The Great American Baking Show Reboot Stands Out With Its Bakes

After a shuffling of judges, hosts, and networks and its future in doubt, "The Great American Baking Show" is back. This time the series is streaming on the Roku Channel and at least two familiar faces greet contestants as judges of "The Great British Baking Show," Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. They've made the jump across the pond to see how American bakers compare to the Brits – despite still being filmed in the UK. With new hosts Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, the hope is that the combination of familiar judges and format with new American hosts will breathe new life into the franchise here in the States.

Gone are the treacle tarts and spotted dick, replaced with bar cookies and burgers, instead. And for disgruntled viewers of current GBBO seasons who complained about the complexity of recent challenges, contestants were asked to make macarons–– just macarons. Nothing unachievable, which is nice and a much-appreciated back-to-basics approach.

The bakes reflect America's vast cultural and culinary influences

The back-to-basics bakes and gentle reboot of the series are giving viewers what they might be missing from recent seasons of GBBO. Sure, there are two new hosts with the same corny shtick at the beginning of each episode and nine American bakers, but at the end of the day it's still the same show — this isn't Baking Show: Cutthroat Edition. The bakes will be of a different variety, reflecting the variety of cultural influences in American cooking and baking. As Leith states in the season trailer on YouTube, America is a melting pot of cultures and hopes for "something new" from American bakers. Certainly, there will be everyday ingredients used in new ways that might be unfamiliar to the judges. According to WBUR, one baker managed to win over a wary Paul Hollywood with a Midwestern bake featuring sweet corn.

And perhaps with the more familiar challenges — what exactly is spotted dick, anyway? — we might find ourselves venturing to the kitchen to try our own hand at a sweet corn cake or burger bun. We'll keep our fingers crossed that there are no more disastrous Mexican week challenges, though.