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Frugal Failure: So much for my beautiful Cinnamon Sugar Bread!

You know how I promised you the Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Cinnamon Sugar Bread recipe this week?

Well, um, I thought I had tweaked the recipe and worked out the perfect combination of ingredients. However, when I went to make a final batch to make sure it worked correctly, I made a serious mistake: I forgot to put the paddles in the bread machine!

So I ran the whole dough cycle without any paddles. Which, ahem, is a rather pointless exercise.

When I finally discovered my mistake, it was too late in the day to run another dough cycle and bake the bread, so I just let the ingredients sit until the morning.

In the morning, I tried to run the dough cycle again, this time with the paddles in. Only (you’re not going to believe this!), one of the paddles wasn’t in all the way, so only half the dough got mixed up.

Determined not to waste the ingredients, I ran the dough through yet another short cycle. It rose and rolled out normally and baked into a beautiful loaf.

But the looks of this beautiful loaf were very deceiving, because when I cut into it, I found a practically hollow loaf.


The girls and I ate the bread, regardless of the mishaps, and it was still quite good. But I thought the filling needed a little more tweaking and, obviously, I need to get my brain cells connected better so I can make dough correctly.

I promise I’ll experiment some more over the next few days and hopefully be able to present a delicious and near-perfect Cinnamon Raisin and Cinnamon Sugar Bread recipe next week. Hopefully!

Note: Apparently, I’m not the only one with bread issues this week, since Tammy also had a similar mishap. I guess I’m in good company. 🙂

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  • Megan says:

    Is it okay to say I think that’s hilarious? Thanks for keeping it real! *giggle*

  • Paula Freeman says:

    Just cut into slices and make french toast. Tonight while making cookies I forgot to put the brown sugar in.

  • Julia says:

    I did that the other day – I was going to make cinnamon rolls and forgot the paddle – I happened to check it 5 minutes after I start and couldn’t quite figure out why the flour wasn’t moving. I ended up digging in with my hand and ultimately caused the paddle to fuse on to the post. At least the rolls tasted good. So I feel your pain!! LOL.

  • Anna says:

    Hi, I was wondering what bread machine you have?

  • It’s super cold in Texas this week and we’re having rolling black outs, so I couldn’t get my bread to rise! I tried putting it near the fire place to give it some heat… but no dice. So bummed!

    • Amy J says:

      Put just the yeast, water (make sure it’s warm or hot!) and sugar in the bowl, and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast is reacting. It’s cold here in Ohio too, and I made bread yesterday for a church meeting. This gets the bacteria in the yeast reacting (it loves the sugar!), and will give your bread a head-start in the reaction process. If the house is too cold still, either set the bowl on a heating vent, or pre-heat the oven/stove to 250-300 and set the bowl on it.

    • Miranda says:

      I often preheat my oven to 170 and then shut it off, put the loaves in, shut the door, and let it rise for 45 minutes. This works well for me. I think it’s about 18 here!! 🙂 ~Miranda

    • Holly says:

      You can also microwave a bowl of water for a minute or two and then put the bread in there to rise with the door closed. I do this with my bagels when I make them!

  • diane says:

    okay, I am a total bread making failure, I swear! I dont have a bread machine ( I used to and never had good results) but I have a kitchenaid mixer. I look forward to seeing this recipe and the final loaf. I got some four and yeast from King Arthur Flour and had my first successful loaf in YEARS! thanks for letting me know I am not the only one who has bread issues!

    • Shirley says:

      I am the same way. I got a bread machine about 5 years ago and I have never had bread turn out using it. Not even if I take it out and bake it myself. 🙁 But my Kitchenaid stand mixer is a blessing along with my William-Sonomia Baking cookbook. I have made cinnamon rolls, wheat bread, dinner rolls, etc., and they have all turned out beautifully.

    • dee says:

      The recipe for white bread in the book that comes with the Kitchen Aid mixer is easy and fool proof. It comes out perfect every time I make it.

  • Glad to know I’m not the only one with kitchen mishaps! About a week ago, my bread making ended abruptly with a small kitchen fire….

