The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sharing my incredible stupidity with all of you :-)

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kristakoets's picture
kristakoets

Sharing my incredible stupidity with all of you :-)

Just thought I would share my funny/sad/stupid story with you all....last weekend my Dad was visiting and I wanted to make him some sourdough...however my starter was cold in the fridge. So, I fed it up and stuck it in the oven with the light on to get it moving a wee bit faster. (Anyone see it coming yet?)

About 2 hours later, I needed to make some strawberry muffins for a customer, so I cranked up the oven to 350 degrees and got to work. 20 minutes later, to my absolute horror, I opened the oven to find a partially risen/baked starter in a partially melted plastic container. Oh. My. Word. I actually cried. Needless to say, my beloved starter "BAZ" was dead as a doornail. Sigh.

Thank the good Lord I had a container of another starter, "Seymour", way in the back of my spare fridge...unfed and unloved for over a month. I stirred it up, fed it up and lo and behold, we have bread again. My bread is not very sour and I am hoping that over time it will become more acidic as my last one did. Any thoughts?

Ah, so the moral is two-fold: never put your container of starter in the oven (yeah, duh.) and always dehydrate and freeze some of your favorite starter...which is my next project as soon as Seymour gets nice and sour again.

I would love to hear anyone else's stories of epic baking failures...if only for the fact it will make me feel better about my own stupidity!

Cheers!

~Krista

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

of stories identical to yours;-) The oven is not the place for a starter,  however cold your house may be, really!

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

This is more like oven stupidity, rather than baking failure.  I have a convection/microwave oven.  I have only had it a year now, after having owned a straight microwave oven for 30 years (the same one, even!).  I don't seem to be able to get my mind fully around a microwave oven which has parts that are sometimes safe to handle bare-handed right after cooking and sometimes not.  Yesterday I finally made a definitive error.  I had just finished baking a loaf of bread at 350 degrees F.  I was carrying the rack over to the counter so I could turn my freshly baked loaf out of the pan to cool.  I was wearing two oven mitts because I had already moved the pan with the loaf, but I needed to move some bananas out of the way where I was putting the rack so I shook off one mitt.  As I was moving the bananas I noticed some tiny ants crawling on the countertop.  This was enough to distract my attention from exactly what I had been doing with the oven, and I grabbed the rack with my bare hand.  I was lucky.  For the duration of the afternoon I had pain across all four fingers from the three rack wires that had contacted my bare hand, but I only have one spot that blistered.  I think I will begin to remember better now, that my new microwave oven can hurt me sometimes.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Last month I cleaned the oven just prior to making several loaves of bread. The next day the oven locked itself and started the clean cycle. Yikes, my baking stone (Pampered Chef) was in there. No clear or cancel button pushing would stop the impending disaster. Here is my stupidity contribution-I never thought of flipping the breaker switch and denying it further progress. When it finally completed its cycle I was sure the stone would crumble if I touched it so I let it cool for hours.  Here is the dumb luck part, for once there were no frying pans or cookie sheets stashed in the oven and the baking stone is cleaned of stains and looks brand new! Turned out to be the locking switch was bad and after waiting a (mere??) three weeks for a service call and part ordering, as of Monday I can bake again. Thanks to all of you for providing baking sustenance during this nonbaking month!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

This sort of mishap has caused me to look in the oven prior to turning it on.  It's a good rule if you remember it all the time.

Jeff

wild mountain bakery's picture
wild mountain bakery

RIP BAZ, 

     I love that you name your starters too, glad I'm not the only one.   Mine are Bob and Lola.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I brought a jar of kefir grains along to my daughter's house so I could enjoy some kefir for breakfast the next few mornings. The grains were in a jar of milk working their magic.   I was unpacking the jar from our long drive from my house to hers and put the  jar on top of my daughter's stove-in the middle and not on a burner-it looked safe. Meantime we turned the oven on to make a quick frozen pizza. What I didn't know was that her oven vented right next to where I had placed the jar. 15 minutes later I found out what cooked kefir looked like. I cried-I cooked my pet! But love is fickle.Aftera while I settled down, I discovered the kefir had cooled off and it was actually quite delicious! The melted grains made it a very creamy drink. Then I checked Craigslist in her city and on the way home stopped and got some excellent replacement grains-for free! Now I have a new culture that helps me make great bread and keep me healthy.

kristakoets's picture
kristakoets

Love all the stories! Makes me feel better :-)

~Krista

DadThebaker's picture
DadThebaker

tho not a "dead starter" story, My, at the time, 3 yo Son thought it would be a grand idea to put a box of Matchbox cars in the oven.  Needless to say, he never told me.  Who checks thier oven before preheating it, eh?

