Saving Failures

When developing recipes from scratch or changing existing ones, not every bake is an instant success. Baker’s percentages help with a lot of the possible issues, but sometimes things just happen: in times like these where panic buys seriously limit the available flours, and my main source (an organic mill) is forced to close the online shop every now and then to catch up on orders, I have to sometimes deal with unpredictable “thirst”, unpredictable enzyme activity despite using sourdough, and unpredictable quality of supermarket flours. Which is annoying!

A simple yet new(ish) recipe for burger and hot dog buns flopped. The dough was a dream to work with, shaping went well, but instead of rising up, the buns started to spread and the dough developed a weird shagginess over the next hours. Enzymes going wild.

I baked the buns anyway, pulled them out of the oven at 96°C (204F) core temperature, but the result was inedible.

The buns were super heavy and only browned in certain spots. Cutting them in half showed a crumb that was super dry as well as waxy. That’s not a bun I want to eat with my burger or hotdog.

Flour is precious these days. And I really didn’t want to waste it and throw those buns into the trash. So I cut them up into small cubes.

After an hour in the 150°C (300F) oven, all the pieces were slightly roasted and the waxy spots had disappeared completely.

Once cooled, the dry pieces can be turned into breadcrumbs, but that’s boring and will only happen if I run out of breadcrumbs for some reason.

Instead, I store the pieces in a big jar in my pantry and use them for

  • Knödel (german bread dumplings)
  • Ofenschlupfer (a baked dessert)
  • german bread soup
  • soakers and scalders for extra aroma in new breads
  • and many more things.

I’ll show you how to make them all at one point. But the roasted bread cubes keep forever. There’s no hurry!

One response to “Saving Failures”

  1. So very applicable and relatable for as you know, I have my share of “learning opportunities”…lol. Good info. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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