We’re throwing open the tent doors and are proud to welcome Dean Brettschneider, the “Kiwi king of baking” to the role of judge. With technical skills and an eye for creativity that have seen Dean bake himself around the world, he looks forward to inspiring the bakers and the rest of New Zealand to get their bake on!

Known internationally as “the Global Baker”, Dean is widely respected as a skilled and innovative craftsman with more than 25 years’ experience in the industry. He resides in Denmark, Singapore and New Zealand, where he heads up his baking empire. He is the founder and co-owner of artisan bakery and food-store chain Baker & Cook, runs three Plank Sourdough Pizza restaurants and in 2016 opened Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School. He is also co-owner of London-based Crosstown Doughnuts.

Dean has authored 12 cookbooks and is no stranger to the screen, with a number of TV shows also under his belt.

Dean’s 13th cookbook, Kiwi Baker At Home, has just gone on sale in New Zealand, where he shares an irresistible collection of his favourite recipes to cater to every baking occasion.

How would you describe your judging dynamic alongside Sue?

Judging with Sue is great, she has an eye for detail and at the same time has a very caring manner that ensures people feel they can reach for the stars. We share the same values of wanting to help people do better and we both love to have fun on and off the set.

How would you describe your judging style?

Firm but fair is my approach. I love home baking and always want to encourage people to do better based on sound constructive advice that they can understand and use.

What skills do you think the bakers need to bring to the table to succeed in the Bake Off tent?

They will need to be good all-round bakers, being a one trick pony will not cut it in the tent. They’ll also need to understand presentation and flavours, be organised and have good time management.

How do you balance taste versus appearance when you’re judging?

Visually, appearance is the first thing we look for, so its needs to have that wow factor. Next comes the taste – it must taste great, it must have a clean palette and it must deliver what they say it will. Taste also comes with texture, it must have the right texture – no one likes a great tasting pie and a soggy bottomed raw pastry.

How have you found working with Madeleine and Hayley?

They are awesome! From the first minute of every day, they are laughing – I often got picked on because of being the only boy in the quartet – but they got every bit back! We had so much fun on and off camera.

Do you ever want to roll your sleeves up and help the bakers?

Of course! It’s sometimes frustrating to see that they are almost there on a technique and you know you can help them out to make things perfect.

Do you expect the show to inspire other Kiwis to get their bake on?

Yes 100% - baking is about family, friends and the love of giving. I’m sure the show will inspire many Bake Offs in people’s homes and offices across the country.

What’s the most under-rated ingredient in the kitchen?  

Aniseed – it’s wonderful on cakes but also in bread it adds a subtle flavour tone.

What is your favourite baked item to bake yourself?

Date scones – I just love dates and scones are a perfect partner to combine them into.

What baked item sums you up best?

Good 100% Pain au Levain (Natural Sourdough Loaf) – it’s simple but complex at the same time.