The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Let's share unfortunate kitchen mishaps

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Let's share unfortunate kitchen mishaps

I was making overnight ciabatta yesterday. Very wet dough but I managed to get them shaped and flipped nicely onto the back of a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I opened oven, took the cookie sheet with the two beautifully bubbly pieces of dough, ready to slide them onto the stone. Somehow my left hand slipped, and both dough fell face down - one onto the floor, one onto the sizzling oven door! Argh!!! My most "tragic" baking accident to date!


 


I told that to a baking friend of mine, and she shared her own accident last week. She was making croissants. Nicely shaped and proofed after hours of rising and turning, all ready to go into the oven. She put the sheet of dough on a metal surface to go get egg wash, the bottom of the sheet must've been wet, it happily slided rigth onto the floor! Face down of course (why do they always fall face down? Murphy's law?). In that case, she did burst into tears! (Last night I didn't cry, but I swore up a storm like a truck driver. )


 


Well, looking back it's all a bit comic really, we can laugh about it now. So any of you here had similar mishaps? Misery loves company, let's share!

shawnamargo's picture
shawnamargo

By far, my worst kitchen mishap was with a cheesecake. I was taking it out of the oven, and the bottom of the springform pan dropped onto the floor, leaving the rim in my hands. I shutter even now these many years later. What a mess -- a hot soupy mess.


 


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Ouch! I had a similar incident with a chiffon cake - that required cooling upside down. I didn't have any wrack to put it on at the time, so I "cleverly" used some cans to support the rim, and put it upside down. Except that it was a pan with a removable bottom, and the cake (and the bottom) got loose and fell onto the counter. What a mess!

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

My recent mishap was a SD beet dough being baked while rising in the oven.  I was rising the dough in the oven when I wanted to bake some pizza for little man and hubby for lunch.  Completely forgotten about the dough, I proceeded to preheat the oven for the pizza.  Before I knew it I smell something "wonderful" in the oven.  I suddenly remembered the beet bread dough.  I quickly opened the oven door, too late!  The dough was half cooked in the glass bowl, the plastic wrap got melted wrapped perfectly around the top of the dough, looking very pretty.  How silly did I feel?  I even took a picture of it to remind myself not to do that again.  LOL


Al






txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

LOL. I wish I had the mindset to take a picture!

AW's picture
AW

Water on my baguettes while they were on the board. When I went to slide them onto the hot baking stone they were too wet and stuck into lovely shapes of centipedes on the stone.


:)


I thought it was hilarious!


(They tasted outstanding anyway.)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

That sounds like a happy incident! As long as it was still tasty in the end. I have had many mis-shaped loaves due to inventive loave sliding, that's why I now stick to the "move the whole thing with parchment paper onto the stone" technique. Worked well - until yesterday. :P


 

Martyn's picture
Martyn

Not a bread related accident (touching wood, fingers crossed that I don't have any).


I was making lamb casserole for a visit by the inlaws. The stew was cooked in a pyrex dish as I had done it many times before; I took it out of the oven and placed it on the hob whilst I closed the oven door. I took something into the dinning room and heard a bang in the kitchen. On my return I found the dish shattered with bits of glass and dinner all over the cooker.


Can't remember what we had to eat in the end, probably baked potato with cheese.


I remember as a kid, my mum boiled beetroot in the pressure cooker :-/ Well, I don't need to say anything else but my dad had to re-decorate the kitchen.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Wow, that pressure cooker thing would be my worse nightmare. My grandmother had a similar incident, and I still don't own a pressure cooker for that reason - even though rationally I know it's safe when properly handled.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I was taking a very hot pumpkin pie out of the oven holding it with the potholder underneath with one hand. It slipped out of my hands, I tried to juggle and catch it and it just went higher and down onto the tile floor. The pie was also in a 'glass' pie dish. Pumpkin, glass everywhere! Since that I've learned to bake my  pies on a cookie sheet. Sylvia

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Ouch! Yes, a sheet under pie/tart dishes  is a good idea, espeially because I make a lot of tarts, and those tart pans have removable bottoms.

LindyD's picture
LindyD


 


My oven timer went off.  The bread was ready.  Forgetting I had left a lower door of my island open, I walked into it, ripping off the door, splintering the wood, and stripping the screw holes.


I'm lucky to have had a dad who taught me basic home repair, otherwise that would have been expensive bread!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

OMG! And are you OK? Not hurt? I am easily bruised/hurt, that kind of "bump" would leave a permenant mark on my legs!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Or bruises, TXfarmer - just cursed my foolishness.  The woodwork didn't fare as well but the glue and clamps did their job and door's back on and working.  


