Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When Baking is Forgiving

Let me start this post by saying yet again, that I'm not a great baker. I don't have the patience required to create those picture perfect cakes and cookies that my mother used to make. That said, usually I can at least read instructions fairly well and whip up tasty cookies, muffins and bars (the quick, throw-everything-together kind).

Plus I always say that I'm a morning person...and I mean early morning person. I'm usually at my laptop, writing by 7:30 AM, so I really can't explain where my head was yesterday morning.

Fortunately for me, the results weren't any worse for my crazy lapses. In fact, the muffins and the bread were really delicious. But let me share my little mishaps, so you can gain from my ridiculous experience. My cutest little grandson was coming over and so was his mummy for a while anyway and I wanted to have some goodies ready for both of them when they got here at around 9 AM.

First I threw all the ingredients into the bread machine for this absolutely fantastic Dakota Bread (in spite of me). I do believe it's my favorite yet, but I digress. After...yes...AFTER I threw in the wheat germ that I had in the fridge, I realized that I was supposed to use wheat BRAN (which I didn't have anyway)...oops! Then after...yes...AFTER, you'd think I'd learn - at least in the 3 seconds it took to get to the pumpkin seeds. in the list of ingredients..that I was supposed to chop them before adding to the bread machine. And, yes, you are supposed to go in order, so I tried to scoop as many out as I could without totally screwing up the mix and chopped them. Oh, and did I mention that the recipe also called for sunflower seeds...all of which I had eaten the day before. Unbelievably the bread was awesome. Boaz particularly loved his with a little butter...most of which was all over his face. He was delicious, too.

On to my Nuts & Fruit, Oat & Wheat Bran Muffins. And kindly remember, these were prepared right after I put started the bread going. Once again I did the wheat germ thing instead of bran...although this time, I really just crossed my fingers since I didn't have any wheat bran and only had enough oat bran for what was required. Naturally I headed out to the grocery store today, but that didn't help me yesterday.

This was the first time I ever used frozen bananas. Someone told me that if you have very ripe bananas you aren't able to use, to put them in the fridge. I was sceptical, but I figured that since I already did the wheat germ thing...what did I have to lose. And ...good news folks, frozen bananas work just fine. I did zap them in the microwave for 15 seconds so that I could mash them.

And why exactly did I share my blunders with you? Consider it a gift for all of you who are scared of making mistakes in the kitchen. Of course there are certain dishes that require skill and exactness, but not all of them. So big lesson....just have fun and don't worry.

Now the opportunity for you to share your goofs in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Um, sorry, Ruth, but neither of those looks anything like a "blunder"! The bread looks awesome, and those muffins--would love a couple/ten for breakfast!

I've done the wheat bran-vs-germ thing in the past, too. But of course, my worst was a classic: salt for sugar. So glad I don't bake with sugar any more!

Ruth Daniels said...

Ricki, that's my point...in spite of me, they tasted great. Oh, and while I was writing the post up this morning...4 muffins - gone!

Thanks for dropping by.

LisaRene said...

I also lack patience when baking, I'll never be a Daring Baker, too many steps and attention to detail in their wonderful recipes :)

Good to know about the frozen bananas. I've frozen some before with the intent of baking with them but they looked so unappealing and black in the freezer bag that I finally tossed them. I will revisit frozen bananas again!

LisaRene said...

Hi again, I just came upon this tip from therecipegirl.blogspot and thought you might appreciate it:

Helpful tip: Don't ever throw out those ripe bananas. Mash them up instead and freeze them in 1 cup increments in freezer zips. They freeze up just fine, and then you've got them for banana bread when the mood strikes.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing the tip about mashing the bananas first. It certainly will prevent the "agggh" factor of seeing black bananas every time you open the freezer.

pam said...

The muffins and the bread sound wonderful. I keep trying to remember to read an entire recipe through and find all my ingredients before beginning, but I never do!