    It took me until today to get the courage to make bread again (even though I’ve been baking our bread for several years with no other mishaps!). I even made cinnamon-raisin bread, and posted about it on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Tammy L says:

    Oh, my, isn’t that the way it goes?! 🙂 At least our breads both still tasted yummy! 🙂

  • Jennifer Kaiser says:

    You’re awesome Crystal! Never afraid to let the world know you’re not perfect! We get to see that you’re a real mom just like us 🙂
    Maybe the bread didn’t turn out right but it still looks really good!

    ~Jennifer K

  • Amanda says:

    Crystal, you’re in VERY GOOD COMPANY!!!
    I attempted to make banana bread a couple days ago; got things mixed together and baking for 20 minutes before I realized I forgot to add the BANANA.
    I whipped it out of the oven and added a banana “glaze” to my already half-baked bread.
    All things considered, it wasn’t bad. But, I didn’t take it to work like I had planned. 🙂

  • Julie Ricker says:

    You are not alone in a baking mishap this week. I made snickerdoodle muffins and forgot to put the eggs in! We ate them anyway, and my kids had a good laugh. They couldn’t wait for Daddy to get home, so they could tell him what I did!

  • happy_mom_of_2 says:

    that is hilarious bwahahaha cant say i have had any mishaps lately i dont cook applebees does

  • Diana says:

    I’ve really got to get a bread maker, I was going to ask you which one you use, but just saw the link above.

  • Kimberly says:

    “Momma said there’d be days like this…”
    Way to stay determined! 😉

  • Mel says:

    Crystal, I can’t wait to show my hubby this post. He thinks he’s the only one that has to eat less-than-perfect food. These types of recipe “modifications” are a norm at my house. But we laugh and power on. Thanks for sharing a little giggle.

  • Alisha says:

    Been there. done that. 😉 It happens to the best of us.

  • Trish says:

    I completely relate….when using the dough cycle this week, I set it to the wrong thing–I set it to the Bake cycle, not the dough cycle….I caught my mistake about 20 minutes into it. So I stopped everything—waited for it to cool…and started everything over! Well at the end of the right cycle I knew something was wrong when the dough dropped out with a thud! I let it set for about an hour…I hadn’t created a beautiful loaf of bread, but a brick! Needless to say, I have checked and rechecked and rechecked since! It’s been a rough bread week!:0)

  • NICOLE says:

    i think your bread is beautiful, it adds character 😉

  • Stephanie says:

    Cube it up and make bread pudding! No one with ever know it wasn’t pretty when you sliced into it. I have had the same thing happened once or twice before, but I make all of my bread by hand (no bread machine here). I need to try & get some dough to rise today, but living in an older drafty house is challenging when it comes to bread baking in the winter time. Good luck with your next attempt, I look forward to the recipe!

  • Jenny says:

    I’ve forgotten the paddle too! I usually only use the dough cycle so imagine my surprise when I opened the lid and saw unmixed flour and yeast-…. “Honey- Can you run to the store quick before dinner???”

  • Miranda says:

    Yeah!! I’m not the only one with bread problems!! 😀

  • ZombieMommy says:

    Crystal, I probably did this about 4 times when I started making bread in my maker! Finally I wrote in big letters on my bread recipe at the top “PUT PADDLES IN MACHINE”. That finally worked:)

  • Angie B says:

    That is when you put the icing on the inside and you proclaim you did it on purpose ; )

  • Andrea says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t like you more!

  • Jessica says:

    It’s amazing how absolutely encouraging failure posts are! Thank you!

  • Jen says:

    I’ve learned not to be surprised by baking failures when there are odd weather patterns going through. 🙂

  • evelyn says:

    Sounds like something I would do…LOL
    Can’t wait for the final receipe.

  • angie says:

    If you don’t have a kitchenaid mixer or bread machine, don’t let that discourage you guys. You can always, ahem, knead it yourself, with your muscles/arms/hands. 🙂 I do have a kitchenaid but there is something about kneading bread I love — poor kitchenaid hasn’t been used in 5 yrs and it’s brand new! Crystal will have a good recipe, I’m sure, but google will provide you some options if you can’t wait to start kneading!