Thanks for your concern!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Good to know you are OK. I have a collection of burn marks, bumps and bruises on my legs, arms, hands, even forehead (don't ask) from kitchen mishaps. We have a well stocked medicine cabinet.

Renee72's picture
Renee72

I had some loaves rising in a dutch oven, on top of my stove for a class I was getting ready to teach.  My hubby turned on the burner to cook something, and didn't think to move my bread.  (To be fair, the top of the stove wasn't the best place for me to leave it.)  It got badly burnt on the bottom, and had melted plastic on top!  I had extra dough, luckily, and had to scramble to shape another loaf for my students! 


I'm more careful now, about where I let my loaves rise.


Melaine.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

My husband does zero cooking. The only time he goes into the kitchen is to get food or wash dishes. I guess I should be happy about that. :P

jj1109's picture
jj1109

is of vanilla slices - cutting them up, on a glass cutting board. it was an old one, and the rubber feet had fallen off at some point... the whole lot slipped off the bench. I still remember the splat noise the SPLAT noise they made as the hit the floor! At least the board was on top of the slices by that stage, I still have it but now put a teatowel underneath it!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I bet you hear that splat noise in your nightmares huh? :P A tea towel is a good trick.

Yolandat's picture
Yolandat

I too had a pressure cooker explode on me. In my case it was green split pea soup that I was trying to clean off the kitchen ceiling 30 minutes before guests came. I have never used another of those pesky devices again. 


Yola

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

That's it, no pressure cooker for me! The funny thing is that both my grandma and mother have gotten over the fear and now use pressure cookers regularly. Not me.

melinda-dawn's picture
melinda-dawn

I own my Grandma's pressure cooker, I've only had one mild mishap with it (beans plain) and now remember to alway's cool it all the way (cold water over top) and let it sit and rest before opening. I don't use it often just when I'm short on time and forgot to set up dinner in the crock pot in the morning.

bnom's picture
bnom

The first time I ever attempted pasta I was living in a funky farmhouse with no electricity. I kept a woodstove going all day to bake bread and sausage ragu for a lasagna dinner I was making for guests.


I had finally managed  to rolled out a large, thin, sheet of pasta on my kitchen table when a cat chased a chicken into the house. The chicken jumped onto the table, knocked over a plant, leaving dirt and holes all over the pasta. Determined, I did the whole process all over again. 


When finally, 8pm came and still no sign of my dinner guests, I went to a neighbors to phone. They were immersed in a football game and had forgotten all about the invitation. They never did make it.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Arghhhhhhhhhh. My first thought: I want to kill that chicken (for dinner!), then I got to the end of the story, ugh, I want to kill the guests! Their loss, I am sure it was a great yummy dinner. Next time invite me, I will even help baking and cooking!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

..... as far as bread is concerned, I forgot to add salt once, which I imagine many here did at some point.  


..... also halved all ingredients of a recipe, but forgot about the water... we all know how this ends, quickly measuring all ingredients again and making a full recipe


... just this past Friday, I had made a focaccia the evening before and had the brilliant idea of warming it up in the oven before going to the lab (the focaccia was going to be enjoyed in our lab meeting).   I went to take a shower, forgot all about it.   From focaccia to cracker in a single step.   The graduate students still enjoyed it...


 


on other kinds of disasters,  my first time making spaetzle I boiled the water too furiously instead of keeping it simmering.  The spaetzle dissolved into a gooey mess right in front of my eyes.   I started all over, made the same mistake, ruined 3/4 of my batter until I finally found another recipe in a cookbook that mentioned how important it was to gently cook them.


.... and I cannot skip the evening me and my husband arrived home very late from work,  STARVING, grabbed two T-bone steaks to grill, placed them over the counter, and went back to the garage to get some stuff in the car.    We came back to find our dalmatian about to finish the second one.    He was careful enough to not swallow the plastic wrap.    


 


there are many many more...  :-)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

LOL about the focaccia cracker, but as I remeber from grad school, grad students absolutely eat anything and everything!

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

Hah, we have (or, at least, used to) a calendar listing upcoming events that had free food. Better than any grad school survival guide I come across!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Oh I've done that flick of the wrist too far thing.


