September 29, 2007

Baking Requires Attention

As much as I love to cook and bake, sometimes it’s simply not a good idea. The day I decided to make these cinnamon buns was one of those times. My concentration was particularly low, and for me to be saying that is not good news. My mind was wondering to all sorts of things but baking didn't seem to be one of those things. When I'm that inattentive, mistakes are bound to be made, and they were. And that's too bad because I’ve wanted to make cinnamon buns for a long time so when Marce of Pip in the City announced Cinnamon and/or Sticky Buns as the recipe for this month’s Daring Baker Challenge, I was looking forward to it. Marce selected a recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker´s Apprentice and allowed us to make quite a few modifications, including whether or not we wanted to make cinnamon buns, sticky buns or both. I decided to start with the cinnamon buns and the only thing I changed was to use maple sugar along with the cinnamon for the filling. This recipe was really easy to work with, the dough came together easily, (even in my sketchy state) and the buns went into the oven without too much difficulty. I had to reread all the directions five times because I forgot what I had read by the time I walked from the recipe to the mixer, but other than that, it went alright.

Once the buns were in the oven, that's when my problems started. You see, I was making the cinnabuns for Mom to take to a meeting the next morning and so I was starting them late at night. I was also supposed to make some muffins and scones for the meeting as well, so that meant that I had been multitasking, which apparently, I may not be overly good at. To start with, I should have only baked one tray at a time, but oven space was at a premium because I still had to bake scones and muffins, so I shoved both trays in at once. Once I had them all in there, I should have rotated the trays part way through because I know that my oven runs hot and cold and in spots and if I don’t rotate trays, something always gets burnt before the rest is done. I could have gotten away with this if not for the fact that I forgot about my poor cinnabuns and they ended up in the oven much longer than they should have been. You’d think the wonderful smell of baking cinnabuns would have alerted me to their completion, but no, it was the smell of burning that made me jump out of my chair and rush to the oven in a panic. I pulled the buns from the oven and really should have taken a picture at that point so that you could have seen the outer ring of burnt buns with two pretty ones in the middle of each tray. Those four buns you see in the pictures are the only four that I managed to save. If this had of happened at another time, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but it was already the wee hours of the morning and the lack of buns meant that I had to bake something else for the meeting.



It wasn’t the recipe that I was angry at, just myself for making a stupid mistake. It seems to be a trend as of late. I also managed to stick my hand into the oven a couple days ago to retrieve a hot pan, sans oven mitt. Ouch. Another stupid decision was not to remake the cinnamon buns or attempt the sticky buns when I was in a more sane state of mind. I suppose I haven’t quite reached that point yet, but when I do, these buns are on my “to-make” list. Thanks for passing along a great recipe Marce! Which, by the way, can be found on Marce’s post about this month’s challenge. Also, make sure to check out how all the other Daring Bakers fared by checking out the Daring Bakers Blogroll, which is growing larger every month and thus requires its own site.



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59 comments:

slush said...

Well, regardless of any mistakes, they look delicious! I am known for being a little klutzy in the kitchen too. But it never stops anyone from eating what I make. lol

Great job! xo

K & S said...

Ouch! the cinnabuns still look great despite all the excitement in the oven! Take care.

Anh said...

Brilynn, I shared with you the burning experience. I almost burned my buns, too. And I suffered from flu at the time, couldn't even smell a thing... :(

Nevertheless, your buns look fantastic!

Tartelette said...

In spite of the little burn, they lok tremendous! Great job!

Marce said...

Well, if you hadn´t told us about your tribulations in the kitchen, I never would have guessed, so at least a few were salvaged.
And do try the recipe again when you are in the mood, especially the sticky bun recipe which is to die for, but you could do half and half too.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Good grief! It's always something isn't it. Just incredible the crazy stuff we can do.
Only four - but they still look lovely!

ilingc said...

Hi Brilynn, I know all too well about the hazard of baking in the wee hours of night. I've lost count of the number of times I've messed things up when trying to churn things out at that hour and they've all ended up in the bin because I've forgotten about them. :(
Your 4 is more than what I've ever saved in my late night adventures. hehe. :)

KJ said...

Well the four you salvaged look terrific. I always forget about pine nuts. i have burnt tons of those things and they are soooo expensive.

Peabody said...

Well, those 4 look great. My mind has been at a lose too lately.

Ilva said...

I have to say that you manage to excel despite your lack of attention! Who cares about some burnt buns, that was OBVIOUSLY the oven's fault, not yours!

Anne said...

Oh, sorry to hear that! Especially about your burn, ow! The four you did get looks very nice, at least :)

Mary said...

I've had those same late night early morning baking experiences too. On the bright side, those 4 buns look really good.

Hilda said...

I can't see how we could have known about any problems from the look of your buns. Even with all those problems, they look fantastic!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

The rolls that survived look beautiful :D. I always seem to have that same sort of concentration problem when I'm baking lots of cookies..I always burn the last few trays or the first few trays or...

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

I'm sorry to hear about your burn, and the burned buns. But the ones on the photo looks great! :-)

veron said...

Those cinnabuns can quickly turn to cinnaburnt don't they. Mine got a bit burnt around the edges too. Your surviving ones look wonderful!

Hannah said...

Hey, coming out with 4 whole perfect cinnamon rolls is still pretty good, in my opinion. When I'm distracted and baking, it's a miracle if the whole batch of whatever I'm trying to make doesn't all end up in the trash at the end of the day!

Those buns pictured look wonderful!

Y said...

What a pity about the buns. The ones you saved look fantastic though (and tasted great too, I'm sure).

Meeta said...

