Can This Bread Be Saved?


When I was a 7th grade language arts teacher (yes, small bit of trivia about me–I am, or at least was in the state of Texas, certified to teach English/language arts and history/all social studies subjects–including ones I don’t really understand like economics–in grades 6-12…I also have a B.A. in English with a minor in history–I went back later to get my teaching certifications through a master’s program–should I mention the summa cum laude? SHUT UP, SUZANNE–but what good IS IT if I never mention it?? cuz, like no one cares otherwise–NO ONE CARES STILL, SUZANNE–sheesh, all that studying….), I used to give an assignment called Fortunately, Unfortunately. The goal was for the students to write a good thing, then a bad thing, then a good thing, and so on. (I seriously cannot remember the point of this exercise. But it was always fun.) I saved a few of my favorite student samples. This one was written by a girl named Lauren.

The Hair

Kensey just got a new hair cut and she fixed it perfect for school. Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because after gym it was sweaty and messy.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because she had a few minutes after gym to take a shower.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because the bell rang while she was still in the shower.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because she was able to pull it into a quick ponytail.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because when she was in the hall, someone yelled, “Your clothes are soaking wet!” and Kensey was so embarrassed.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because when she looked in her locker, she found a jacket to put on.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s GREAT!

The End

Thirteen-year-olds crack me up.

I thought about this assignment yesterday when I was enduring what seemed to be an endless series of (mostly trivial) ups and downs. And maybe that is at least one point of that assignment, if not the actual academic point. There’s a good life point to it.

I bake bread at least every other day, sometimes daily. Yesterday, I had just put two loaves of bread into loaf pans for the second rise when I had to leave the house for a few minutes to pick up Morgan.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because I have a pretty good instinct after all these years of bread-baking about how long it will take to rise, taking into account that day’s temperature in the house. I know if I have time to go somewhere while it’s rising and get back before it’s over-risen.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because on my way to pick her up, my car broke down.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because I had my new cell phone with me.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because my phone was dead. I forgot to charge it and I don’t have a car charger.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because there was a house right across the road.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because they weren’t home and it’s a hike to the next house on this road.

Oh, that’s bad! No, that’s good because at least this was a main road. Two men stopped and offered to go to their house where they could call 52 for me and get help.

Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad because by the time I got help, got Morgan, and got back home (without my vehicle, which was still sitting back there by the side of the road), my two loaves of bread looked like this:
Oh, that’s bad! I KNOW. See what it looked like when I moved the loaf pans:
But–no, that’s good! It was a perfect opportunity to conduct a baking experiment to see if this bread could be saved–punch the loaves down, reshape them, and attempt to give the dough a not-what-I-would-recommend third rise.
Oh, that’s good!

No, that’s……
……GREAT. Look how these two loaves of bread turned out! (Nice and tall, good texture and everything. Yes, this bread could be saved!)
P.S. Morgan’s middle school team (Walton) won the CWVAC volleyball championship! Go, girls! First time in 13 years for this school. (It’s hard to be a small school and compete with larger schools. These girls have all learned to be fabulously cheerful losers, but this weekend they got to win!)
P.P.S. My cousin is going to fix my car today, which is also GREAT. (What happened was that the belt broke. Like I know what I’m talking about.)
P.P.P.S. The October Chickens in the Road Newsletter will be going out in a few days. If you’re not on the list, go here for information on how to subscribe and you can also take a dip into the newsletter archives to see what you’re signing up for.
P.P.P.P.S. Over a thousand of you participated in the poll (wow!) and our little bottle cap (fainting goat buckling) has a name! See what it is here.


  1. SkippyMom says:

    I don’t usually comment, just lurk, but wanted to give a GREATBIGSHOUTOUT! to Morgan and her teammates for the WIN! Nice. :woof:

  2. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Good Morning, Suzanne!

    Congratulations to Morgan on their victory! I thought they played well the other evening when I went to the game with you and Weston. They were ahead in both games and then let the games slip away from them. I bet the team was really excited when they won the tournament! Go, Tigers!

    Your bread looks yummy! I am starving just looking at it!

    Have a great day!


  3. CindyP says:

    That paper brings back memories… oh junior high writing!

    That bread still looks GORGEOUS!!!!!! Yay!!!

    :shimmy: CONGRATULATIONS, MORGAN :shimmy: WAY TO GO GIRLS :shimmy: Even though you’ve learned to be a good loser (which is a very good personal trait, btw!), it’s great to be on the winning end!

  4. Brenda says:

    Congrats to Morgan and her teammates. Way to go!! What awesome news. :dancingmonster:

  5. sewhorsey says:

    Good morning!

    I came home from dinner out to find lovely loaf of second-rise bread looking like a molten monster. It had flung itself partially out of the loaf pan and was making its way across the kitchen floor towards the great unknown. I had the same dilemna that you just wrote about…I was too afeared to re-knead and give it a third rise, so I just snuck up behind the thing an flipped the dropped dough flaps back on top and tossed it into the oven. It was a miracle!! In the end I had a lovely loaf of bread.

    Have a lovely day! Amy

  6. Janean says:

    So are ya gonna triple rise your bread from now on?
    As an English teacher, I thought you would enjoy “ya” and “gonna.” That’s bad. No, it’s good because I am reminded to not toss out every ounce of education that was poured into me by hard working teachers!

  7. Amy says:

    The link to vote for you isn’t working this morning! Maybe it’s just me?

  8. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Good morning and WTG MORGAN!!!

    That bread looks delicious and it’s good to know it can be saved. I’m sure it will happen to me soon enough because I have been baking a lot of grandmother bread!

