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Simple, everyday bread. What could be easier? After the showstopping hidden message cakes from the first episode, this second episode felt like a nice return to baking basics. We focused on breads, with our lovely bakers churning out gorgeous flatbreads, plaited loaves and bagels by the dozen under Paul Hollywood’s watchful master baker eye.

They all did reasonably well, with a few of the flavour combinations even eliciting a glint of appreciation from Paul (a man whose ‘well done’ is ‘not bad’). The 8-strand plait was another matter, with only a couple of the bakers getting it right both in plaiting and baking, and lots of ‘improvised’ plaits that didn’t fool Paul and Mary for a single second.

Next, SWEET! and savoury bagels – the sight of bagels crowned with chocolate and blueberries made me want to try making them again after my last attempt – and I picked up some good hints from watching the contestants shape theirs!

By the end, John was – very deservedly – crowned star baker and Stuart – he of the ketchup cake and more disasters this week – got off lightly as Peter went home. Both John and James seem to be pulling away from the pack – come on ladies!!

See all the recipes from Episode 2 here

Next week – the ten remaining bakers attempt to produce showstopping tarts. And Stuart presumably goes home.