Even though the first season of The Great British Baking Show aired in 2010, the show continues to be a hit on Netflix, expanding into a master baker version, a holiday version, and even an American baking version. While the baking itself is fun to watch, the British accents and phrases are undeniably two of the best things about the show. From choux pastry to proving to lamination, there's a full vocabulary lesson in every episode. Imagine how much more enjoyable the show would be if we actually knew the meanings behind their charming, British baking terminology? Here are ten must know terms to get you started.


Before diving into the serious baking content words, it's important to give yourself a solid base by understanding the show-specific terms. The three rounds consist of a Signature Bake that is practiced at and reminiscent of home, a Technical Bake that is previously unknown to the bakers and judged blindly, and then a final round appropriately deemed the Showstopper Bake which is meant to have a creative and professional flare. At the end of each episode, one person receives the highly coveted title of Star Baker, while another person "leaves the tent", or goes home.

1. Bake

/bāk/ (n): any dish created by the bakers

/bāk/ (adj): a way to describe how well a dish cookie has finished.

2. Proving

flour, dough, bread, dairy product, milk, wheat
Rica Beltran

/pro͞oviNG/ (v): the equivalent of rising, which takes place either in an oven that is off or in a designated proving drawer; allowing time for proving gives the yeast a chance to turn the sugar into carbon dioxide bubbles so the bread will rise and have a nice structure.

3. Praline

cake, carrot, carrot cake, cream cheese, cream, cheese, chocolate
Julia Hedelman

/ˈprāˌlēn/ (n): a mixture of sugar, nuts (almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts), and creme that fills chocolate, layers into a cake, or is enjoyed as its own candy.

4. Lamination

pastry, sweet, bread, croissant, dough
Amanda Ryvkin

/læm əˈneɪ ʃən/ (n): preparation of dough (often puff pastry) in which thin layers of the dough are separated by butter; in order to produce thin, flaky layers in the pastry, bakers must repeat a rolling, folding, and refrigerating pattern .

5. Sponge

/spʌnd͡ʒ/ (n): a light cake made with eggs, flour, and sugar.

Victoria Sponge: traditional sponge, made with more fat.

Genoise Sponge: made by whisking eggs over heat until foamy.

#SpoonTip: don't forget the American sponge - The Twinkie.

6. Soggy Bottom

/ˈsäɡē bädəm/ (n): When the butter from the pastry or a moist filling seeps to the bottom of the bake, preventing a crisp pastry or pie.

7. Choux Pastry

/SHo͞o pāstrē/ (n): a light pastry made from eggs and filled with creme.

8. Blind Bake

tart, berry, blueberry, pie, blackberry, crust
Kristin Brennan

/blīnd bāk/ (n): a process in which the crust or pastry is baked without filling to prevent a soggy bottom or over-baked filling; usually done with pie weights or dried rice.

9. Marzipan

/martsǐpan/ (n): a sweet desert traditionally made from almond meal and sugar.

10. Bavarois

chocolate, cream, whipped cream, pumpkin
Phoebe Melnick

/bävärˈwä/ (n): a whipped dessert made from cream and gelatin; often a layer in a cake or pastry.

And those are just 10 of the many baking vocab words that are spoken rarely in our day to day lives, but used routinely in the tent. Now that you understand the technical terms, it's time to take a crack at understanding Mel and Sue's renowned puns. Go put your new knowledge to the test by picking up the remote (or more likely logging onto Netflix) to watch "The Great British Baking Show".