I had a disaster of a bake with little dude. The awesome Scissors Paper Scone wrote this amazing blog post on baking with young children which made me really want to get off my buttocks and do some baking. I used to love baking pre-baby so I thought it couldn’t be that hard with a baby attached. Oh and I wanted cake, I always want cake. What could go wrong right?!
Fricking disaster – my cinnamon rolls were like cannon balls with a vague hint of cinnamon More like rock cake, than soft spongy bread. For the life of me, I do not know what I did wrong. They were meant to turn out like this! Although, I do think that the below factors contributed to making it an absolute fail.
So you don’t get in the same sort of trouble, I’ve listed my numerous mistakes below, in the hope you will learn from them and have a fabulous bake!
Don’t read ahead
I usually read the recipe as I go – yes yes I know complete amateur. This is not the way to do it. Read the entire reciepe from start to finish., which will ensure that you have the right equipment, ingredients, time to do everything. As I didn’t do this the following cock ups happened.
Before I began baking I may have not checked that I had the right equipment or all the ingredients . When I get an idea that I’m doing something that day, I have to do it. There is literally no turning back.
There I was, baby strapped to me, hair tied back, getting ready to start the bake hunting around for the ingredients and find out we have no caster sugar. Ugh.
I was whatsapping my neighbours to see if they had any caster sugar – they did not. So then I rang ahead to a shop down the road to ask if they had any, and they said yes – but by the time I got there it’d all gone. So theeeeeeen, I walked down to another shop, no caster sugar, until I arrived at the 3rd shop which had some. This caster sugar treasure hunt took a massive hour out of my day. On the plus side, I’m sure little dude enjoyed the walk as he was happily cooing away.
Don’t have the right equipment
Before you start making anything make sure you have a baking tray, the right equipment and enough space to bake.
I only discovered I didn’t have all the equipment half way through mixing all the ingredients together. I didn’t have the right baking tray (I still don’t but nevermind). The square one I wanted was dirty in the diswasher so had to put it in a circular tin.
The dough was a lot (A LOT) stickier than I was expecting. I had to knead it on a floured surface, but everywhere, apart from the square inch I was trying to bake on, was dirty. I put down one of those non-stick baking mats in hope that it would help. It certainly was non-stick – wouldn’t stick to the blooming counter top. Everytime I went to knead the dough stuck to my hand and the mat would lift up. All the while, I had little dude attached to me in the baby carrier, who was trying to get a piece of the action, literally. He had dough in his hair, top, face, ear etc. I ended up yelling at big dude to take little dude so I could sort out the mess.
Mess up your timings
Before you start, ensure you plan out the timings and work around them e.g. while the dough is proving I will have enough time to clean up etc.
During the first prove, we had a poonami. It went EVERYWHERE. We had to give him a bath, the timer then went off to take the dough out but little dude needed a feed. Straight after that, our online shop arrived. You would have thought that during the first prove the dough would have risen loads. Nope – because I put it somewhere cold.
If it all goes tits up? Practice makes perfect
Needless to say, my bake went tits up. As you can see from the photo the buns haven’t even risen after their second prove and after they were baked. I ate all the buns / cannon balls because I made them, not because they tasted nice. However, I will not give up. I will make the perfect cinnamon bun. Baking, as with all things, requires practice. Making things a few times does improve them. At least for next time I know what to do :).
Baking with your baby is fun. It’s a sensory overload for them. If you don’t have a godo bake, do not worry. Try again, and don’t give up. We all mess up sometimes :). What have your baking experiences been like with a baby? Got any tips to help me next time I bake?