My Baker’s Dozen Failed. Can you find my mistake?
today at 1:20 pm
One of our neighbors has become a post-retirement breadman. His Facebook posts are a stream of luscious loaves and enticing Challahs he has baked. I have enjoyed his creations on several occasions and can attest to their tastiness.
The daughter of another neighbor is a talented pastry chef, soon to open her own bakery. Having sampled some of her desserts, I know it will be the type of place that sells out all its treats on a daily basis.
And there is a good friend who spent the summer developing a sourdough starter, nurturing it like she would a newborn. When we finally sampled her crusty, chewy bread it was like an instant trip to San Francisco. And oh, she makes her own bagels, too.
With those friends and neighbors in mind, I figured this baking thing couldn’t be too hard, right? As a total novice, I wouldn’t want to jump into breadmaking or restaurant-quality pastries but there are always simpler things in life.
The box of steel-cut oatmeal in our cupboard has a recipe for blueberry-oatmeal muffins. Barb has made them a few times and they have great taste and texture. I’ll scarf down a muffin with a cup of tea, and then chew on the paper muffin cup for an extra bit of flavor. I figured that muffins would be a good place to start my baking experience. And we just happened to have all the ingredients on hand.
So I preheated the oven and gathered up all the necessary supplies. Measuring spoons and measuring cups for the dry ingredients: baking soda and baking powder, cinnamon and flour. A big bowl for the single egg, for the milk, and for the vegetable oil. I got this!
And finally the blueberries. A cup worth from the batch we had just bought at Woodman’s Market. Enough for the dozen muffins that I was already drooling over.
It was while mixing it all together that I got the sense that something was a little off. The dry ingredients mixed well enough, and the aroma of cinnamon was appetizing. But adding the liquids produced a much stiffer batter than I had anticipated–clumps instead of a flowing liquid. But I persevered, assuming 18 minutes in a 400-degree oven would transform the cement-like mixture into the muffins I was craving.
I was very, very, wrong. The “muffins” I took out of the oven were the same unappetizing globs I had put into it. “Well,” I thought, “I bet they still taste good.” And then I bit into one…
“Why aren’t these sweet?” I cried. It was then that Barb piped up. “You DID put in sugar, didn’t you?”
Oops–I guess I missed one thing on the ingredient list. And I guess it was an important ingredient at that.
I’m sorry to say my first crack at baking ended up in the garbage. But I haven’t totally given up on the idea of a shimmering, golden loaf of bread someday leaving our oven.
I’m just going to ask a neighbor to be the baker!
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