This Was Duff Goldman's Biggest Baking Disaster

Pastry chef and television personality Duff Goldman has appeared on countless culinary-focused programs, from the reality television show that launched his career "Ace of Cakes" to the judging gigs he has on shows like "Holiday Baking Championship" (via IMDb). However, even the experts occasionally make mistakes in the kitchen, and Goldman has one particular error that he considers his biggest baking disaster.

Though you might assume the mishap occurred on the set of one of the shows he's on, or perhaps at a live appearance, it actually dates all the way back to when Goldman was in culinary school, as he dished to Food Network. It all started when a particular honor was bestowed on the pastry chef to be — since Goldman was known for being quite skilled with bread, he was asked to remain after class in order to bake the bread needed for a big conference being held for the American Culinary Federation. Though Goldman may not have received extra credit for the task (he didn't specify when recounting the disaster), it was definitely an acknowledgement of his culinary prowess.

So, the baker got to work crafting a variety of loaves in different shapes, really using the opportunity to showcase his skills. "I was showing off a little bit, but I'm a chef — we like to do that," Goldman joked with Food Network. Even from his culinary instructor's perspective, the loaves Goldman produced were stunning — there was just one major issue.

One crucial ingredient ignored, countless loaves ruined

The loaves that Duff Goldman produced to impress all the guests attending the American Culinary Federation conference were visually incredible, showing off all his skills with shaping and working with bread dough (via Food Network). There was just one major ingredient that Goldman somehow overlooked, which became obvious the minute he took a bite and tasted one of the loaves — salt.

The New York Times names salt as the single most important ingredient in the kitchen, and apparently Goldman's culinary instructor (and Goldman himself) agreed. Though it's a bonus if bread looks beautiful, it has to taste good as well, and Goldman was forced to bake all the bread for the conference again, starting from scratch. Talk about a disaster!

With something like bread, which has so few ingredients, every ingredient matters and makes a difference in the overall quality and taste of the end product. Salt in particular is crucial for two reasons. The first, and simplest, is flavor — though slightly sweeter breads that have the addition of milk, sugar, or butter in the dough may do okay without salt, most breads will be "flat, bland, and somewhat papery" without the simple seasoning, according to Baking Bites. The other key reason is the rise — salt gives the gluten in bread dough a bit of extra time to strengthen and develop, which helps create a better crust and crumb in the loaf.