When the Whisk hits the Paddle – Duck!


            It was as if I was watching a film in slow-motion. I was creaming butter and sugar together while streaming the eggs into it, when the whisk that I used to pre-whip the eggs fell into the bowl with the paddle beating at medium-high speed. Do you know how in the movies when scenes are in slow-motion and a character screams “Noo!” but the sound is deep and muffled just like in a vacuum? …Exactly. I heard my KitchenAid’s (KA) motor expel a horrible grating noise, saw the whisk straining against the paddle as I reached to slide the power-switch off, and then saw the same whisk go catapulting across the kitchen island as my freaked-out cat scampered for cover. 


I was pretty sure my mouth was agape as I stared stupidly at my mixer, a jumble of notions racing through my mind. Did I just fry the motor of my KA? Is the whisk salvageable? What if the whisk flew at me, would it have taken out an eye? Law of physics dictated though, that the projectile’s path would have been low and could have at most struck my shoulder (I could probably figure that out with some geeky kinetic equation but I do not know the velocity of the mixer’s speed). But really, the nagging thought was how I could have been so careless as to let it happen. What happened to common sense? How simply logical could it be to remove the whisk from the bowl of eggs before pouring them in? It was a classic “Duh” moment.

Kitchen Safety 101:  Be respectful of a mixer in use. It may look innocent and self-contained. But I could count the times when a glass bowl almost fell into it or how my fingers nearly got caught in its planetary motion. Scary. But do I learn? Never! Maybe now, a little paranoia will be good.

Of course there was also some explaining to be done when I presented the “Hungry” Hubby with the mangled whisk for some fixing.  I could easily have found an excuse and said that the whisk fell from the pot rack (coincidentally we kept them above the mixer) but my “white-lying” abilities were kind of absent that morning.

I was a bit alarmed as I started the KA again; I heard a rattling sound that reminded me of an old car trying to drive across the Nevada dessert. I thought for sure I needed a new machine but it turned out that the force of the “whisk vs. paddle” dislodged the bowl from its snap-on position.

All that excitement was due to the Daring Baker’s Challenge of the month: Cinnamon/sticky buns, hosted by the lovely Marce of Pip in the City. After the “incident”, I thought that surely all will be smooth sailing from henceforth.

I “made” my dough (not really knowing how it was suppose to look like) and left it to ferment as the instructions said. After an hour or so I checked on my yeasty blob. It did not budge. I re-read the instructions and it dawned on me that there was a difference between instant (rapid-rise) and plain active yeast! The instant could be added directly to a mixture to leaven it while the latter needed to be mixed with warm liquid first.

Guess which one I used?

Luckily, I had a packet of instant yeast, so I threw out my first dough and started all over again. (I later found out from Lisa, that active would have still worked but it would have probably taken twice as long to rise).

So, what I thought was going to be a breakfast of cinnamon buns was looking more like an afternoon snack.

I hated proceeding into a project without all the facts, especially after this setback, so I decided to read up about bread since I do intend making more yeasted products in the future anyway. Before my second attempt, I got out my copy of Bread Baker’s Apprentice to see if I could glean more information about how kneaded this dough had to be.

I did find interesting information. You could check if gluten development is sufficient by employing the windowpane test, also known as the membrane test. This could be achieved by stretching out a piece of dough carefully until it will hold a translucent membrane without tearing. Notice in the picture below that I had a slight tear at the corner, all I needed was to knead it for about 2 minutes more after that.


My dough took around two and half hours to rise. It rolled out unevenly – it was very soft- and I lost most of my cinnamon sugar as I shaped it into a log. I decided to forego sticky buns because the hubby and I were not too fond of anything overly sweet. The buns were baked in the oven for about 25 minutes until they turned golden brown. I prepared a fraction of the required white fondant glaze and waved them on playfully to decorate the buns. Then I tasted it – hmm -it was a little dry. I was a bit disappointed because they smelled so good. I immediately thought of two things that might have caused this. One, the obvious reason of baking it too long and two, I really should have used all that cinnamon sugar because they do add moisture.


When the hubby took the buns to his office, his colleagues liked them and said that it was very good. So maybe it was because I ate the corner ones which, according to Helen, could be less moist.

This was an incredible challenge. Finally finding a reason to figure out the difference between active and instant yeast was worth the trouble of having to redo the dough. There are a lot of cinnamon/sticky bun creations by my fellow Daring Bakers so go check them out here. Marce should have the recipe up on her site.


46 thoughts on “When the Whisk hits the Paddle – Duck!

  1. TEARS! I have tears streaming down my face.. hearing that story a 2nd time was even better than the first. Poor Pashmi. hahahahahaaaa!!

    Your buns are gorgeous – all of them! 😉

    Terrific post, Sis!


  2. Veron, even after all the hardship with the KA, your buns still turned out perfect!

    And I love the photo of the window test! It captures so well the spirit of bread making.

  3. I am so glad your KA is still in tip top shape, I would die without mine! Hilarious post and perfect buns, a job very well done. (I did not intend to rhyme, it just worked out that way.)

  4. Veron I just don't know what to say. You poured that whisk into the bowl of your KA while it was running. What will we do next! That was just the best lead in to beautiful cinnamon rolls ever. Yes, I thought the rolls were a little dry and I even used brown sugar in mine.
    You got beautiful buns.

