Friday, October 24, 2008

Mrs. Webb in the kitchen with the oven: I killed the bread.

Tonight I have encountered what I believe is a true baking mystery. After waiting almost a full week to pass on the "Boo" I received for Halloween from some kind soul who made delicious cinammon muffins, I decided tonight was the night for me to bake and pass it on. I had been eyeing this recipe for pumpkin bread for a while, so it was time. I followed all the instructions (obviously - I am certainly NOT the type to be expiremental with recipes!) and put the two loaves in the oven for 55 minutes. When I checked the bread with a toothpick, it came out clean. Perfect, I thought. The bread was done. I did as per instructed, let it cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turned it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
During the interim, I got the kids bathed and ready for bed. After tucking them in, I came downstairs. And what should I see but a huge, gaping HOLE in the top of both loaves. Strange. I approached the bread curiously. I look inside the hole and see big puddles of uncooked dough sitting there. I was mad. The outside was already quite cool, but the inside was obviously not hot enough. But I decided to give it a shot (I definitely wasn't giving it away like that) and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Still not done. 5 more minutes. Nope. 2 more minutes. Still doughy. I am, at this point, incredibly frustrated. 5 more minutes. At that point, I decided I was giving up on the bread. I would just eat it myself and scoop out the dough.
So all in all, the stupid things baked for at least 77 minutes and they were still not done. It's not my oven because it's brand new and I had just baked shrimp in it like 30 minutes before starting the bread, so I know the oven works. It can't be anything I did wrong, because I did EXACTLY as I was told in my cookbook. The bread somehow grew a mind of its own and formed some thick crust of cooked bread on the top to cover up it's liquid inside and hide it even from my probing toothpick. It is a mystery. But if you'll excuse me, I have some warm dough to go eat. At least it still smells delicious.

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