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Stupid baking/cooking mishaps? Share, laugh, and learn

  • c

The creation of this thread is prompted by my recent bout of silly baking. I hope for most people it'll provide a good laugh and something to be learned.

a) Making cinnamon rolls last night, I let them proof on a tray before baking, covered with a sheet of plastic wrap to prevent drying. It's 2 in the morning, tired, oven at 365, I place the tray into the oven. Twenty fragrant minutes later, I pull them out only to find a strange spider-web-like netting over the buns. Realization, I left the plastic wrap on when I put the buns in. I slice off the top, have a bit of the bottom... oh so good... so sad to see a dozen cinnamon buns go in the garbage.

b) 10 years old or so, trying to make a cake with fondant glaze. Misread directions, put 250 mL baking powder as opposed to 25. The cake collapsed in on itself and tasted like really bad biscuits. Not even glaze could save this one.

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  1. LOL you're cinnamon roll story reminded me of a long time ago, when I had just first started baking. I mis-read the directions and used tablespoons of salt instead of teaspoons when making cinnamon rolls. they were leaden and salty. had to throw away the whole batch. yeech...

    :)
    m

    1 Reply
    1. re: withalonge

      This happened light years ago, but is still good for a laugh....

      I was making a batch of potato salad and a batch of strawberry daquaris for a party. Well you can guess what happened...during a momentary brain cramp, the pureed strawberries went into the potato bowl. We fished them out as best we could, but that night's potato salad tasted great but had a bit of a pink cast to it. After a few daquaris from the second batch of strawberries, no one cared!

    2. I forgot the baking powder when making a cake once. I have since learned to assemble all of the ingredients in one place and put them away as I use them. Also not to try to bake when there are distractions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        my mom forgot leavening in the cornbread once... it's a family favorite now. I'll bet sometime, somewhere, someone forgot the flour in their chocolate cake... and they could've been rich!

        1. re: Candy

          I've forgotten the baking powder many MANY times... I was infamous for making accidental 'rock cakes'. They're usually edible while they're hot out of the oven, but concrete once they cool down. After one incident too many, I switched to self-raising flour!

        2. Oh, the things I have done. I was particulary talented in this arena as a child:

          I left the last tray of whoopie pies in the oven overnight. With the oven on. In the morning, there were a half-dozen little charcoal briquettes on the cookie sheet. I can't imagine why the house didn't fill with smoke.

          I tried to make a baked Alaska on a 100 degree day. The ice cream was melting too fast to get the meringue on properly. What I ending up serving was a glop of chocolate cake, melted ice cream, and half-browned meringue that my family dubbed "Baked Disastah." (We've got New England accents).

          My best college friend and I, who were both going through a vegetarian stage, decided to make wheat gluten balls from some vegetarian cookbook. The process was several days long and involved washing and kneading a ball of dough in water, then ultimately forming balls from the dough and cooking them in curry sauce. I have no idea if it was the recipe or something we did, but those things looked like snot and could bounce as high as a superball. You know the balls of rubber band some people keep on their desks? Like that. In curry sauce.

          I didn't do it, but the worst-tasting error I've ever encountered was a peach coobler made at a bakery with one pound, rather than one ounce, of powdered ginger. The teenaged boys who worked there in the afternoons spent the day challenging each other to eat it.

          Link: http://seasonalcook.blogspot.com

          6 Replies
          1. re: curiousbaker

            this made me laugh, thanks!

            1. re: curiousbaker

              Too funny!!! Re: the gluten balls.... I'm taking a foods class in college and one of our assignments was to make gluten balls a few weeks ago... Each group used a different type of flour. You are so right !!! It was like a ball of snot that could bounce as high as a superball. You didn't do it wrong!!!! We baked them and compared the outcomes with the different flours. It was actually a pretty cool thing except for the hours of rinsing and kneading.

              1. re: wendy8869

                Okay, then who eats these things? What could possibly make them appealing?

                Link: http://seasonalcook.blogspot.com

                1. re: curiousbaker

                  I've had wheat gluten (aka seitan) before, but never snotlike or bouncy - maybe it's the shape? I've only ever seen in in cutlets...

                  1. re: piccola

                    it's way easier just to buy a box of "vital wheat gluten" and mix it with some water to make the seitan/wheat gluten.
                    Also, the texture is very rubbery/snot-like when you first make it. You have to boil the snot-balls in broth for about an hour--then they become soft-ish, chewy, meaty balls of tastiness. They take on the flavor of whatever you cook them in, so the more tasty veggies in the broth, the better.
                    if you cut it into strips after boiling, then throw them in a wok, seitan makes a pretty good stir-fry.

              2. re: curiousbaker

                hilarious post! thanks for sharing.

              3. Cooking, not baking: a friend gave me her late mother's 1940s edition of The Settlement Cookbook. Tucked into the pages was a handwritten recipe for her fabulous tomato aspic. I assembled all the ingredients as soon as I could and prepared it in a somewhat shallow shell-shaped mold (say that five times fast!) as the starter for a dinner party. All I talked about while we had our first glass of wine was this wonderful aspic and how excited I was to be able to serve it. As everyone watched, I pulled the molded aspic out of the fridge and ran a bit of hot water in the sink to aid in unmolding it. Imagine my horror as I swirled the mold gently in the hot water and the beautiful aspic slipped out of the shell and into the hot water.

                That was probably ten years ago. To this day, I haven't repeated the experiment, but the recipe is still tucked between the pages of my cookbook. Someday...

                1. a
                  A Fish Called Wanda

                  Now, this is really embarrassing...

                  I am much more of a cook than a baker, so I am measuringly challenged. Learning to cook from my mom didn't help. She is amazing, but I've never seen her use a measuring cup.

                  After 6 years, I almost gave up on baking since everything I baked came out dry. One day, I asked my husband (the best bread baker I know) to superwise my making of brioche dough for pirozhki. When he saw me fill a cup with flour and smooth out the top with the side of the bag, he was appalled. I thought I was "scooping and leveling", but apparently smoothing out the top with the side of the bag packs about 25% more flour into it. My husband made me measure it with the scale and see the difference.

                  I tried to make pie dough the other week measuring flour correctly and it was absolutely wonderful -- buttery, flaky, and delicate.

                  So I guess it took me 6 years to learn to measure flour, but there is hope :)

                  Link: http://www.beyondsalmon.com