The current season of The Great British Bake-Off has introduced us to everything from malt loaves to brandy snaps. We’ve seen bakers sweat off soufflés, crumble under the pressure of crafting wafer-thin cookies, and appear victorious when they’re announced as the winner of a given challenge. This past week, contestants on GBBO were faced with something everyone loves—bread. The remaining bakers were tasked with baking focaccia, oliva and cheese ciabatta breadsticks, and, for the superstar recipe, milk bread. Focaccia and ciabatta both originated in Italy, while fluffy milk bread, which has gone somewhat viral in recent years, hails from Japan. So did they rise to the occasion, or sink under the pressure? While you’ll have to watch the show to find out, we’re sharing three of our own bread recipes so that you can see if you’re up to the task from the comfort of your own home…rather than a tent in the middle of the woods.
Sheet pan focaccia bread can be simple or it can be studded with olives, cherry tomatoes, and herbs galore. This one is sprinkled with coarse sea salt (use the good stuff!) and receives a generous drizzle of good-quality olive oil. Like most breads, it takes hours and hours to rise into a voluminous dough. So start it in the morning and by dinner time, a fresh, crusty focaccia will be waiting for you and yours.