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Monday, August 5, 2019

Can This Be Salvaged? Over-Baked Loaves of Bread

Saturday afternoon, I began a 4-loaf batch of whole wheat sandwich bread, enough to last my household about 10 days. I had just picked up a large bag of all-purpose flour, so I could blend whole wheat and white to make a fluffier loaf than we'd been using for the month of July. I worked at kneading this batch to result in a light texture to the finished bread. The raised loaves went into a hot oven around 6 PM. About 6:10 PM, we received a phone call which put us all into emergency action. I completely forgot about the bread in the oven. However, I did take a couple of minutes to check and lock all of the doors and make sure the stove was turned off. We were gone for over 2 hours. Our urgent errand was taken care of and all was well, with one exception. When we walked in the door, the timer on the oven was ringing and the air had the smell of burnt toast, lots of burnt toast.


This is what very well-done bread looks like. Not only were the 4 loaves very brown on the outside, but they were very lightweight, and had shrunk away from the pans' sides considerably.

Odd thing, I went online and did an image search to see if other people had burned bread this badly, and if that bread could be salvaged, yet the only loaf that I could find pictures of online that were worse-looking than mine was a loaf that was found in Pompeii and had been carbonized by the lava flow.


After a half-hour of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to try cutting away some of the hardened crust from one of the loaves, and this is what I found. Inside, the bread was not that bad. It's a little dry, but once you cut the hard and thick crust off, it's edible, palatable, and salvageable. I estimate that we'll lose about 1/3 of the bread by removing the burnt crust, but a one-third loss is better than a 100% loss.

I like to think of this as pre-toasted bread.

12 comments:

Kris said...

I'm sorry about your emergency and hope everything is well. It's understandable that you didn't remember every detail in that situation, so don't beat yourself up.

I laughed out loud about your Pompeii bread comment. I think I would do what you did--cut away the burned parts and use what I could--if not as bread or toast, then by making croutons or bread crumbs.

Lili said...

Thanks, Kris.
It was just a "car" emergency, and not a "people" emergency. So, that's a very good thing. It did cost one daughter about $100. Hard lessons to learn in life. But all is well now. Oh, I didn't think about croutons. That might be a good use for the part of the bread up against the bottom crust. It's not quite as thick as the top crust. I'll taste some of the side crust to see if it would taste okay for crumbs. Thanks for the suggestions.

Alice said...

Lili,

I think you lived with me this weekend. I spent all week working on my sourdough getting it ready for Saturday's bread. I needed a cracked wheat, flax, whole wheat, sourdough bread. I got it all kneaded, let is rise twice and got it to baking only to get a phone call. My daughter heard the timer go off that it was ready and she turned the timer off and did not turn the oven off nor take the bread out. I got done with the phone call to over baked bread also. Salvageable, yes but not what I was looking for.

Alice

live and learn said...

Sorry Lili and Alice that after all of that hard work, the results were less that desirable. However, when I look at your pictures, Lili, a really want a piece of toast--regular or French. These things happen to everyone. They are disappointing at the time, but they always make a good story later. By adding in the Pompeii comment, Lili, you already have a great one to tell.

Frugal in the USA said...

Nice save.
This might be the time for a savory or sweet bread pudding.

Lisa said...

Think about using the "cajun-styled" sections of bread for croutons in salads and soups. You can chop them and season them with your favorite spice mix and that may help. I do that with bread that is a bit long in the tooth, but then I have to bake them a bit to dry them out and to get them crunchy...you just did the last step first! :-) Also, you can also crumble them up and feed them to the birds...they aren't too picky!

Making Cents Of It All said...

I agree with the bread crumbs or croutons. Glad everyone is OK. That is really all that matters.

Lili said...

Alice said...

I think you lived with me this weekend. I got done with the phone call to over baked bread also. Salvageable, yes but not what I was looking for.


Oh no! Not you, too! It was a disappointment, but I did get over it. I'll try again next weekend. I hope you get another chance soon to try again, too, Alice.

Lili said...

live and learn said...
By adding in the Pompeii comment, Lili, you already have a great one to tell.


Hi live and learn,
the funny thing is I was doing an image search, so I had no idea how that other loaf got so burnt. I just assumed it was another modern mishap. So, I cracked up myself when I saw it was from Pompeii. I'm now over my disappointment. Life goes on, and it could have been a lot worse. From a toaster mishap years ago, I do know that bread is flammable!

Lili said...

Frugal in the USA said...

This might be the time for a savory or sweet bread pudding.


Bread pudding is a really great idea, Frugal in the USA. Thank you! I think I'll use that later this week, maybe make it a savory strata for supper on Friday.

Lili said...

Lisa said...
Think about using the "cajun-styled" sections of bread for croutons in salads and soups. ...you just did the last step first!


Ha ha! Love that Cajun-style. Thanks for the ideas, Lisa.

Lili said...

Making Cents Of It All said...
Glad everyone is OK. That is really all that matters.


^^^^This! You are so right, Marybeth!

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