Data-Driven Baking Excellence
November 2, 2016 6:15 PM   Subscribe

The Spreadsheet Secrets of Great British Baking. Contains time management advice, simulated Excel spreadsheets, and possible spoilers for this season The Great British Bake Off.
posted by maryr (24 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
Heyyyyyyy there. Looong time lurker, occasional commenter, writer of above. Questions, comments, etc welcome!
posted by droob at 6:19 PM on November 2, 2016 [37 favorites]


I think I might be able to have my dude in charge of Thanksgiving dinner after he sees this... Thank you so much for sharing it!
posted by amtho at 7:06 PM on November 2, 2016


Halfway through the article and I'm wondering if this thread is going to lean GBBO or Excel. I'm totally on board either way.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 7:07 PM on November 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Things that didn't make it in:

- His capitalization and abbreviations are all over the map! Made in a hurry?
- Can anybody make out what the legend for the green cells says? I know it's, like, tasks that require manual labor on the countertop, but the type's just too fuzzy.
- He says in the ep he starts off behind ten minutes, and I really wanna know how he compensated/made up time
posted by droob at 7:13 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe--it's probably easier to roll everything that needs to be rolled at one time, though. Same with greasing and lining all the pans that need that.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2016


Maybe the green legend says "Main cooking surface - these can only happen one at a time" or maybe "main working surface".
posted by amtho at 9:10 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]



I am delighted with this other than the fact that I don't know what a hob is. Does it involve goblins?
posted by skyscraper at 1:28 AM on November 3, 2016


hob = cooking surface for pans the stovetop in US parlance
posted by koolkat at 2:06 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


On An Extra Slice, all the finalists talked about how much time they put into their practice bakes at home during the week. Candice, baking 12 hours a day in heels; Jane, up in the wee small hours ... Which makes me wonder: did Andrew devote much time to practice Spreadsheet making? It would not surprise me in the least.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:08 AM on November 3, 2016


Andrew lost though. WHERE IS YOUR SCIENCE GOD NOW!?
posted by oh pollo! at 3:22 AM on November 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Koolkate, we're all friends here. There's no need to lie to Skyscraper.

The truth is that gas and electric cooking appliances were banned in the UK in 1973 after an incident known only as "The Bakening." Since then, to avoid the risks of interaction between science and magic, British kitchens have run on magic exclusively. A "hob" is a friendly but mischievous sprite, like a goblin but with shorter horns and longer arms. These arms make them the perfect helpers when you need to boil water but don't want to get too close to the eldritch flames, lest you gaze inside them and be driven mad.

To a more lawsuit-driven culture like the US, powering your oven with the fiery emanations of an ancient sleeping evil may seem unacceptably risky, but it's really the only way to make a good sticky toffee pudding.
posted by yankeefog at 3:32 AM on November 3, 2016 [21 favorites]


Yankeefog, I was under the impression that the release of that information was punishable by a mandatory trip to live in a thatched village for a minimum of 12 months, to be re-educated on the need to keep secrets. We can't have sticky toffee pudding getting made willy-nilly without the proper sacrifices. Have you been angling for a forced vacation?
posted by koolkat at 3:45 AM on November 3, 2016 [6 favorites]


Andrew lost though. WHERE IS YOUR SCIENCE GOD NOW!?
So the secondary school physical education gods are higher up in the pantheon? This is a terrifying thought, but would honestly explain a lot.
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:33 AM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Trickster god wins competitions, but science god starts successful restaurants.
posted by amtho at 5:53 AM on November 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Related: redditor shares his mother's thanksgiving spreadsheet (OP later made the file available for download).
posted by rufb at 7:53 AM on November 3, 2016 [3 favorites]




> Can anybody make out what the legend for the green cells says? I know it's, like, tasks that require manual labor on the countertop, but the type's just too fuzzy.

This close-up of the top left corner shows the green legend starts with the words "Non-cooking action".
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:38 PM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Non-cooking action.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:28 AM on November 4, 2016


My wife has a page of notes from every previous Big Meal (Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas Eve dinner) and we consult then each time to plan the next one. There is room for new stuff but we are always trying to shrink the window where anything waits: it's a cool puzzle!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:30 AM on November 4, 2016


YOU ARE IN A TENT. THERE ARE CAKES HERE.
CHOOSE YOUR TASK:

OVEN
BAKE
MIX
FRIDGE
HOB
>NON-COOKING ACTION<
CHECK INVENTORY

posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:13 AM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


>NOM
>I'M SORRY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT "NOM" MEANS.

posted by Sonny Jim at 4:45 AM on November 4, 2016


This put me in mind of the BBC's CAKE project, recently presented by their R&D department. As part of a wider "object-based programming" project -- treating events/characters/etc in programmes as discrete, taggable objects, to enable easier or even automated editing -- they've developed a prototype system that assembles a real-time cooking programme tailored for each viewer. So you can tell it something like "I want to cook this starter and main course, this side dish, for this many people, with these dietary restrictions", and it'll find and scale the relevant recipes, find the relevant video clips, work out a timetable to cook the dishes in parallel, and interleave everything together into a real-time cookery show. Very clever stuff.

(The beeb do a lot of really interesting R&D on all aspects of programme production, editing and broadcasting. The stuff that works -- like the digital TV broadcasting tech that's used all over the UK and various updates to the algorithms used, iPlayer and the underlying tech, various studio workflows and editing techniques -- then filters out to industry. It's well worth following the R&D blog if you have an interest in modern TV.)
posted by metaBugs at 5:04 AM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gordon Ramsey did a series of hour-long real-time cooking shows that supposedly enabled you follow along and cook the same 3-course meal at the same time. I did try one of them but as expected it required a bit of pausing to let me catch up.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:43 AM on November 4, 2016


>NOM
>YOU MIGHT WANT TO WAIT FOR THE CAKE TO BE FINISHED FOR THAT.

posted by maryr at 11:38 AM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


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