Sorry to hear about the experience. I still think they look good.

Laura said...

I blame the oven too! But those four you rescued are beauties!

Ivonne said...

Ah, yes. Early-hour baking. Nothing quite like it. But I'll say this. Your buns turned out perfectly!

anita said...

It happens to all of us...I think I'll remember to check the oven and then I always forget! I'm glad some of the buns survived, they still look yummy!

Quellia said...

Oh dear, I hope your hand is okay!
Shall we DB'ers get together and send you a really good kitchen timer for Christmas? :-)
Btw, I kept looking for the picture of the burnt buns, so I am glad you made a point of saying there wasn't going to be one - the ones you salvaged look great!

kellypea said...

Mmmm...multitasking and a lack of focus have ugly written all over them. I'm a pro at that. And I, too wasn't exactly focus, or was distracted or something. I didn't decide to make both recipes until it was time for the second proof and that was after my dough was oozing over its bowl on the first rise. Thankfully, things came out well. But I wasn't also trying to make scones and muffins. Jeez, Looeeze, girl!

Jerry said...

I had disasters as well, but we survived!

thepassionatecook said...

shame... these were really lovely! i have a similar problem with my oven being much hotte in front than in the back - and i never remeber to rotate my trays... just one of those things!

Maryann said...

They look great :)

breadchick said...

Bri, if that is the result when you are not concentrating, I can't WAIT to see the result when you are!!

OH, and I just did exactly what you talk about, sticking your hand in a hot oven without a mitt. I was thinking about the next thing I have to bake today and just took a loaf of bread from the oven...sans mitt...OUCH!!!

Great job and great post as usual.

Jenny said...

The ones that you saved look great. We all have off days, maybe you can try this recipe again on a better day!

Lydia said...

The surviving buns look wonderful, and I'm sure they taste amazing, too. Multitasking is overrated, I think!

Belinda said...

Oh, gosh, Brilynn, it just was one of those days when one thing after another goes wrong. I can say without a doubt the the buns you managed to salvage look exceptionally yummy...pretty as a picture! I'm so sorry you burnt your hand...burns are just awful. :-(

steph said...

oh no! sounds like you have way too much on the mind...the ones you saved do look great though!

June said...

It happens to the best of us! Not me though, I'm perfect ;) hehe

Dharm said...

Multitasking can always be a pain but your buns look great! I had a few get a bit drier because I was impatient and shoved the last tray in together with the one that was baking. Guess we all need a litlle patience too! But whatever, your buns look wonderful! Well done

joey said...

Oh Brilynn! Well, those buns that you managed to save look spectacular! :)

Katie said...

Oh dear, someitmes we all have days like that. I'm glad you managed to save a few. They look great.

Pille said...

Sorry to hear you burnt yourself, Brilynn! I've done that more than once myself (and I've burnt my recipe notes, of course), but luckily yesterday went smoothly.
And I agree - cinnabuns still look pretty!

Truffle said...

How frustrating! They still look amazing. I love your fondant drizzle. Looks picture perfect.

April said...

The buns look amazing! It is always the ovens fault!! :)

Anne said...

I could relate to you that there are certain times it's not a good idea to bake when your mind and heart is not in it...sorry things didn't went well but your buns looks okay to me though ;)

Farah said...

At least those four you saved look delicious! :)

Mila said...

So sorry to hear that, but the ones you were able to save looks very good..!!

BC said...

That's a frustrating experience but it's also more interesting when everyone is not perfect. We've all had dorky mistakes and they make great stories!

I'm struggling with the decision to cook turkey this weekend and my history is not promising.

Gabi said...

Brilynn,
I have been burned many a time by a distracted mind. The buns you saved are luscious though. Hang in there!
xoxo

Butta Buns said...

Your poor hand, I hope it's feeling better and the blisters are going down. I'm glad that not all of the buns were lost, the survivors do look wonderful!

Deborah said...

If you wouldn't have told us that you had problems, I would have never known!! The ones that made it look wonderful! I know what you mean, though - September was full of a bunch of baking mishaps for me!

Amy said...

Oh no! I have those days too. The four buns in the middle look great!

Rachel said...

Too bad. I hope the four that turned out tasted good. And that your burned hand is getting better.

Lis said...

Aww am sorry it didn't go well this month - but yeah you do have to try the sticky buns when you are feeling better about it.

And do I need to come out there and duct tape an oven mit to your hand? :P

xoxo

the pastry princess said...

your buns are gorgeous!! and if you hadn't mentioned any kitchen troubles, we would never be able to tell! great job!

Kevin said...

The buns that did turn out look really good!

Nora B. said...

I think that they look great, even if they didn't quite make it to the meeting. I have a lot of scars from the oven... but still i never learn!

Julie said...

I hate days like these, and I've had plenty. When I'm cooking for a specific reason, I feel like I always have to have a backup recipe at hand.

At least the four you saved look great. =)

Annemarie said...

I hope you chose four special people to get those four well earned buns, or at least had 4 nice drinks (coffee? tea? Bailey's?) to yourself to eat those suckers with.

Aoife said...

Scones and muffins and cinnamon buns, oh my! No wonder you were distracted! The ones you rescued look very tasty though.

Baking Soda said...

I know what you mean, if my mind isn't really into baking I have to retrace my steps every time and am bound to get lost somewhere, still the ones surviving look yummy to me

Dolores said...

Four perfect buns is... well... perfect! Think of all of the calories you avoided. :)

Bruno said...

Super buns Brilynn!

Andrea said...

It's hard to bake late at night, let alone stay awake! You did a lovely job pulling off those four delicious looking buns!