When I first left college I lived in a shared house where we had a rota for doing the meals. The people I shared with were both experienced and confident cooks and I was far less at ease in a kitchen then than I am now. I felt my offerings were very plain fare compared to theirs so one evening I decided to surprise them by making a lovely spinach roulade.


The savoury sponge part, the trickiest part of the dish, came out beautifully - all luscious and eggy and light. It was looking set to be by far the best dish I'd ever cooked in that house.  I then had to fill the sponge with the spinach mixture and roll it over.


For some reason (inexperience, stupidity?), I decided to remove the plate I was rolling it on from the counter and stand in the middle of the kitchen to do this part. I rolled and rolled and rolled it carefully and then, you guessed it, I rolled it carefully over the side of the plate and onto the floor...


Regards,  Daisy_A

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Haha, the visual is priceless!

yozzause's picture
yozzause

When making doughs as a final year apprentice i started off a dough and set the auto water dial,  i came back a bit later to find the water   still running and a nice drop of soup being stired, it took a while to get it all down the sink (DESTROY THE EVIDECE) another time at a hot bread shop my offsider made 100lb flour  dough that had the salt omitted we decided to bag it up and threw it in the boot of the car to take to the tip later at the end of the day. It was a warm day in the Australian sun and when we went to his car we decided to open the boot to check on the dough.


We were ENVELOPED in a sunami of hot lava like paste, it filled our work boots almost burning the skin on our legs (we were wearing shorts), a couple of people were highly amused in the car park as  we tried to scoop up as much as we could of the sticky hot porrige.We got to the tip and tried to clean out the car boot, the dough had gone everywhere like expanding foam. it was several days and the use of solar power to dry the remnants enough to chip the remaing dried dough away from the spare wheel jack etc.


 regards Yozza

jj1109's picture
jj1109

P
M
S
L


I don't suppose you live in Qld, do you? I have this theory about queenslanders ;)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Wow, gotta say these are professional level of disasters!

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

That is so crazy I have to think you made it up. If you didn't make it up I can hardly believe that anybody actually tried to stuff 100lbs of unsalted dough in the trunk of a hot car and didn't consider what it would do! Wow! The things we do when we're young and under stress!

manicbovine's picture
manicbovine

It's funny that I noticed this thread. 


I was just preparing Hamelman's vollkornbrot after eagerly fermenting and soaking various types of rye for the last two days. My wife probably thinks I'm going through some sort of strange early-mid-life crisis given that I also have pain a la ancienne (following Shiao-Ping's formulation) in the fridge, two sourdough starters on the counter, and wheat berries sprouting. I don't actually plan to eat all of this bread; some of it is for family. And at any rate, it'd be a much more productive mid-life crisis than a red car.


It came to the time of final mixing for the vollkornbrot. I was extremely apprehensive about the result because it was excessively wet -- like oatmeal -- and the instructions called for shaping into logs. It also smelled incredibly sour; the aroma filled my small apartment (I have to admit it smelled and tasted pretty good, but I was sure it was too sour).


At weighing, the dough was short several pounds.... hmmm... It turns out that I forgot to add rye meal during the final mix. It was easily corrected except for another ten minutes of hand-mixing (I do not own a stand mixer).


The rye meal, by the way, balanced the sourness with a fantastic sweetness. It also made a cohesive dough.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Ha, yeah, rye meal would make a lot of difference. It turned out well though right? I love that bread.

manicbovine's picture
manicbovine

It looks pretty good. I'm waiting a few days to slice it.

cyalexa's picture
cyalexa

I have not been baking bread long enough to have a comment-worthy bread mishap, but, just yesterday, I opened my very full refrigerator and a bowl of farro salad fell out splattering all over my just washed floor and just polished refrigerator. Guests (SallyBR and her husband) were due in 10 minutes! Fortunately, the salad was not on the menu and there are plenty of other leftovers for lunch and dinner today, even without the farro. I had a leftover flan for breakfast! I always make one extra as insurance.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

You had dinner with SallyBR and her DH? Lucky you!

cyalexa's picture
cyalexa

I have the good fortune to see them with some regularity. You know, it's an easy  drive from Dallas, you should come sometime.


PS. You and I met in Plano. I drive to Dallas 2-3 times per year to eat and shop!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Agh, I see, I will make the drive next time and bring bread! It'll be a total carb fest. ;)

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Only saw this now....


