Great British Blog-Along: Batter

By Jessica Stugelmayer | July 07, 2017
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If you’ve been following this column on the “Great British Baking Show,” you may have thought, ‘Yes, but she’s a food writer. She’s probably much better at cooking than the rest of us.’

This week I formally introduce myself to you as Jessica Stugelmayer, regular person.

A regular person who failed.


Luckily for me, so did most of the bakers. Paul Hollywood, silver-haired curmudgeon, tasked us with creating a lacey pancakes — a delicacy from the Renaissance. (Note the word that resembles delicate there.)

Want to join me on my blog-along? Get the recipes from each episode.

With only four ingredients, a squeeze bottle, and a frying pan, this challenge looks simple. I was deluded enough to think that I could do this challenge while on vacation ... in a hotel ... using a hot plate. Spoiler alert: That didn’t work out for me, friends. I decided to try again once I got home.

‘But it’s easy!’ I lamented. That’s what Hollywood wants you to think. All you have to do is get your batter to the right viscosity and you’ll be creating all sorts of heart-shaped pancakes, right?


You have to flip the little buggers. (Jessica is a normal human, Exhibit A.)

I ended up with a heap of unattractive — albeit tasty — pancakes. There were only two that I was able to flip without marring them. (Jessica is just like you, Exhibit B.)

While Benjamina was able to take the No. 1 spot in this technical challenge, many of the bakers had pancakes that were misshapen and overcooked. I was in good company.

The challenge reminded me of the internet craze from about a year ago where people filmed themselves making all sorts of pancake art, from Disney characters to landscapes. With my leftover batter, I decided to test my hand.

Again, I failed.

(This is supposed to be a beach with a palm tree. If you squint your eyes and pretend you’ve had one too many mai tais, you might see it.)

In the kitchen, there are always going to be good days and bad days. You have to keep at it. Onward and upward, chaps.

Next week, I’ll take on Mary Berry’s bakewell tart and answer the question, what in the world is frangipane?

The Great British Baking Show airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on KAKM from Alaska Public Media and can be streamed free online at

‣ Preview Episode 5
‣ Watch Past Episodes

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