  • Karen S. says:

    Oh my! I thank you for your humility in sharing that. It really helps me as I am really learning how to be frugal, and do lots of things in the kitchen, from blogs to know that “it happens” to the best of us!

  • jan says:

    thanks for the laugh! I bet it still tasted good! what kind of loaf pan do you use in the oven?

  • Shannon says:

    Glad I’m not the only one with bread mishaps. You can read about mine here:

  • Jodi says:

    This is awesome! You mean you are actually ….human?? lol….the pic made my mouth water, so it cant be that bad….

  • Meridith says:

    I always see you talking about making your own bread. About how much per loaf does it cost to make? I’m assuming it’s more economical than paying the $1-3 per loaf. Are there recipes to make white whole grain breads?

  • Gail says:

    When life hands you lemons – make lemonade. When life hands you hollow cinnamon sugar bread – make bread pudding! If you have any leftover bits and pieces of your cinnamon bread, I’d grate into breadcrumbs to sprinkle on the applesauce you make. Warm the applesauce a little. The cinnamon sugar would make it taste like apple pie. You could sprinkle it on yogurt or pudding as well.

  • Marnie says:

    The beautiful picture last week of your cinnamon bread inspired us, and on one of our “snow” days this week, we made dough. Great dough, in fact. Rolled it out, cinnamon, sugar, raisins, and rolled it up. We put it into our microwave to raise, because its a warm closed container. Then we forgot about it, until the following morning when I opened the microwave door to put in some water for hot chocolate. UGH! Just wanted to let you know you’re not the only one with bread failures this week!

  • I don’t have a bread machine, so I blame all my failures on me! I’m glad you didn’t throw it away – I was going to tell you that it would probably make yummy bread pudding!

  • Carrie says:

    Yeah, I think we’ve all had the experiences of running it without the paddle or without the paddle fastened properly. The saddest thing is when it bakes like that and you have to throw the whole thing out.

  • Holly says:

    Now I’m a little worried, I left instructions with the hubby to put on a batch of pizza dough in the bread machine for dinner tonight!

  • Jennifer says:

    Um, I have forgotten to put the paddles in my bread machine numerous times! Except I always catch it, because i check to see how things are mixing after about 5 minutes (ingredients tend to stick to the sides in my machine) and then I have to put it in the goop of ingredients. But it usually ends up ok.

  • Sue says:

    I love it.. LOL

  • Cortney Bangel says:

    So sorry for your mishap! I have totally done that before – both forgetting the paddles completely, and also not pushing the paddle down far enough. AND I’ll go one farther: when I first got my bread machine, I was also scared to be forceful in pushing the pan down into it’s base, and “made” my first bread without it mixing at all because the pan wasn’t connected properly. So sad.

    So when are you going to try again so you can share the recipe? I’m DYING to try this recipe myself! 🙂

  • geneva says:

    Stuff it with cream cheese filling and make it a king cake!

  • bobbi jo says:

    Hi..I am a baker by trade and I think you did wonderful anyway. Dough can handle alot but it might taste yeasty or tough is worked too much. The other thing I think by the picture is your ratio of butter, cinnamon and sugar in the middle was off….that is if you use butter at all. Keep on trying girl…there are also some really great suggestions here as well. Just so you know, I am a loyal fan of this site and in turn U. Thank you for all you do for us. I greatly appreciate it. Bobbi

  • Kimberly says:

    I waited all week to make banana bread loaves. I let the bananas get good and ripe knowing I would get the most flavor that way. I finally put it all together and baked them. When I pulled them out they were flat and dense and then I realized that I completely forgot the baking powder! Lol. I didn’t want to waste all 7 mini loaves so I cut them into cubes, rolled them in butter, spread them out on a cookie sheet, topped them with a cinnamon crumb topping and them served them as a breakfast with hot syrup drizzled over them. It was like banana bread and pancakes all in. Lol. Not too bad for a mistake!

