I made a new mistake baking the other day. It led me to consider the steps we take in fixing a new mistake.
- Recognize the mistake’s outcome. (In this case, I noticed the dough was behaving strangely during kneading.)
- Determine the cause of the mistake. (In this case, I walked through every step of the bread I made 44 times last year, and concluded I had forgotten to tare the scale before adding milk, thus adding 4 oz. less milk than usual.)
- Rectify the mistake. (I added 4 oz. of milk to the dough as it kneaded.)
It takes all three of the steps to fix a mistake. Specific situations make one or another of these steps the most difficult. (Sometimes, it’s hard to see a mistake being made. Other times it’s hard to conclude the root cause. Still other times, it’s near impossible to fix the mistake after the fact.) If any of the three are impossible to complete, we have to learn the lessons we can from our mistake and prevent the it from continuing to happen.