Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trifecta of Bad Baking: Mistakes were made

Not nearly ripe enough to be
Screaming Ripe Bananas
The four ripe bananas on the counter screamed “Banana Bread!!” I should have roasted them and stuck them into the freezer for another day.

Mistakes were made. Learn from them.

1. Don't bake when you are very very tired; 
2. Don't do discretionary baking when you aren't super-double-keen on the recipe or the intended result;
3. Don't re-read the instructions. Rely on your memory. It's always great when you are tired.

4. Don't set out a mis-en-place. Grabbing ingredients on the fly is so adventurous.

5. When substituting butter for shortening:
     (a)    If you must thaw frozen butter, slice the precise amount that you need because:
             (1) if you aren't paying attention, you will use one cup instead of 2/3 cup, and;
             (2) you may then try to adjust the ingredients without doing math so that you:
                  (i) forget to add more sugar, and;
                  (ii) forget to add more salt, baking powder and spices; 
    (b)    Don't be surprised that the result achieves a Trifecta of Bad Baking:
            (1)  Flat (not enough salt);
            (2)  Dull (not enough sugar); and
            (3)   Bland (not enough spices).

6. Don't bother with the usual fixes:
      (a) Toast: Even toasting, which you might expect could sharpen up the candied ginger and crisp up the almonds that you added instead of walnuts, will only make boring, bland, flavorless, heavy, and scary toast; or
       (b) Bread Pudding: This would be an insult to the custard, which, unless it contains an overwhelming amount of your best bourbon (a waste, which might then create its own problems), will never make up for the underlying failure of Bad Bland Banana Bread.

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