Great British Bake Off fans know it takes a lot to impress Paul Hollywood – but it’s a near-impossible feat when it comes to his area of expertise: bread.
So for one talented contestant to grab a Hollywood handshake in bread week, and with something so unique the King of Bread declared he’d never tasted its like before, made for remarkable scenes in the tent.
Accountant Hermine knew just how special the moment was, saying: “That’s it I’m packing, time to go home. Bake Off 2020 - over.”
The bakers had been tasked with making two loaves of soda bread, one savoury and one sweet, in the first challenge of the episode and Hermine wowed with a smoked salmon, cheese and black garlic bread, followed by a boozy fruit bread.
Hollywood offered his second Hollywood handshake of the series, reserved for the very best bakes, as he said: “I love the fact that I’ve never had them before. This is what Bake Off’s all about.
“This is really, really complex. I love it. It’s special.”
His co-judge Prue Leith, known for her love of boozy bakes, was particularly impressed with the sweet loaf where the fruit had been steeped in alcohol for “a couple of weeks”.
But not everyone in the tent had as much respect for bread maestro Hollywood.
Presenter Noel Fielding, doing his rounds of the bakers’ benches during the soda bread task, quipped: “No one under the age of 40 eats bread anymore.”
And when Hollywood asked this year’s youngest contestant, 20-year-old Peter, about when he’d started baking, he looked put out when Peter answered: “Bake Off has been around for more than half my life now.”
The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.