Sunday, September 30, 2007

The agony of defeat: Cinnamon Buns

OK, let's have a fast recap of my time as a Daring Baker, shall we?

My first challenge with the DB's was the Darkest Chocolate Crepe Cake. Scared the pants off of me, but tasted lovely.

Second was Gateau St Honore. Burned myself, the pastry didn't rise too high, but looked pretty and tasted great.

My third challenge was by far my favorite - bagels. So delicious. I was pretty nervous about the recipe, but they were easier than easy and I can't wait to make them again.

July brought the Strawberry Mirror Cake. Mine was blueberry, but still yummy.

And last month was the completely frustrating but good Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart.

The above recipes all have two things in common. One - I was terrified of all of the recipes before I made them. Two - they all turned out just fine, increasing my confidence in the kitchen every month.

So when Cinnamon Buns were announced as the challenge for this month, not only was I not nervous, I couldn't wait to give them a try.

The recipe is very simple - sugar, salt, butter, an egg and lemon zest are creamed together, then flour, yeast and milk are added to finish the dough. After the rising, the dough is shaped into a rectangle, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and rolled up, cut into buns, have some more rising time, baked, then finally smothered in icing.

Sounds pretty simple. It was. Sounds pretty tasty. Sadly, they weren't.

buns having their second rising.

I don't know what happened. The dough came together fine. It didn't rise a ton, but was easy to work with. And how can you go wrong with sugar and cinnamon (or in our case allspice - still haven't bought any cinnamon) for the filling?

The buns were just strange. Texture-wise they were very stiff, and the buns had a strange "raw dough" smell, even though they were fully cooked. They just weren't good. I decided I wouldn't take them to work for one last "treat day". I didn't care for them, and neither did Scott. In fact, we only ate one apiece. The rest sat on the counter for 4 days until I finally threw them out.

glazed buns.

You can see the recipe right here. Wanna see how the other Daring Bakers fared with their buns? Then go here for the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

Well, the moving van is loaded and on the road, and we will be too shortly! B.C., here we come! Thanks for stopping by, see you in a few days.

32 comments:

Marce said...

oh, Sara, it´s such a bummer that you didn´t have a good experience with the buns. And what´s worse, I have absolutely no idea where it could have gone wrong really since I made them twice with no problems and no one else reported something like this :(
But anyways, good luck with the move!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Just goes to show you - life and baking are always going to surprise you! Who knows.
Wishing you an uneventful move and happy landing in the new place.

KJ said...

Oh I'm sorry they didn't turn out for you. These things happen to everyone from time to time.

Peabody said...

You should try them again. I thought the dough was excellent and very light.
Sorry it didn't work out.

Hilda said...

I'm with Peabody, I think you should try them again, because you never know, it could have been the yeast that was off, or something in the reaction that just didn't go well, but if you like them, you should give it another go. That is a bummer that that happened though. Have a good move!

Meeta said...

Sorry to hear it did not work out Sara. But please so give them another chance. They really are wonderful!

Anne said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear this! They do look fine - too bad they didn't taste good.

Brilynn said...

I know people will tell you to give them another try, but as often happens with me, when a recipe doesn't work out, the last thing I want to do is try it again, I want to kick it into a corner and let it die there. Perhaps that was a bit dramatic... meh.

Quellia said...

Oh dear, that is strange!
I am probably one of those people who would say give them another try - maybe not when you have your last day of work on your mind, or are getting ready to move?
And maybe with some cinnamon? :-)

kellypea said...

Bummer. That's what I felt like w/ the St. Honore Gateau. It ended up in the trash after I ate all the cream puffs which were spectacular -- but I'd made those lots of times before. So I guess the message is to be afraid, be very afraid before our challenges? Hmmm...I'll keep that in mind. Except for me, if I'm freaked out, it doesn't work. Have a lovely get away!

Maryann said...

You'll get it next time..no worries :)

Janet said...

That would have been a PERFECT excuse to make bread pudding with the 4 day old cinnamon buns!! Sorry they didn't turn out for you!

breadchick said...

Oh Sara, you crack me up! Every month you and I trade these emails that just make me roll on the floor and when you told me your buns didn't turn out, I was sure they had and you were just being your normal shy self.

Sorry they didnt' work out for you. I'm going to blame it on the stress of moving!!

Good luck and chat with you when you get to BC!!!

Ivonne said...

Hi Sara,

I'm sorry that they didn't work out the way you hoped. But I'm glad to hear that you're becoming more confident with each challenge. Just a question: did you bake them in an aluminum pan? If you did, that might have affected how they baked up.

Belinda said...

Oh, darn! I hate that you didn't like the results...that's baking for you, some things go super smoothly, and then out of the blue, a recipe just will not behave! Best of luck with the moving!

Jenny said...

I'm with the others - throw the yeast out once you move to BC and try again! You've succeeded with the others, after all. I remember the blueberry mirror cake!! Happy moving!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh, crap-ola. that's strange...most seemed to have good results. have a good move, and see you soon!

Anne said...

I'm sorry it didn't work for you but I still salute you for your effort :)

Heather said...

Sounds like you might have killed your yeast or it did not work well. I have found that any yeast besides Fleischman's just does not work. I had some bread come out poorly and it was because I ran out of Fleishman's yeast. Sweet rolls can be challenging.

Deborah said...

I wonder what happened?? You really should give them another try sometime - I really liked the recipe. Hope the moving goes well!!

Baking Soda said...

I am sorry, had to smile but I can feel your frustration. How did that happen? So strange.
Hope your move goes on uneventful, good luck!

Lis said...

Well they look perfectly swirly and it seems they are enjoying themselves in their icing bath. heee!

I'm on the fence about this recipe.. as I stated, I didn't care for the cinnamon buns- I don't like the kind that get a lil hard and more bread-like.. but when I did the sticky buns they were AWESOME. So.. since it was the same batch of dough, I guess it's in how ya bake 'em.

You MUST join us when we do the Cinnabon recipe. Yes?

I miss you already.. I've e-mailed to tell you how I've been pining.. I miss **crickets**

It's only been 3 days. Lordie.

Hurry up with the internet access for crissakes! :P

xoxo

Tartelette said...

Sorry they did not turn out so good. Believe it or not but I have never had a Cinnabon either, so I would not be able to compare!

marias23 said...

Hey there! My first batch was a bit stiff for my taste too. So what I did for my second was to crowd the buns a little more and underbake them. They turned out way better: soft, chewy and pillowy.

Anonymous said...

Aww they sure looked so yummy!

Ani
foodiechickie.com

Amy said...

Aww I'm sorry you didn't like them. :( Good luck with your move!

Aoife said...

Your story is so sad! I hope they turn out better next time, if there is a next time.

Dolores said...

Oh Sara, I'm so sorry this recipe didn't work better for you. Good luck with your move!

Cate said...

There's always next month. ;)

Deborah said...

I try to tell myself that it's the kitchen fates teaching me humility when recipes fail. It doesn't usually make me feel better. But the first glass of wine ALWAYS helps.

Thanks for putting your "failure" up for us, though - it's a definite inspiration to try new things!

Shaun said...

Sara - Your buns look fine; I'm sorry that they didn't work out. Maybe they needed to go in a warmer spot to rise properly or perhaps an element of the recipe wasn't cooperating with the others? You have enough on your plate, what with you and Scott moving and all...I hope you have a lovely life together in beautiful BC (Eric and I have been to Vancouver together, and I spent one month in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in 1997).

Andrea said...

Oh, it's such a pain when a project doesn't turn out like we hope! Sorry to hear the buns didn't go so well, but they are definitely worth another try.