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The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,” is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!
Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.
In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review!
Oh my, Wisconsin Bakers! We sure do love your sweet, Sweet Buns!
The Tent tackled “sweet dough” during Week 7, which is baker-speak for beloved items like doughnuts, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, as well as the loaded and elaborate breads that adorn our holiday spreads. But instead of using Grandma’s Christmas fruit loaf as a door stopper — sorry, Gran — this week, “celebration loaves” are the showstopper!
In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Sweet Dough challenges. Overcoming yeast, fryers and fruitcake, Sconnie bakers faced off with 24 Sweet Buns (see how Oxford Dictionaries settles the “bun” vs. “roll” vs. “cake” debate), 10 Jam Doughnuts and a partridge in a pear Celebration Bread.
All eyes were on PIES this week in Paul and Mary’s tent, and our glorious Wisconsin bakers came through with over 80 heavyweight Wellingtons, American Sweets and some hair-raising Hand-Raising to rival them all. A quote from one of our bakers sums up Pie Week to perfection: “. . . butter, butter and more butter . . . and lard!”
In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three pie challenges. Fearless with flour, several bakers tackled puff pastry and elaborate latticework for the first time. They also learned the best way to protect a Wellington’s fragile crust from meat’s overzealous juices: just wrap it in . . . more meat! #MeatWrappedMeat!
The Queen of Hearts indeedmade some tarts, but our Wisconsin bakers staged a veritable overthrow of her crown as they whisked along with this week’s Great British Baking Show: TARTS! Devoted entirely to topless (gasp) pastry, Paul and Mary’s tent tormented contestants with a Classic French Tarte Tatin, Mary Berry’s (Very Own) British Treacle Tart and a Designer Fruit Tart worthy of a Parisian patisserie window — speaking of overthrows, step aside, Napoleon.
In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked our bakers to select just one of the three tart challenges. It was a holiday week in Wisconsin and the nation as we celebrated Independence Day, but our bakers still delivered: through road travel, motor boating and oodles of Aunt Nanette’s noodle salad. Thanks for the fruity fireworks, friends!