Baking Mishaps

Like seemingly half of Twitter, I’ve taken up bread baking during the apocalypse—sourdough, to be specific, because I couldn’t find yeast for the longest time. I started off making the America’s Test Kitchen no-knead sourdough, but I never turned out a great loaf. It always tasted delicious, but it was shaped more like a hockey puck than a nice round loaf.

America’s Test Kitchen is usually bulletproof for me, so I don’t know what was going on with that recipe, but judging by the comments section, I wasn’t alone.

After tweaking the recipe several times and continuing to fail, I moved on to King Arthur’s no-knead sourdough.

Why no-knead? Because I’m lazy. I’ve watched a small mountain of sourdough YouTube videos now, and I didn’t want to invest quite that much time, effort, or equipment. The more hands-off, the better. And the KA recipe delivers on all fronts: the hands-on part doesn’t take too much effort and you don’t need a special proofing basket.

And behold, my first loaf with the new recipe: it’s tall, round, and beautiful.

A golden-brown, nicely rounded boule of sourdough in an enameled cast iron dutch oven.

It’s also 100% stuck to the bottom of the pan. Welded, one might say. Fused, perhaps. The crust and pan have atomically bonded into a new entity never before seen. 😂😭😭

I got it out, but only at great sacrifice. You can’t see it here, because I’ve cleverly hidden the bottom, but zero bottom crust remains on the loaf. But, other than that teeny tiny (terrible) mishap, isn’t it lovely?

The loaf out of the pan on a wire cooling rack, where you can hardly tell the bottom crust is missing.

I’m going to try the recipe again, only this time I’m going to use parchment paper to (hopefully) prevent the stickage. I should’ve used oil this time (instead of the flour I tried), but I didn’t want to have to scrub the residue off the pan.

That plan did not work out like I thought it was going to. 😂

Have you started baking this month? If so, how’s it going? Have you had any mishaps?

21 thoughts on “Baking Mishaps”

  1. I grew a new starter and have also been experimenting with sourdough. I also had the stuck bread situation. The parchment works on the bottom of the pan. I also put the pan on a cookie sheet to keep the bottom from turning too brown.

    The family is enjoying the bread experiments. The dogs are even running when they hear the bread knife slicing bread! They want crumbs!

      1. I just pulled sourdough rolls out of the oven and I put in the dutch oven with the round loaf. It looks like the best batch so far. Bread baking is helping keep me sane while I try to teach from home. I miss my students, especially my seniors. :(

  2. I understand your “no Knead” policy. On the topic of keeping it simple I recently purchased an air fryer. So far the only things that seem to work in really well are frozen snacks, onion rings, frozen french fries, and all the fish sticks are edible. And parchment paper is the name of the game there also.

    1. Beth Evie Talbot

      Any roasting veggies like carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and potato pieces are Superb with the right additions in the Air Fryer. And, you’ll get The Best bone in chicken breasts in there also! And, biscuits – go figure. Bon Appetit!

  3. Parchment paper is our new favorite thing, I line all my sheets and pans with it. The bottom of my pizza comes out beautifully brown. I rarely use tin foil anymore (accept in my toaster oven). I’m lazy and use a bread maker for dough and baking.

  4. No bread but my husband requested peanut butter cookies. Then I baked a cake with my favorite chocolate icing. My secret ingredient is Mexican Vanilla. Always yummy.

  5. My sister took up baking bread. She found a sourdough recipe from her grandma-in-law and has been making at least one loaf a week. It’s like a greasy biscuit instead of bread. I’m not fond of most biscuits… my sister has only baked like one thing I really liked (rum cake), so this isn’t that unexpected. She’s an amazing cook, otherwise. I’m still learning to cook, but I’m pretty good at baking as long as I have a recipe – I just haven’t tried to bake bread yet.

  6. I tried the KA No-Knead Harvest Bread last weekend and couldn’t get it unstuck from bottom of the pan for love or money! I finally had to lever out the top part and leave the bottom stuck… Glad I’m not the only one!

  7. Rice flour!
    I use rice flour in the bottom of my Dutch oven to ensure my sourdough doesn’t stick. I only use the rice flour at the very end in the Dutch oven and I cover my shaped dough in it then I pop it in and score it and bang it in the oven. When it’s all done it slides right out. Works really well.

  8. I watched some of the King Arthur Videos & they show using parchment paper. I don’t remember if you are supposed to remove it at some point during cooking. I want to try their Artisan Bread.

  9. Check out Jim Lahey, bread maker extraordinaire, on YouTube. He has a four ingredient, no knead, bread recipe that yields results that iarevbeyond belief good.

    I cannot cook, but these videos taught me to produce a bread that is amazing. It spells out the process, step by step, and the bread rivals any purchased product (Paneras, St Louis Bread, etc.) .

    He has also written several books on bread and pizza and THEY are amazing.

    Good luck!!

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