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Bread & Pastries/Crust for pecan bars too hard



I made the pecan squares from
and the crust around the edges were hard, although the center was fine. For this recipe, I've probably had to let the dessert cook an additional 12-15 minutes (I lowered the temperature 25 degrees after 8 min) from what is stated in the recipe. I was using a butter knife inserted into the center to test for doneness.

I took a pic,, and you can see the dark, hard areas, and the lighter, softer areas. The filling, the top of the dessert, and the center all turned out fine. Was this caused by overcooking, or could the filling have spilled over and under the edges, and caused the crust to harden?



Well...I looked at the recipe, and I looked at the picture of your results.

I'm a little confused here.

Did you bake the crust first by itself as directed????

And then if so, did you spread the filling and cover with pecans afterwards and re-bake?

Your squares appear to have a "cover". The recipe shows pecans on the top. step at a time.

I would first go back, arrange all of my ingredients exactly as shown for both the filling and the crust.

make absolutely sure your oven is up to temperature before baking the crust! This is important.

Take another run at this recipe, which appears to be just fine, this time paying particular attention to the crust consistency and the oven temperature.

I see no reason, of course without having the ability to look over your shoulder, for this recipe not to work.

And of course in baking, we tend to rush and miss a step, which in baking, can be a disaster.

Let's try this again and get back to me.

Hint: separate the directions for the crust and the filling. Sometimes, and I've been guilty of this, we read off the wrong page!

Make sure you understand the baking instructions for the crust. If you get the crust right, the rest should be a piece of cake...or in this case...pecan square.

Let me know how you do!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


The pecan squares I made looked like the ones on the website, but I  flipped them over to take a picture of the problem areas. The oven I use is a regular conventional oven, but it goes over 50 degrees from what I set it at. I found a post online by an appliance tech, saying that this was normal, so I didn't bother trying to adjust it.

I followed the recipe, except I did the initial baking of the crust for 8 minutes instead of 10. I had made this one other time before with the same results, so I was hoping less time in the oven would change that. I looked at the pic again, and it just looks like the filling seeped over and under the sides of the crust. There are shiny spots in the hard crust, and sort of a crater where the hard crust meets the soft crust. I uploaded a bigger pic with these areas circled:

If the filling spilling over is the problem, how do you stop it? I see that I forgot to mention it, but I had to use a 8 inch square pan instead of a 9 inch one. I tried to buy another 9" square pan, but strangely, none seem to be made anymore in glass in that size.



Ok...I was wondering about the that makes sense.

I would throttle back a bit on the wet ingredients and see how that goes. When I say a bit...I mean just that! Maybe by 5%.

With regard the the over...50 degree difference is not normal. In the future, I would relay on a good oven thermometer and not guess work.

Baking is funny...You really can't do a pinch of this or that in baking. Once a formula works, it is very important to stick to the rules. In commercial baking, we don't even use volume, we use weight.

I think I'll try your recipe myself and see how it goes...that will be fun!

Stay in touch. We will get through this!

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Ralph Onesti


Anything to do with yeasted doughs: First off...Please do not include sensitive material and please do not set your question to "private". answers may benefit someone else with the same problem. Breads: sourdough, levain, rye, brioche, laminated doughs, French doughs, straight dough, enriched doughs, danish, etc.


I grew up in the pastry business in South Philadelphia many years ago. I trained with the best in bread baking artisan style loaves.

Bread Baker's Guild of America

Trained with the family in the family business, and award winning bread artisans

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