A Bread-Like Substance

I was going to Martha it up this weekend.

I was going to Elf like it was Christmas Eve and Mrs. Claus left the liquor cabinet unlocked.

Yes, “elf” is now a verb. Make a notation in your dictionary.

To elf: To behave in a creatively holiday way. To engage in crafting/cooking/wrapping for Christmas. Especially in a manner that will make neighbors and relatives annoyed with the Christmas-y miracle that is you.

We have some neighbors of whom we are fond.

Not THAT neighbor.

We also have a few friends with whom we exchange holiday goodies.

So each year we do a small bake-a-thon to give something from the Nummy Family to these people.

This year we decided to make mini-loaves of bread.

Himself even made a stop at a cooking supply shop to get the wee bread pans.

Talk about bloody adorable.

We selected three recipes: Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate-Chip Banana, and Ginger Molasses.

Despite the chocolate chips in the banana bread, I was most excited about the Ginger Molasses. A dear friend made a loaf for us last year and we were in bread heaven.

On Saturday, we baked and we baked, and made 12 loaves of the Pumpkin Spice and the Chocolate Chip Banana.

Lovely, pert loaves.

Individually wrapped for freshness.

It’s just a festival for the senses, isn’t it?

Our house smelled divine.

On Sunday after breakfast, we launched into the final recipe.

The Ginger Molasses.

The Ginger Molasses bread has stout in it.

We did NOT drink the stout while we were baking.

That’s going to be important in a minute.

We looked at the recipe and compared it to the other recipes that had conveniently made exactly six mini-loaves each.

This recipe did not seem like it would make quite enough, so we increased the recipe by 50%.

I think that was our problem.

Somewhere in converting a dozen ingredients to their 150% equivalents was our problem.

Because we did not get Ginger Molasses bread.

We got this:

We got Crater Bread.

We got a sunken, bread-like substance.

If it seems like those loaves in the background are less crater-like that is simply because they are not in focus. Trust me. Six loaves of pocked pseudo-bread.

Which suggests that these will still work as gifts as long as our friends and neighbors are all nearsighted and have universally misplaced their eyewear.

We did consider spackling…I mean…frosting them.

But some of those craters were so deep that that was just not going to work unless we were going to pretend that we’d been shooting for the Twinkie standard, and still somehow come up short.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing these were not meant to be houses – that’d be a FEMA disaster situation for sure.

  • Points for making the breads: +15 Martha Points
  • Penalty for crater-fail: -10 Martha Points
  • Net total gain: +5 Martha Points

The only good part was for the kids. After a weekend of baking things there were not allowed to eat, they were thrilled to hear that these were NOT considered fit enough for gifts.

They don’t get why, they’re just thrilled.

PPNB Giveaway Alert: Trashy stuff over at the Project: Purse and Boots website. You know you want to try and win it, don’t you?

30 comments

  1. You could have flipped them over to conceal the dents and made up a name for the festive new shape of the upside down bread?

    More importantly, how was the taste? And how awesome for you guys to get to eat them!

  2. I agree, the important question is — how did the crater-y goop TASTE? There’s gotta be a way to salvage it if it tastes good enough… thinking, thinking… HA! Mangers!

    1. And I just thought of this! They make Snowman marshmallow peeps now, so you could lick off… uh, SPONGE off the Snowman pattern and turn them into a whole Holy Family using food coloring or non-toxic markers or something… and make them clothes out of… um… bacon? Okay, I’m losing it…

  3. Oh dear. I’ve never received crater bread, although I have occasionally MADE it, but not in adorable itty bitty pans. I did get an undercooked pumpkin pie once. This was how I learned you never give away something until you have stuck a knife in the center and made sure it came out clean.

  4. “I was going to Martha it up this weekend.”

    If I lived in your house, I’d shake my head every time you said this.

    And sure, it’s a bread-like substance, but it’s a bread-like substance with STOUT! That has to count for something, right?