    I watched you get bumped into second place this morning when I voted! WTG SUZANNE!!!!

  9. Cheryl in Sunny Cal (Calhoun Co.) says:

    Way to go Morgan! Way to go Suzanne – you’re movin’ on up on the Good Mood Gig!!!

  10. Chic says:

    :hungry2: What a great way to start the day….WAY TO GO MORGAN!!!!!! 😀 Suzanne that was a wonderful start to my day…now I just need to feed my donkey let the chickens out and get a cup of coffee and think about all the good/bad/good things that will happen today! You’re bread looked wonderful…you’re kids and 52 are SO LUCKY!!! Have a great day :hug:

  11. pam says:

    Oh, I learned you can save bread. That’s good.

  12. Joycee says:

    You are so right, you can punch them down again with good results. The first time I made Grandmother bread I got busy and forgot I had bread rising on the counter…the next time I looked it had oozed over the top of the pans and was spilling out like a science experiment! I punched it down and put it back in the loaf pans to rise again, crossing my fingers. It turned out great and the sourdough version is the BEST recipe. Thanks Suzanne for making us all bread bakers again!
    joy c. at grannymountain

  13. Karen says:

    Congratulations to Morgan for the win, and to Suzanne for what looks like mouth-wateringly delicious bread. :snoopy: I’ve had a similar experience, except in my case I put too much water in the recipe, and when it rose it slopped all over the place when I wasn’t looking. It, too, turned out to be some of the best bread I ever made. I guess you can’t screw up bread. :happyflower:

    Fortunately/Unfortunately sounds like a classic storytelling technique. Maybe that’s why you had students doing the exercise? Love the one about the haircut.

  14. Leah says:

    What a hectic day you had.That’s too bad.But it’s good your bread turned out great.WTG Morgan V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! :happyfeet: Your little goat got the name I voted for,too. Which reminds me I still need to go vote for you. Youre movin up on the list :fairy:

  15. Heidi says:

    What a day for you! But yay for saving bread. And a huge congratulations to Morgan and her team.

    Did you see that you have moved up to second in the voting?

  16. Mama Pea says:

    Your post illustrates how important it is (and what a HUGE difference it makes!) to keep a positive outlook on life. The happenings of your day yesterday could have been turned into the most terrible, awful, very bad, poor me day, but because of the way you choose to look at life, you undoubtedly came through it a hay of a lot better and sure gave all of us a chirky start to our day today.

    I’m gonna bake rye bread today and I’d be pickled tink to have it over-rise! (As all of us rye bread lovers know, getting it to rise is a real challenge.)

  17. Moey says:

    13-yr-old girls and ex-romance-writers crack me up. :pirate:

  18. Letha says:

    Your bread looks so good! I am going to have to try to make your bread! Congratulations Morgan! I have a volleyball girl as well. I love to watch them. Have a great day!

  19. Ms E says:

    You’re gaining ground in the votes!!!!

  20. trish says:

    I am going to go try my hand at bread again. Those loaves are beautiful!!

    You appear to be second in the SAM E contest. Keep reminding everyone to vote. The women ahead of you has quite a lead, but you started late, and look how far you’ve come!!! When my son and husband get home tonight, I will MAKE them vote! No bread until you vote. lol

    Voting for you and rooting for you!!!! I really want you to win. Going out today to get some SAM E. Menopause is killing my good mood.

  21. Ulrike says:

    Yay, little Pibb!

  22. Mary in Memphis says:

    I think something was going on with the atmosphere yesterday as my two loaves of bread didn’t rise at all. They baked okay and tasted fine but I was disappointed in the size. Congrats on Morgan’s team victory and happy for you that repairs are forthcoming.

  23. Stargirl says:

    Suzanne! I have been voting every day and checking the progress whenever I do. You are in SECOND PLACE! HOLY CRAP THAT’S AWESOME!!! WE CAN DO THIS!

  24. Connie says:

    Just love your blog and recipes, etc. For some reason lately, the typed section of your blog just barely shows up against the background. I can mostly just see the pictures. Type too light, background too dark. Don’t have that happening on any other blogs. Anyone else seeing what I am?

  25. Jo says:

    :snoopy: You’re going to win!!!! You’re gaining!!!! :woof: :snoopy:

  26. Shirley says:

    I liked the looks of your Pear Galatte, so I made it Saturday substituting apples and cinnamon for pears and nutmeg. It turned out fine except I forgot to put the cheese in the bottom.

    So does that keep it from being a galatte? Basically, it ended up being an apple pie.

    • Suzanne says:

      No, what makes it a galette is folding the pie crust over the filling rather than shaping it out as a pie crust (not related to the cheese at all).

      • Louise says:

        Hi suzanne
        the bread looks fantastic!
        i have found that you can rise bread up to 4 times with no problems, in fact it seems better the more you let it go up and down with just a quick knead in between. The only problem is of course the hungry mouths waiting….

  27. Missy says:

    And it was delicious!!!

  28. Donna says:

    So cool, how you saved this PRETTY, DELISCIOUS bread!!! YUM

  29. Donna says:

    P.S. – save me a piece of that fried chicken! :shimmy:

  30. TXLady says:

    So I remembered this post and came looking for it since I just did exactly the same thing. I made bread and set it to rise and a neighbor stopped by and we had coffee and chatted…and then I remembered my bread…so I came looking for this post to see what you decided because I didn’t remember….My bread is in for a third rise.

  31. Sheila says:

    Sort of reminds me of a segment on Zoom LOL

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