Week three of Bake Off and the newest batch of bakers are proofing nicely: frontrunners are emerging, others are slipping behind, and Noel still has that godawful haircut that’s somewhere between Liam Gallagher’s bob and Jim Carrey’s cut from Dumb and Dumber.

Bread week saw the gang try and impress Paul and Prue with Chelsea buns, while the technical challenge – non-yeast naan bread – proved a difficult bake to master. With the gang having grappled with the devilishly difficult showstopper (korovai, a traditional bread in Eastern Europe that’s mainly associated with weddings), we look back at all the talking points from the episode.

Terry, the comeback kid?

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Terry has been this year’s most inconsistent contestant so far. One minute, the wonderfully moustachioed man will be struggling with Chelsea buns that he’s forgotten to fill with sugar; the next, he’s brimming with confidence as he takes home the technical challenge trophy. Come the showstopper, the 56-year-old was fumbling around, his bread painfully stuck to the tin. Will his next bake be another impressionist masterpiece redolent of his first week glory? Or another soggy-bottomed bun? It’s anyone’s guess, but this week was certainly an improvement on last.

 

Karen’s red beret

Wearing a yellow and black jumper, Noel may have looked like a bumblebee. And Paul’s all-black outfit may have given the impression that he’s actually a former bouncer who has retired to Ibiza. But Karen stole the show with her red beret, pointed glasses and vibrant shirts, giving grandmas around the country some pointers in sartorial eccentricity. In conjunction with her wit (“That bread’s better looking than my husband”) she’s already won the heart of the nation. Oh, and we still haven’t seen Jon out of a Hawaiian shirt.

Time is of the essence

No matter the length of a challenge, Bake Off’s producers make every hurdle seems as stressful as the last. Compare this week’s technical challenge and the showstopper. The first was an hour-long bake that saw everyone panic as their naans failed to blow up properly. Conversely, the korovai was a five-hour struggle to amass as much bread as possible. Would we have known how long everyone had spent slaving over their bakes if they hadn’t told us multiple times? Probably not. Either way, it made for some tense television.

Dan’s double handshake

“Feels like mine’s pretty average,” says Dan, looking at his gloopy dough, pondering whether to let it bake longer. Yet, for two weeks running, Dan has received the famous Paul Hollywood handshake, this time for his impressive buns. The full-time parent has quickly become a frontrunner for the finale, consistently acing almost every challenge. He may not be the most charismatic character, but he’s going to be around a long time.

Rahul

Speaking of frontrunners, last week’s star baker Rahul has come up trumps again. Constantly apologising to everyone and everything around him (“You’re like a breadstick, you’re going to snap,” Noel says), Rahul remains the competition’s most adorable contestant and no doubt has a thousand cookbook publishers waiting to sign him.

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