10 year anniversary of The Great British Baking Show

The Great British Baking Show, a U.K.-based baking competition series, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the exciting return of the baker’s dozen. The show’s weekly episodes can be found exclusively on Netflix.

Even if you are new to watching the series, the set up of the show is consistent throughout. You won’t be missing any key information if you start at collection three instead of one.

This season is showcasing the youngest bakers the show has seen. Newsweek confirms that “more than half of the contestants are in their 20s: the youngest is 20, while the oldest contestant is 56.”

Though the show is in its 10th anniversary, U.S. viewers only get the last seven seasons, or collections, as Netflix categorizes them. Seasons 1-5 can be found on PBS Food.

The show usually has 12 bakers competing to be the “star baker,” with the grand prize of their own cookbooks and TV shows. This season, however, there are 13 contestants, making a baker’s dozen. This setup allows two bakers to be eliminated at the same time, whether it is in the beginning or during semifinals.

This season is unlike the previous collections because U.S. viewers can no longer binge the whole season. The 10th season allows U.S. viewers to instead watch the episodes on Netflix a few hours after they air in the U.K. 

Paul Hollywood, a Master Baker, and Prue Leith, who has her own Michelin star restaurant, Leith’s, are the two judges on the show. 

Hollywood, known to be a difficult judge to please, gives a rare “Hollywood handshake” to the dishes that really impressed him. 

In 2016, the show switched from being televised on BBC to Channel 4. The switch of distributors left Mary Berry, a famous cooking editor and writer, to be replaced by Leith. 

Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig are the two commentators throughout the season. Their comedic approach to introducing the baking challenges to the competitors as light-hearted comments during moments of stress helps change the pace from over-the-top, dramatic American cooking programs.

Every episode has three different challenges over the course of three days and about 16 hours of shooting a day. Each episode has its own theme such as “bread week” or “biscuit week.”

The first challenge is the Signature Challenge which involves the bakers to bake something the judges ask them to but to include their own personal twist to make it “theirs.” The next obstacle is the Technical Challenge that involves a recipe one of the judges picked for the bakers. The technical part being that ingredient portions or bake times are left out of the recipe. The last challenge, the Showstopper, forces the bakers to make a creation that is professional in both look and taste.