  5. Well you weren't the only one with yeast misadventures if that makes you feel any better. They look super tasty though, and I'm really glad you (and the cat) weren't hurt by the flying mangled whisk. Respect to the KA mixer.

  6. Ouch! I had my mouth open in shock reading the first part of this, I was SOOO afraid the KA would have broken! Thank goodness it was ok! Sorry about the whisk though! 🙂 But the buns look wonderful 🙂

  7. I guess I wasn't the only one who wasn't paying enough attention in the kitchen while making the cinnamon buns! Good to hear the Kitchenaid is still working, that would have brought me to tears much faster than being hit by a flying whisk or something like that…

  8. So that whisk tells the whole story. I do have to say I winced because I have COMPLETE respect for my Big Bertha sized KA. And on the yeast issue. Yes. Funny how that package on Rapid-Rise has it's own set of directions, though…They're all just trying to see if we're paying attention! Now, I've never done the window test, so I'll have to give that one a shot just for hoots and giggles. Beautiful buns, BTW. Seriously.

  9. OMG, your poor whisk. Your post is too funny! I'm glad that your KA is alright. My cinnamon buns were great the first day, but they got a bit dry on day 2.

  10. Veron, you are going on my list too….along with Kelly-Pea, Lis (who was the first member), and Tanna… the "don't read while drinking/eating/before you pee" list. How hysterical you are! Glad you didn't fry the KA but did the whisk survive??!!

    So glad to have you as a Daring Baker Sistah!! Great job this month and we'll have you living breathing yeast yet!!

  11. Yep, yep, I find the corner rolls rather dry too. The second time I baked them, I tried to crowd the rolls a little more and they turned out quite chewy and moist 🙂

  12. Whew … as long as the mixer survived, all is well! And you've learned about yeast, which will make all of your baking easier. And best of all, you got to eat the buns!

  13. So did you frame the ceiling art or actually clean it up? Think of the personality your kitchen ceiling would have! 🙂
    Your buns look great!

  14. Dang you were not kidding! In case of a question, the KA always win. I am notorious for living towels on burners..while they are on (oops, honey, I ust just burned down the house).
    Your buns look fantastic! Magnifique!

  15. Your buns look great Veron! KA hiccup nonwithstanding 😉 I have had my share of KA dramas…once, while the paddle was up (not in the bowl position) I mistakenly toggled the lever to turn it on instead of the one to put it down into the bowl! The paddle whipped cake batter all over me and my kitchen!

  16. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my buns ;D , everyone! Just to let you all know, the "Hungry" hubby was able to resuscitate the whisk and it's as good as new.

  17. Oh my goodness, Veron! First off, I am very happy to hear that after the whisk incident, both you and your KA are still functioning properly. Bless your heart…those kinds of kitchen mishaps always get me majorly frazzled! Second, it looks like even after all of that mayhem, your cinnamon rolls turned out beautifully…yay! They look great!

  18. Well you get the award for most dramatic buns, my dear. I also accidentally employed the 'wrong' yeast, but I think the proofing setting on my oven was a huge help in the rising process. Perfect windowpane; beautiful buns!

  19. Maybe you should add safety goggles to your baking gear, hee hee.

    I didn't know about the membrane test. I feel like I should purchase this book!

  20. KAs are built to last. 😀 That poor whisk was not so lucky. 😦 Your buns look great! I bet the interior ones were moist and fluffy.

  21. oh my god, that´s hilarious but it sure sounds scary! but the buns do look terrific. About the dryness, maybe cooking them a bit less and letting them rise less could work. The sticky buns are moister but they do have way more butter in them.

  22. Veron,
    Great Buns! Sorry to hear about your whisk and I'm just glad nothing worse happened. I love the window test picture too – wish I had known that fact too as like you, I had no idea what consistency the dough should be. I liked this challenge too and glad you did as well!

  23. When I saw the pic of your whisk, I was wondering how on earth did it managed to get so mangled till I read your story. 🙂 Sorry I had to laugh because my imagination was running wild while reading your story. I think I would have run and hide underneath the table and called hubby for help. You are brave to reach for the switch. 🙂

  24. My rolls seemed dry, too, but my favorite pieces are the "butt" ends of the log. They got better as the days went by, surprisingly. After your mentioned that book, I might have to buy it. I have been trying to perfect pizza dough with so-so results. Your photos are lovely, too. Wendy

  25. Oh thank god your Kitchenaid is alright. Whisks can be replaced, but Kitchenaids are to be prized and protected. Your buns look beautiful though, so it was all worth it!

  26. This is what I like about being a DBer – everyone has a different experience which is so interesting. I also lost some cinnamon sugar when I rolled mine up. Your buns do look quite nice though. 🙂

  27. Oh, this happened to me not too long ago. I thought I was alone in my “how on EARTH did that happen?”. I left the wood-handled spatula in the mixer (ours is an ancient SunBeam from… the 60’s? 70’s?) and forgot to take it out when I turned the mixer back on again. It whirred around one and a half times before the spatula handle got caught and bent my blades out of shape. They weren’t even the whisk attachments. And they were WAY beyond repair. It was weeks before I could use it again because we had to order a new set of mixer blades. I continued to mix my cake–in a state of shock–by hand. It turned out well, though.

    Your kitchen ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. I never knew about the window pane test! I have a chronic fear of working with yeast but this post has aroused my curiosity about that little bacteria again.

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