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Episode 3

Episode 3 of 4

Four professional bakers bake their way through the Victorian era. It's 1900 and the bakers now have an elegant high-street shop which they must fill with pastries and cakes.

Four 21st-century bakers bake their way through the era that gave us modern baking as we know it - the reign of Queen Victoria. Experts Alex Langlands and Annie Gray join them to tell the incredible story of our daily bread.

The bakers have said goodbye to the brutal working conditions of the 1870s urban bakery. It is now 1900 and Britain's middle classes are enjoying the democratisation of luxury. Bakers were quick to cash in - this time, the bakers have an elegant shop on the high street.

Their new workplace boasts huge steam-belching ovens, but it is the early 20th-century electric dough mixer that takes the hard work out of baking. The technology has changed beyond recognition and so has their trade. The bakers experience first-hand the incredible diversification their forebears underwent in order to stay in business.

Now they are uniformed professionals who have to turn out a huge range of pastries, cakes and confectionary, as well as novelty breads, all typical of a late-Victorian bakery. At last, cake maker Harpreet Baura can take the lead, even though there were no female master bakers in 1900.

The sheer ingenuity and scientific knowledge possessed by late Victorian bakers impresses them all as they get to work filling their shop window. But it is their last task - an authentic but epic afternoon tea, including fiddly Genoese sponge baskets with angelica handles and tongue and truffle sandwiches - that really tests them.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 4 Jun 2019 03:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Overture The Marriage of Figaro Symphony No 40 In G Minor K550

  • 00:32

    Nitin Sawhney

    Asian Elephants


Role Contributor
Presenter Annie Gray
Presenter Alex Langlands
Production Company Wall to Wall Media


  • Tue 19 Jan 2016 20:00
  • Sat 23 Jan 2016 17:50
  • Fri 12 Feb 2016 01:45
  • Fri 12 Feb 2016 02:15
  • Sun 21 Feb 2016 12:15
  • Thu 3 Nov 2016 19:00
  • Mon 3 Jun 2019 20:00
  • Tue 4 Jun 2019 03:00

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Discover some shocking truths about Victorian baking practices