Flipping through a cookbook is one of my favourite things to do on a weekend, and watching baking shows is no different. In my early 20s I went through a phase where I would hop on the elliptical with my music on and would proceed to watch the Food Network on mute just to see what they were making. I usually timed my workout around the baking shows. This proved to be counter-productive as I would hop off the elliptical wanting cheesecake. Wanting cheesecake bad.
So when I recently came across the comments section for a post called What TV Shows Are You Watching? I couldn’t help but laugh when a few people chimed in with their love of The Great British Bake Off. I laughed mostly because their funny comments rang so true — one commenter described it as her version of meditation, with another saying she wants a tent kitchen on her lawn (watch the show and you too will want a tent kitchen on your lawn). I was definitely late to the game with The Great British Bake Off — or “The GBBO” as my uncle likes to refer to it — I’m admittedly a few seasons behind because I tend to catch up on it when they air the reruns here in Canada (so the link above to the show’s website might give spoilers, be forewarned!) — but besides waiting for it to air here, it looks like you can get it on Netflix or the BBC site, too. The music, the baking tent, the magical and happy little way its filmed, anytime anyone says in their British accent that a cake has a soggy bottom…it’s pretty much perfection. And if that’s not enough, it’s worth it alone just to watch the two hosts and their commentary.
But don’t take it from me. This write-up encapsulates the show far more succinctly, and hilariously, than I ever could.
A few other cooking shows of note: Donna Hay’s show Fast Fresh Simple tends to include lots of great dessert ideas, and while Jamie Oliver’s show Jamie’s Comfort Food doesn’t centre around baking either the desserts he does make are show-stoppers. I give you Exhibit A as an example. Ree Drummond has such an ease in the kitchen, and the quick & simple recipes on her show The Pioneer Woman always look delicious. Last but not least, my love of baking shows started way back when with Anna Olson, so Bake with Anna Olson must be included on this list. Extra bonus points for the adorable kitchen and mint coloured stand mixer!