When a novice baker views herself as above recipe instructions and exempt from kitchen accessory requirements, this is what happens:
After skimming the recipe for Honey Cinnamon Pound Cake in The Fearless Baker, a recipe that called for a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, I rummaged through the cabinets and could only find a 7 1/2 by 4-inch pan.
With this pretentious naivety I’ve seemed to adopt as a baking neophyte, I assumed that the dimensions of my pan would hardly affect the recipe’s outcome. Besides, who are the authors of The Fearless Baker (very lovely people, btw) to order me around and tell me to find a pan fitting to their rigidly specified standards?!? I KNOW what I’m doing, okay?
Alas, it was not okay. I did not know what I was doing, for the smaller loaf pan I used failed to properly contain the cake batter as it baked. Also, I neglected a simple solution my pan-size problem. I filled the pan to the brim with batter, rather than filling it halfway or a bit more. Thus, my cake was gooey in the middle until I baked it for MANY more minutes. By the time my skewer came out clean, the cake was very well-done on top. Sigh.
I suppose my pound cake debacle serves as a lesson in slowing down as I read recipes and actually adhering to their requirements/instructions, rather than viewing them as tyrannical rules (am I exaggerating here?) that my instincts tell me to disobey.