.

They were placed in the bottom two spots in the technical by Hollywood and fellow judge Dame Prue Leith, while Giuseppe once again came out on top during the challenge.

The last round saw the bakers create milk bread which had to be three-dimensional and reflect a theme of their choice in four-and-a-half hours.

Jurgen from Sussex, who had clinched the star baker title for the last two weeks, struggled slightly this week but saved himself with his creche and child themed bread scene – which was filled with chocolate and vanilla mousseline.

The Great British Bake Off continues at 8pm on Tuesdays on Channel 4.

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