 


Yeah, we should plan smoe kind of a carb-fest maybe here in Norman, which is halfway through, or Dallas


 


what a nice idea that would be!

jstreed1476's picture
jstreed1476

Just the other day, my pizza stuck to the peel, but only just barely. On the first attempt to transfer the pie to the oven, a bunch of cheese when flying off the pizza and onto the stone. On the second, which was only a fraction of a second later, the pizza itself slide right onto the bubbling cheese. Eight minutes later, about half the pizza stayed stuck to the stone :-(


The edible half was great, though :-)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I've given up on the peel thing. I know slide the parchment paper along with the dough onto the stone, even for pizza. Saves a lot of anxiety. ;)

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

The funniest incident I can remember was pure evil and didn't actually happen in the kitchen but involved food. My ex-husband was not nice. Let's just say he is a true sociopath. So, anything bad that happens to him, it's karma.


When I was in residency I was expected to figure out dinner everynight even though he wasn't working or doing anything all day. Remember, medical residents work about 100 hours a week on average.


One night I went to a required function where they served very, very nice dinner. My husband requested that I bring the dinner home to him, even though I couldn't get a plate for him. I ate a few bites and asked for the rest to be boxed so that I could feed my husband. On my way home I called my mother to chat. (it was about a month before leaving my husband so we were making "escape" plans) I was on the phone to her when I got home and parked in the garage. Now, this garage was in the process of being built so there was plenty of sawdust and dirt everywhere.


I'm chatting on the phone,this lovely strawberry pastry in hand when I dropped it in a pile of sawdust and of course the lid popped off. I decided all was not lost. I went "oops!!", laughed and scooped it up, rearranged the whipped cream and strawberries very professionally so that it still looked like it came from the bakery. My mom and I were laughing so hard we were in tears. I served this to my ex-husband and he never knew he was eating the sawdust/dirt scraped off the garage floor.


My mom and still bust out into giggles when we think about it. Pure beautiful revenge for all the bad times!!


Be nice to me. I might just scrape the stuff off the garage floor and put it in your food!!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Love it! And I am not saying that just to avoid dirt food from you. :P

bnom's picture
bnom

Don't think of it as sawdust ...think of it as insoluble fiber :)

pjaj's picture
pjaj

It's an old saying that everyone eats a bushel of dirt before they die - but not all in one go!!

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

My wife and I were watching TV and my bread machine was kneading away in the kitchen on a heavy whole grain dough.  Suddenly, there was a huge crash in the kitchen.  Seems the machine danced off the counter.  Glass, dough, bent metal all over the floor.


FF

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Wow, the machine REALLY didn't like that dough huh?

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I hadn't seen it walk before.  I should have sat upon it while watching TV.

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

I was baking two boules on my baking stone.  I had a pan of water below the stone for hearth baking.  When I opened the oven to rotate my loaves, I accidentally pushed one of them right into the water bath.  Soggy bread!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Oops, I have lava rocks in my steam pan, it would've been soggy red dirt bread. :P

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

1) I once found that my preheating oven was preheated by the lovely smell of melting and burning plastic.  Of course, that's when I remember that I had my bread in a big plastic bowl in the oven to rise...


2) Like many, I learned the hazards of steaming an oven by spilling water on the oven door's glass window ...crack!  $90+shipping to replace the 'glass pack'.


Live and learn...


 


Brian


 


 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

A couple of years ago we purchased all new ovens for the college commercial cooking class rooms, i was involved in the contract calling and the awarding of the contract.


I was called down to the kitchen with complaints about the new ovens where producing lots of smoke on the initial fire up. Sure enough when i got there a good deal of smoke was coming from a brand new oven, there were people questioning the choice of ovens but a closer inspection revealed tha the manuals and warraty documentation were being put through a pyro technic event.


it ended up being a real case of COOKING THE BOOKS!


The ovens have performed well ever since.  regards Yozza

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

Well said.

pjaj's picture
pjaj

I put my electronic probe thermometer in the oven to measure the proofing setting temperature out of curiosity. Then forgot it and turned the oven up to 200 C to bake the bread - and the thermometer!.


Dropping cast iron pans onto stone floors is not a recommended technique either.


We also had a filter coffee maker that, if you did not assemble it just right, would dump 12 cups of hot coffee + grounds over the counter top, down the front of the units and onto the floor.


Not really a kitchen disaster, but many years ago my father and I were unpacking the groceries when he picked up a loaf in a paper bag. He was a rugby player and made a dummy pass to me with the comment "coming out left!" - and it did. The paper was a lot slippery than he thought and it was a perfect pass. He was left holding the empty paper bag whilst the loaf sailed straight past me, out of the open window and landed half way down the garden.