  • Michelle says:

    how funny! Thought I agree with everyone else, it would probably make good bread pudding.
    Saw a recipe in food network the magazine for this very same bread with the raisins and all in it. For those of us that can’t wait, you might try browsing your local bookstore for the magazine and memorizing the recipe.

  • abbie says:

    Bread is bread and is yummy no matter how it looks! 🙂

    I thought I would share that I made cinnamon raisin bread with your butterhorn recipe. Used the bread machine and it turned out really good!

  • Stephanie says:

    I am a culinary student with one semester or basic bread making under my belt and I have made this mistake by hand, without a bread machine! It think the dough was over mixed. I can try to email you some tips I learned in class….

  • Heidi says:

    I had to laugh at your story above as just the other night I decided to make homemade ice cream. About half way through the batch, I went to check on it and realized that I’d forgotten to put the blade in!!! (;

  • Kim says:

    Will you post the recipe anyway? I’d like to try it just the same 🙂

  • Nicole Craft says:

    Something’s in the air this week. I also tried to make cinnamon rolls from scratch and since I couldn’t keep my house above 63 degrees the dough wouldn’t rise. My rolls turned out hard and the filling melted out of them.
    Read about my disaster at
    I’m going to try again this weekend!

  • Lisa says:

    I feel better I am not the only one this week to have a bread mishap! My favorite standby recipe ,make it all the time ,
    When dough not kneading remembered forgot egg ,added another egg then still wrong it was milk I forgot. 2hrs later. Dumped it started over
    All ingredients , check . 2 hrs later still wrong. Paddles in trash from dumping first batch! Third time was the charm. 😉

  • Ann says:

    I’ve had my share of flops too – usually when trying to make it too healthy 🙂 But a great way to use up flops (muffins, cookies, breads, etc) is to make them into bread pudding. Nobody notices if they’re a little soggy! You can also make a savory bread pudding – just add spices instead of the sugar and cinnamon.
    I really appreciate your real Mom site – no plastic fake Barbie doll stuff for me! 🙂

  • Laura Miller says:

    One time I made peanut butter cookies and forgot to put the peanut butter in.

  • Krystine says:

    Oh, your poor bread! lol! The same thing happened the first time we tried to make break in the bread machine (a few weeks ago) – one of the paddles was out and it only got half mixed. Half of it was good! The second time we mis-set it to “quick” cycle which only works for certain recipes, and not the one we were using – so it was totally undercooked! Third time’s the charm though, since the last loaf we made was delicious! 🙂

  • JennyP says:

    Don’t feel bad I completely ruined a double batch of zucchini-chocolate chip bread. The baby started to cry as I was mixing it up and somehow I forgot the baking powder. I ended up with two flat and hard (not to mention expsenive when you figure wasted ingrediants) bricks that were not ediable. You win some…you lose some.

  • Toni says:
    I’ve noticed that I just have to roll the bread rather tight to help eliminate the air pockets. Also, the more “filling” you put in, the more the dough doesn’t want to stick to itself. Just a thought?

  • Laura says:

    did this recipe ever get posted?

  • Heather Collier says:

    I still don’t see the recipe. Where do I find it so I can print it like the others.

  • Heather Collier says:

    Thank you 🙂

  • Ann says:

    To make this without the bread machine, how much time should be needed for rising? Does it just need to rise once or twice? I’ve had luck with a plain white bread, but it’s time consuming because it has to rise two separate times.

  • Melanie says:

    I was thinking of your post when I read in my breadmaker book that cinnamon is not a friend of yeast and that it breaks down the structure of the bread in the maker. Perhaps that was the problem!

  • AngelaE says:

    This is SOOO funny! I actually logged on here to check and see if I did anything wrong! Well, other than select “quick bread” instead of “dough”. I thought the dough looked really dry and wondered if I needed more liquid but, perhaps the higher heat, used to bake the quick bread instead of the lower heat used just to rise baked my bread instead of just rising the dough! AHHHH….

    As I type this, my second dough cycle is running. I did add about a tablespoon or 2 of extra water since it looked so dry last time.

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