Pull Apart Bread Baking Fail

Pull Apart Bread or as some call it Monkey Bread or as we call it in my family Coffee Cake.

It is basically flavored bread that comes apart in chunks. There are a million versions of pull apart bread. Some are savory and some are sweet. In my family it is always sweet. As a child I never understood why we called it Coffee Cake because there was no coffee in it, but now I understand that it is because you have it with your coffee.

The recipe is simple.

Frozen bread dough, thawed.

Melted butter

Cinnamon and Sugar

Cut dough into small pieces. Dip in melted butter. Roll in cinnamon and sugar. Layer pieces in pan, let rise. Cook at 325 degrees.

Seems like an easy thing to make, and it is. Unless you’re me.

I thought it would be nice to make it and have it ready for breakfast in the morning, but I didn’t take into account that I was tired and my day had gone badly already. (By the way this combination always curses any attempt at baking.) I had already thawed out the bread dough and was committed to making it regardless of the imminent doom I knew was coming.

I started it after dinner. I cut the dough into chunks and melted the butter. Normally we use a fluted pan but I have had success with just using small 8 x 8 pans. So I used the small pans. I was zipping through the pile of dough filling the pans easily. No problems so far. I had divided the dough between two pans. Once they were full, I set them aside and covered them so they could rise.

In the meantime, I started my son on his nighttime routine. While he was in the bath I checked the pans and they looked ready for baking. I slid them in the oven and went back to check on my son. I had it all timed so that the bread would be done before he was ready for bed. Or so I thought.

For some reason the bread dough went through a growth spurt while in the oven, but only the outside edges. The middle stayed where it was but the outside overflowed and started dropping like doughy rain onto the bottom of the oven. Smoke started to fill the house as the sugar coating caught fire.

I turned on the extractor fan above the stove and opened the oven. Using a silicon ended tongs I removed the charred chunks of bread. They were like black rocks. I could have used them as sling shot ammo. I checked the bread and the outside was done. Nice hollow sound when I tapped on it. I thought they were done. Hahahaha, no.

The inside was completely doughy. This had never happened before. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t very well tear it apart and cook the inside as the outside. I took a cookie sheet and flipped the pans upside down on the trays. I figured it they were going to cook weird then I might as well go all out. Another 20 minutes and another round of smoke from the bits of butter and sugar that had already fallen filled the house. I opened the window too this time although that is not the greatest idea during winter in Montana. However, the bread was finally not raw on the inside.

It wasn’t pretty but it was edible. It actually tasted amazing. So even though I totally failed, I succeeded because it’s not the looks its the taste that’s important.

Stuffed Red Peppers

Normally I don’t really like stuffed peppers. They always taste kinda soggy or something. The inside is mushy and the outside is rubbery. Unfortunately I had two red bell peppers and I needed to use them somehow. There was a fruit and vegetable grocery sale $15 for all you can fit in a paper sack and because our family is having financial difficulties due to job loss -you take what you can get.

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This recipe is for Mexican Stuffed Peppers that I found.

  • 1 lb ground beef  (It called for ground beef but I didn’t have any so I used breakfast sausage which was all I had that was close.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions (I used spring onions, because that was all I had.)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • packet of taco seasoning
  • 4 bell peppers (I only had two)
  • 1 egg
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • cheese
  • water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the meat, egg, onions, rice, and taco seasoning in a bowl and set aside. Slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Spoon the filling mixture into the pepper half. You can pile it up. Then lay in an ungreased glass baking dish pour a little water around them in the bottom of the dish. (Apparently this is because you don’t precook the peppers.) Spoon a little salsa on top of each pepper and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the pepper is crisp tender.

When you’re ready to serve you can throw some cheese on top and some sour cream if you want. I didn’t put sour cream on the one in the picture.

SOOOO YUMMMYYY!

So because I only had two peppers instead of the 4 the recipe calls for I had some left over meat mixture.

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So I saved it and we had it in burritos the next day. Two meals out of one!

Thrifty and Yummy!

Seriously, how hard can dinner be?

I know that most of you are thinking right now…what she can’t cook? Of course I can cook! I kick ass cooking or baking, just ask any of my daughters friends. No, I’m complaining about menu planning.

I have in my house, a vegetarian, a carnivore, a very picky autistic kid, and me who will take what she can get. Do you have any idea how hard it is to plan meals on a tight budget when no one will eat the same things! I usually end up making way more food than I need to because I’m trying to make sure that everyone is getting the nutritional intake that they need for their respective lifestyles. My husband sticks to meaty kind of meals because his job is very demanding physically and he needs it. My daughter is a teenager that is active in sports and a vegetarian…hello you need more calories than lettuce gives!! Then there is my son who is just a non stop cracker and milk fiend.How do I make sure they stay healthy?

I grew up with meat, potatoes, vegetable and if you were still hungry there was bread and jelly. Now I’m cooking vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc, etc,,, You name it I’m trying to cook it. I love the different types of food but liking doesn’t make it all fit. Unfortunately some diets cancel out others. Like a lot of the vegetarian meat substitutes are made from gluten. Well that doesn’t work with a gluten free diet. Then there is the Indian food which is very vegetarian and yummy but it is very spicy and that is not good for me. My body doesn’t really like spicy. I like the taste just not the effect.

I’m getting to the point where I feel like a restaurant every night. And the cost! Holy Crap-a-moley some of this stuff is insanely expensive. I live in rural Montana! This is not the land of variety shopping especially for the specialized diets!

I don’t even want to cook any more. I’m losing my enthusiasm for new recipes and experimenting. Can someone just magically whack my family with a dinner wand and everyone will eat what I make?!?!?! PLEASE!