The Simple Recipe Failure The Pioneer Woman Actually Admits To

Chef, author, blogging extraordinaire, and Food Network mainstay Ree Drummond famously known as the Pioneer Woman is an expert in the kitchen. From baked ziti to chicken salad sandwiches and other down-to-earth recipes, the Pioneer Woman passes most culinary tests with flying colors. However, she's not immune to mistakes — especially when it comes to bread.

Although some bread recipes are accessible to the average baker and call for only a handful of ingredients, like our six-ingredient white bread, some bread recipes are complex and difficult to hack. In an interview with EatingWell, Drummond candidly revealed, "I am terrible at bread. Baking, making homemade bread. Very bad at it. Embarrassingly bad." She even said that most of the batches she makes result in failure.

Despite her admission, there are some Pioneer Woman original bread recipes on her website. However, more intricate bread creations, such as flavored focaccia or sourdough, call for the expertise of guest chefs and writers on Drummond's website.

Why baking bread can be complicated

It might sound shocking that a master of the kitchen like Ree Drummond can't bake a quality loaf of bread, but baking a well-rounded batch of any kind of bread isn't always a shoo-in, even for the best of chefs. Bread-making involves working dough with your hands, which requires specific handling techniques. Kneading the dough to develop gluten and achieve proper texture can be physically demanding, especially for beginners. It takes time and practice to master the art of kneading, shaping, and manipulating the dough effectively. 

Working with yeast is no easy feat, either. It requires an understanding of how to activate and control yeast fermentation for proper rising and flavor development. Factors like temperature, hydration, and proofing times can impact the final result. As Drummond told the outlet, "I make a really good loaf of bread every 13 attempts, I would say. The rest of them are okay, and there are a couple that are actually really bad."

Finally, breadmaking requires precise measurements and strict adherence to the recipe. Unlike cooking, where some flexibility exists, bread-making is a science that relies on accurate measurements and techniques. Deviating from the recipe, especially for beginners, may result in a crummy loaf of bread (pun intended). So even though there are some simple bread recipes out there, don't fret if you can't get the hang of making fancier bread — even Ree Drummond struggles with it.