The Reason GBBO Bakers Still Flop Their Finals After Practice

Baking is difficult. It's finicky and requires patience, precision, and consistency both with ingredients and the surrounding environment. Many professional bakers have been practicing their craft for years, making them fast, efficient, and consistent. Your morning bagels and Sunday desserts from the bakery should look and taste like your bagels and desserts from last month. However, even professionals aren't immune to baking flops. Sometimes sugar work melts, cakes deflate, and choux buns don't puff up. Watching just one episode of "Bake Off: The Professionals" can attest to that. 

The contestants on "The Great British Baking Show" aren't professionals just yet. They're hobby bakers like many of us, who enjoy baking for friends and family, or just for fun. The contestants have other jobs and, as a rule of the show, they could never have worked as a cook, chef, or baker, or have a professional degree in baking (via Delish). Even though some former contestants have parlayed their experience into cookbook deals or television shows, all start off as amateur bakers. 

When we watch a GBBO episode and see a cake topple or chocolate melt, we can't help but feel a pang of empathy for the baker and their hard work. One Redditor asked what we all wonder, "If the bakers can practice, why do they still struggle so much?"

Weather and stress can lead to baking disasters

The Reddit GBBO community was quick to reply in the thread, noting that many contestants have full-time jobs or education commitments outside of filming weekends. They may not have time to practice a four-hour bake from start to finish even once, let alone several times to get it right.

Then there's the environment. "Things that are quite easy in your own space are usually discombobulating in unfamiliar places," a user wrote. The situation rattles the nerves of some bakers who are removed from the comfort and familiarity of their home kitchens and dropped into the chaos and time constraints of the GBBO tent. Not to mention the hosts, cameras, and producers being a huge distraction from the task at hand. The environment of the tent is notoriously changeable and prone to extreme weather. The tempered chocolate could be melting in the heat, or the buttercream is splitting in the cold (via Cosmopolitan). The inconsistency would wreak havoc on any baker, professional or amateur.

Some mentioned that performance anxiety is also a factor. Being removed from your cozy kitchen means the reasons you're baking have changed. "At home, there are no real consequences for a bad batch," commented one Redditor. Low-stakes versus high-stakes can certainly cause a lot of stress, which could lead to mistakes. As the current season carries on, hopefully, we'll see the bakers become more confident baking in the tent. Fingers crossed the weather holds, too.