Well, 8 years later, I still have that box of melted cars in the garage somewhere.  Gonna wrap them and give them to him on one of his birthdays.  :D

kristakoets's picture
kristakoets

Dadthebaker,

What an awesome story! my son is 5 and loves cars...I could totally see him doing the same thing....except I do so much baking and cooking (at my funeral my kids will tearfully reminisce that their mama LIVED in the kitchen...I may not be good at algebra, but darn it if they will go without cookies!) that my kids are terrified of the oven...they know it is ALWAYS on and always hot! I have a girlfriend who's oven broke and stayed broken for over a year! I.Would.Die.

Cheers!

~Krista

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I store lots of stuff in my oven.  It is a practical place for large mixer bowls and that extra frying pan that always seems to be in the way but always being used.  Because I hide store things in the oven, everyone in my house looks in the oven first before turning it on.  No melted anything!  

So ...  start storing stuff in the oven!  Like a few cookie sheets and loaf pans do I dare say for starters.   When it becomes a habit, and you and everyone are always opening the oven to remove the stuff before baking, anything you put in there is no longer in danger.  :)

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Empty oven, empty gun; two of the more dangerous things in life. There is a school of thought that one should always store guns loaded, so that no one ever gets the mistaken idea that one might be empty.

cheers,

gary

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are you implying, gary, that one school of thought is to constantly bake or always load the oven so that it is always hot?  I've heard of that in factories and steel mills.  Continuous bread baking?  

This is the first time I've heard of ovens being equated with guns.  One a source of heat, the other used in... the heat of anger?  Yes, I hold it to be my constitutional right to own & carry an oven.   Ovens should not be fired inside city limits!   Duck everyone!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

No, not quite. I meant that by using the oven for storage, you never presume it to be empty. Because of that, you won't turn it on without having made sure of its emptiness. Likewise with guns. Consider how many people are injured or killed with guns that were thought to be empty. If guns are known to be loaded, people tend to be less stupid with them. Very few people, if any, are hurt cleaning a loaded pistol; "empty" pistols are another story.

cheers,

gary

bakingadict's picture
bakingadict

Here is one-made all the sourdough one night and next day was going to bake something (always making something) I think it was muffins and I had forgotten to take the pirex that I had filled with boiling water for the sourdough, it had no water left and the kitchen was not too warm as I had the air blasting since it was like 95 outside and about 100% hummidity-scared the bejesus out of me but as i took the pirex out the cold air mixed with the heat the pirex shattered. Thank Goodness that it was not close to my face or feet. It scared me so much that from now on I TAKE EVERYTHING OUT of the ovens and never put anything in it that is not for baking.

I have a perfect proof box here in summer-we have a screened in wrap around porch in this Bed and Breakfast we work at and all the proofing is just absolutely incredible in the summer which lasts quite a long time before the cold sets in-probably through November-I will miss this when we move to NJ-

kristakoets's picture
kristakoets

LOL!!!! I knew this thread would be a great way to get to know some interesting stuff about everyone on this site...Mini, I agree about the right to bear ovens!! This giggle made my morning...especially after staying up until 3am reading Tartine :-)

Yawn,

~Krista

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

Twice I've melted this scale, not in the oven, but on the stovetop.

I'm on my third and last one now.

Next scale will be all cast iron. I don't care if no one makes a cast iron scale, next one will be cast iron. I say here, I say it now.

bpezzell's picture
bpezzell

My wife turned on the wrong burner.

kristakoets's picture
kristakoets

WOW! I would not have thought that much damage could be possible!

~Krista

bpezzell's picture
bpezzell

She turned it on high, thinking to boil water and walked away.  There was a really cool blob of melted aluminum that we chipped off of the burner afterwards.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

It never happened if you don't have a picture of the blob. :)

cheers,

gary

dstroy's picture
dstroy

oh wow. RIP baking sheet!! The closest I've seen to that was melting a favorite pot (and then burning a hole in the porch steps where I stupidly put it out to cool - which ultimately caused more damage than the lost pot) - what happened to the rest of the metal??? Was the oven blown?

salma's picture
salma

I am hooked on home made yogurt taste. I was having a hard time getting it to be thick, usually it turns out smoothie texture. Recently I put it in the oven, wanted to turn it on for a couple of minutes and off. As usual with my memory, I forgot all about it. An hour or more later my husband discovered it when the plastic yogurt (used) container had partially melted. Of course I had to throw it out. Needless to say that I got yelled at for creating a fire hazard. Anyway, I have not given up. I just made some delicious yogurt. Don't know if I got the right amount of yogurt culture, the right temp milk or because I made them in ceramic mugs. Ceramic containers the next time for sure, and now I warm the oven for 3-5 minutes, turn it off and then put the yogurt in.
Salma