  5. Okay, so I was doing some elfing of my own this weekend and I thought about you.

    I was wondering how many Martha Points I would get for baking 3 dozen smores cupcakes, 4 dozen red velvet cupcakes, 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies, 2 batches of sugar cookies, and too many loaves of bread. In addition to all the baking I vacuumed my entire house and cleaned all the bathrooms.

    All of that elfing was done with a 17 lb baby that is going through separation anxiety on my hip.

    I win, right? That’s a bajillion Martha Points, right?

  6. You could have filled the crater with dried or candied fruit and explained you decided to deconstruct a fruitcake like high end chefs do in overpriced restaurants.

    I always suck at altering recipe sizes, I have to get the math whiz to do it for me & then he has me needing 1.68 eggs. How do you get .68 of an egg?

  7. Oh Lori. Pert or not, they still look good enough to eat!

    And cooking disasters, I’ve got one for you. Before I learned to cook (kinda sorta) I was making a dip that called for two cloves of garlic but that didn’t seem like enough for me so I added more…except I thought cloves of garlic and head of garlic were the same thing…let that s(t)ink in for a minute. Yeah. I did that, I put two and a half HEADS of garlic into something. I think my house still smells funny.

  8. My dad was always so thrilled when we burned cookies that were not fit for gifts. After years of conditioning he now thinks that’s how cookies “should” taste. Love him.

  9. Could you just punch the crater all the way through and call them donuts? Sorry, probably not helping.

    I am impressed that you even tried. And your other loaves are very pert. Sounds delicious!

  10. I would have totally spackled. Then sprinkled something distracting on the top so they would be like “Aww how beautiful” and not notice it when they cut it. Chocolate Chip Banana bread sounds yummy. I think you need to add a few recipes onto the end of the post. :) I think baking 3 kinds of bread deserved more points.

  11. I had a cooking disaster when I was in Arizona. I have kept it to myself, but I feel the need to share it now.

    I promised my mom Pralines for her rehearsal dinner. They are her favorites, and one of the few things that I am actually really good at cooking.

    I made three batches…..spooned them all out to harden and waited. and waited. And waited. AND Waited. AND WAITED. They.would.NOT.harden.

    Even after about two hours (usually it takes about ten minutes mind you) they were still not hard.

    So……..I scooped them all back up, and put them in a bowl. Bought some vanilla ice cream…and heated up my “pralines” for ice cream topping. It turned out to be quite a hit.

    What do I get on the points counter for that one?

  12. Lol! Sorry about the FEMA bread. I hope the next batch is much loftier; it sounds divine, and I’d hate to beg you for a recipe that results in crater bread.

    Those mini bread pans are terribly cute!

  13. I think your math is faulty; 3 types of holiday mini-breads at 5 points per type = 15 points. You only failed at ONE type, so you’re still got 10 points. (I’d totally take some of that crater bread anyway, by the way – it looks yummy!)

    The extent of our elfing was melting chocolate chips and adding chopped up candy canes and mint extract to make peppermint-chocolate bark for my teachers and friends. Can we have a Martha point for that? Or does use of the microwave negate any points?

  14. I’m with the kids – the question is: how did they TASTE??? Cause if they taste delish, they all they really need is an inch of frosting. But it is for this exact reason that you earn Martha Points and I’m in a Martha Black Hole.

  15. But how did they taste? Cause isn’t that what’s really important? I had a baking fail like this when I was about ten and decided to make a very complex chocolate mud cake I found in a recipe book for Thanksgiving. It was gelatinous and horrible and went untouched at the family dinner. I never got over it and have barely baked since.

  16. First, I’d like 2 of each of the “pretty” loaves, but I’d also like a crater loaf.

    It might be a new trend.

    Kind of like when Ivory soap (or it is Dove) was invented.

  17. I think the dent bread may have been quite tasty if the dent were filled with Cool Whip. Sort of like an adult Twinkie.

    Or they may have come out better if you DID drink the stout while baking. Or at least you wouldn’t have cared.

    If I were your neighbor? I would still think you rocked the holiday bake-off.

  18. Curious to know what brand of cellophane you used to wrap the bread. You know how I like a good, strong, clingy cellophane to wrap my baked goods. And by “baked goods” I mean “cats.”

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