A Year in Bread is a fantastic website dedicated to baking bread. Three bakers provide recipes and gentle teasing of each other over each recipe. It makes bread baking accessible. I've been neglecting to make any bread from the website lately because the heat and humidity are overwhelming. We have no air conditioning and my baking is limited by my families tolerance to heat.
Besides, since I followed the recipe for Bacon Buns from the website I've run out of bacon fat.
But I haven't run out of stories and since A Year in Bread is asking for bread stories here is one of my first experiences with bread baking.
I have been baking bread, well experimenting for a long time. My parents indulged my cooking experiments with the hope that each experiment would be better than the previous one. The first bread recipe I remember trying was for pita bread. How I even came across the recipe is a mystery. I had never seen a pita. Nonetheless, the recipe seemed very clear and I worked my way through the directions.
Everything was going swimmingly. The dough seemed easy enough to work. In the oven the bread cooked beautifully and puffed with hot air. When I took them out of the oven, I piled them on a platter. It was a little difficult since they were still puffed and would skitter off each other. Naively I thought they would eventually deflate. I left the platter in the middle of the table for everyone to admire.
My father came home and looked at the pile of puffy pita and said "What is that?" The pitas never flattened. They were still a high pile of hollow pita footballs. By this time the pitas were crispy and hard just like delicate hollowed out Easter eggs.
My pitas may have been a storage nightmare but if you carefully burrowed a hole in one without shattering it, they were easy to fill.