A blunder in my kitchen!

Do you ever experience a completely botched up recipe in your kitchen?  How about a baking blunder?  Well, that is exactly what happened to me in my kitchen on Good Friday.  I was trying to make some hot cross buns typically served on this day; my intentions were good, I knew my husband and I would love them (even though I am trying my darnedest to stay away from AP flour) but am not really succeeding, but I had all the ingredients and I was ready to don my apron and get working.  I love the wonderful aroma of warm bread permeating through the entire house don’t you?

I found this wonderful recipe on Suzanne’s blog and I set out to replicate it.  Loved the idea of the fruit soaked in rum and those lovely warm spices of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  It all turned out just fine on top as you will see from the pictures.  However, when I turned it over, my heart sank.  I was so upset with the results, and couldn’t imagine what could have gone so wrong.  The only change I made was instead of using All Purpose flour, I used Bread flour.  Now that could have been a major flaw right there, so I reached out to none other than Julie @ Hostess at Heart, as she’s just a whizz when it comes to baking loaves.  Suzanne, I did want to reach out to you as well, but I’m afraid time just got away from me.  Please know though that despite the appearance, those buns were just top notch, thanks so much for sharing your recipe.  We really enjoyed the taste despite the slightly overdone bottoms.  My husband loves burnt toast if you can believe that, so he did not even bat an eyelid as he enjoyed these flavorful buns with butter dripping all over his arm.   I’ll definitely be repeating this recipe and won’t really wait for the next Good Friday before I attempt to make them again.  I would welcome suggestions or any thoughts any of you may have as to why these delicious buns turned out the way they did.

  1. Could it have been the fact that I used a different type of flour?
  2. Could it have been the tray that I used?  As you will see, I did use parchment paper when baking.
  3. Could the oven temperature be slightly skewed?  I do tend to lower the oven temperature most times as I find my gas oven cooks just a tad too fast.  Julie suggested I buy a cheap oven thermometer and test the temperature.  I think that’s a great idea.

IMG_6846You don’t see the blunder in the picture above…..

IMG_6847But now you do 😦

Well the good news?  The dozen or so buns are no more, so there’s a happy ending to the blunder in my kitchen 🙂

Linking this post to Fiesta Friday #114 with Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook as our wonderful co-host for today.  Thanks Jhuls.

55 comments

    1. Thanks Julie. You said that bread is baked at 190deg F? I’m thinking your suggestion of testing the oven is my first priority because bread and cakes sometimes are a little well done, but never burnt like these were. The odd thing is I always lower the temperature anyway and keep on the lookout for the appearance. But they were still overdone. I always bake on the middle rack too precisely for that same reason. Thanks for your suggestions and trying to solve this mystery 🙂

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      1. No Loretta. You can use a meat thermometer. I just go for an instant read. There is one listed on my resources page. We went through so many of them until I got that one and John loves it for meat and me for bread. Also Loretta. I had an oven that I sold. It wasn’t very old, but I could never get anything browned. It had something to do with some ovens not having a coil on the bottom I think? John had a fit! I know that isn’t your problem, but I don’t think it’s user error.

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      2. Thanks Julie, then I’m all set, I do have a meat thermometer. My oven is probably about 2 years old too, so it is relatively new, it bugs me that the temperature might not be right it being so new. We’ve got some good ideas on what people are thinking might have gone wrong. Thanks for your input too.

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      3. Julie, just wanted to let you know that I did buy an oven thermometer, I tested it yesterday………and it was absolutely spot on! In other words, it was not the oven’s fault. By process of elimination, I’m going to look at baking them in another tray and also like Suzanne thought, perhaps my Reynolds parchment paper wasn’t up to par? Just thought I’d report back to you.

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  1. Oh Loretta, the top of the buns look great but that burned bottom OMG, I am so sorry. I have a couple of thoughts. 1. I doubt it’s the use of bread flour that should not make a difference. 2. It could be your oven and agree that you should get an oven thermometer and test it, you may need to raise the rack getting it further from the bottom of the stove 3. It could be the pan but if you have used that pan before for baking rolls or bread that should not be it. 4. Is that the baking paper you always use? Weird question right? One time a friend asked me to bake cupcakes for her daughter’s class. I used my yellow cake recipe which I have used a million times and founds these adorable cupcake liners for her. First batch in looked fine on top but they smelled burnt so I checked and sure enough the bottoms were black. Threw them out thinking it was a fluke and made a second batch, same thing, Third batch same. At that point because I had tested my oven and temperature was accurate I felt it was the paper so I ran to the store and got my usual liners, baked them and they were perfect. It was the paper that caused them to burn on the bottom, swear it’s true.
    I made this recipe on my sheet pan with parchment and the bottoms were fine. I am very sorry that this happened and if you find out what the problem was please let me know. It really is a wonderful recipe.

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    1. Thanks for your very detailed response Suzanne, I really appreciate it. Your ideas as to what could have gone wrong are valid, but I did bake on the middle rack, I did use parchment paper (that’s what you see lining the tray), and I have used that baking sheet before. I even lowered the temperature as my oven does tend to bake at a higher temperature. I will definitely have to invest in an oven thermometer and find out if this might be the problem. I’ve had issues before on certain baked goods, but never burnt like these were. Still, I’ll have to say they were the best hot cross buns that I’ve ever tasted, so thanks!

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      1. I just wondered if you might have used a different parchment brand, far fetched I know but the cupcake liners I bought for some reason produced a burnt bottom and she. I used the liners I always used they were fine. That is really a long shot I know.

