Aspiring MasterChefs took up the challenge to learn the ins and outs of bread making from bakery legend Sean Armstrong last night (5 March 2012).
The drama-filled episode of MasterChef saw contestants running on little sleep with pressure reaching a yeasty high as they faced the daily demands of a baker.
The red team had a disastrous start by contaminating gluten free mixes and having their ciabatta explode through the oven. However, they managed a miraculous recovery to come out clear winners of the night earning 214 points compared to the blue teams 185.
The two winning products on the night were the seeded batard described by judge Ray McVinnie as "the best thing since sliced bread" and the apricot pinwheel as "Superb. Sticky, moist, delicious".
Seeded batard is a classic batard style loaf baked in the deck ovens with all the goodness of wholemeal flour, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and linseeds. The apricot pinwheel is a sweet treat filled with apricots, chocolate and custard.
"The contestants were definitely out of their comfort zone in the bakery," says Sean Armstrong.
"There were a few hiccups along the way which is to be expected when you're running on empty but it was great to see them learning from their mistakes. As I said to them at the beginning, they needed to be mindful about what they put in their bowl. I think Chelsea might have forgotten a key ingredient, maybe the oil, from her spicy carrot loaf. At least now all New Zealand knows why we get up so early in the morning."