Monday, June 20, 2011

Today's Lesson: Don't Assume

Today, I made a mistake. I make this mistake more often than I like. Unfortunately, I made an assumption. What's worse is it was while baking.

I love my bread maker. It's reliable. If I measure properly it makes delicious loaves of bread and dough. (I learned the hard way that you have to be very exact with bread.) If there's an error, it's a user error.

I am a user and I made an error. I put in the ingredients then set it to dough then went off and did other tasks. I even indulged in a short nap with my youngest. When I wandered back to the kitchen to check on the bread, I noticed that the display read 39 more minutes.

I know that the bread maker has a warming cycle for 1 hour after the bread is complete. I assumed, without thinking about what time the bread went in or whether the warming cycle even has a timer, that the bread was cooked.

I pulled the bread out of the bread maker with 39 minutes left. The color looked too light but I figured the bread usually keeps cooking during the warming cycle and ends up darker. I unplugged the bread maker which cleared the program it was running. I put the bread on the stove and watched the top droop. I decided to pull the loaf out of the baking pan and discovered it was still doughy. Oops!

I couldn't put the bread pan back in the bread maker because the program was cleared when I unplugged the bread machine. There isn't a straight baking cycle. It would have started with the mixing and dough raising which would not work for a half baked loaf of bread.

To salvage the bread, I quickly cut the part-bread/part-dough in half (the loaf in the bread maker is wider than my bread pans) and threw the loaves in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. You can see that the bread came out rather sad looking. I am pleased to report the bread tastes fine but is a little thicker than the regular loaves. They are more like an Italian loaf than sandwich slices.

I am thrilled that the bread is edible so my mistake wasn't a complete loss. I learned a valuable lesson to avoid assuming where things are in the baking process.

On the bright side, I was able to put the pizza dough in early and had pizza ready to cook when my husband arrived at home after work.

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