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      2. I use unbleached “if you care” brand. The cupcake liners I bought for some odd reason caused my cupcake bottoms to burn after 3 batches thrown in the trash and then getting my regular liners I use the reynolds foil lined cupcake liners when I used them they didn’t burn it was the weirdest thing and I would have believed it if it hadn’t just happened

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      3. I used Reynolds parchment non-stick. I too use the foil lined cupcake liners when I bake cupcakes. Thanks for trying to solve the mystery Suzanne. I’ll buy the thermometer and see how it registers.

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      4. Suzanne, just wanted to let you know that I did buy an oven thermometer, I tested it yesterday………and it was absolutely spot on! In other words, it was not the oven’s fault. By process of elimination, I’m going to look at baking them in another tray and also like you thought, perhaps my Reynolds parchment paper wasn’t up to par? Just thought I’d report back to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. The same thing happened with me and my cupcakes I think my oven was actually 2 degrees lower than the temperature selected. It was the paper liners and I don’t really understand how that can be but it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Thanks for reporting backs dm let me know about the results if you try using different paper and pan.

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    1. Thanks for trying to solve this mystery 🙂 I did put the pan on the middle rack and not the lower. You have a good point though about the sugar and dried fruit in breads and cakes. I even lowered the temperature, still like you say, it looked and tasted just amazing! I won’t give up till I find out the problem.

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  2. All’s well that ends well, Loretta 😀 Those loaves look perfect on the top and I’m sure the burnt bottoms added to the taste, especially when your husband loves burnt toast 😀 Hope you had a great Easter xx

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    1. Thanks Naina, ha ha, yes he does love his burnt toast, so these were just up his alley. Any ideas on what might have gone wrong? Had a great Easter thanks, I hope you did too. I was away from the blog for a bit, so I need to play catch up now 🙂

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  3. Interesting…I would agree that it’s unlikely to be the flour. My thoughts were that it could be due to the fact that yours is a gas oven and the heat rises from the bottom, but if you’ve successfully cooked breads and cakes before that doesn’t work. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the dried fruit? Could it be from the sugar? The top of the buns look great which would suggest that the heat and placement and everything else was okay…either way, if they we all eaten up, there’s success! (My son is the same as your husband, he loves burnt toast!)

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Elaine. It is real helpful to try to solve this mystery together. Yes, someone else commented on the sugar/dried fruit combination, but I did lower the temperature to begin with anyway. My first thought would be to test the oven temperature, I don’t have a thermometer to do that, but I will be buying one soon. Thanks, and yes, it seems like a lot of folks love burnt toast including your son and my husband 🙂

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  4. Blunder in the kitchen? Yes many, many times! I read Suzanne’s comment, which has happened to me too. But also, it may be the sugar from the fillings that sank and caused the quick caramelizing of it into a burn. Oh well, the top of the buns look perfect. 😀 ))) After reading Suzannes post on the buns, I ran to a bakery to get some! 😛

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    1. Thanks Fae, it seems like more bloggers on this post are talking about the sugar and the dried fruit in the buns. Is your bakery still selling hot cross buns a week or so after Good Friday/Easter? 🙂

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  5. At a glance these hot cross buns look perfect , Loretta! I hope it will be better next time! I don’t think the flour has anything to do with this from whatever little baking knowledge I have. It’s definitely the sugars in dried fruits that have transitioned from caramelizing to burnt . I remember when I made the rum soaked Christmas cake, My mum in law had advised me to keep the temperature low and slow. But Suzanne’s was perfect with the same recipe and temperature. So probably you would really need to find out about the oven temperature, may be its few degrees higher than the set temperature ??

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Freda, I do value it. I think a lot of bloggers on this post are pointing to the fact that perhaps the sugar and the dried fruit played a part in the burnt bottoms? Good advice from ma in law. I actually did lower the temperature and had the baking tray on the middle rack. In the past, I’ve noticed other baked goods getting baked just a bit too fast, but never burnt like these were. Anyway, like a few have suggested, I’ll be buying an oven thermometer and put it to the test. Thanks Freda 🙂

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  6. Oh! I have experienced something like that, Loretta. I’ve baked meringue thrice and all were burnt. The bottoms were as black as yours. I am also using a gas oven and have my oven thermometer. The bottom of your buns are burnt, but I am happy to know that the husband enjoyed them. I could almost taste these. Yum. Thank you for sharing these pretty, delicious buns. Happy FF! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Jhuls. It’s a mystery I’m determined to solve. But yes, thankfully they were edible :). It’s so sweet of you to host this week’s FF all by your lonesome self. Thank you xo

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  7. Poor you – I find ovens can be rather temperamental, especially gas ones. I can’t think of any explanation other than the ones already suggested – and they do look delicious regardless!

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    1. Thanks Ginger, I’m beginning to agree about ovens being temperamental. Grrrrr, I’m determined to find out what went amiss though. Thanks, enjoy your weekend 🙂

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  8. I’m just glad that at least they didn’t go to waste. And they look beatiful! I kinda wanna see the inside of the buns, and also if you followed the proofing time? Although I’m not sure I can help 😄 But I would take notes of those things for future references. 🙂

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  9. I have blunders almost weekly, Loretta. And let me say, I don’t even bat an eyelash at burnt bottoms, LOL! At least they can be easily sliced away…problem fixed! Suzanne’s recipe sparked my interest too…happy to see you gave them a go…yummy!

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    1. Oh I too have weekly blunders Nancy… But I wanted to put that post out to see if anyone had any ideas as to why it went wrong. I got a bunch of different suggestions. The buns were real yummy and I rather liked the burnt bottoms LOL!

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