As my re-introduction to the kitchen (and blogging) after our vacation to Decatur, Ill., I decided to make bread. My friend Richie recommended this bread book that he swears by. Now, I already have a baking book and a couple of cookbooks that have breads in them, but this book is revolutionary! The authors' idea was to have homemade bread daily without working on it for hours. In fact, it's called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." Of course, that doesn't include rise and baking time, but you don't have to knead (!) and the way that it takes mere minutes to throw together is because you make a huge batch and refrigerate it! You can pull four loaves from that base over the course of two weeks. You need to invest time on day 1 to make the dough, but there is no blooming or kneading or anything. It's fabulous. Really, anything that Richie recommends is guaranteed to be fabulous. The guy is a Renaissance man. He lives in a yurt! That he built!
I opted to start with the European Peasant Loaf. It's chewy and light and lovely. You use steam for this particular loaf, so you have to put a pan in there, like I have done before. No big deal. So, without really thinking it through, I grab what it closest: a Pyrex. I see if it will fit in the tight space between the racks and, hey, leave it in there while the oven heats to 450. I then pull it out to pour in the boiling water because ... I am the dumbest girl on the planet! Please note that boiling water is 212 and the oven was 450. What happens when there is a 200 degree difference between glass and water?
Well, it pops and then falls all over the place. I managed to only let out a little scream of shock. It was a good thing I took the Pyrex out of the oven to fill. Normally, I would have slid it out of the oven just a bit to pour in the water. That would have meant glass in the oven and all over the floor. As it turned out, I had it on the range. Thank goodness my burners are sealed. But, man, those shards went everywhere.
I had freshly made banana bread sitting next to the range, too. I picked off a couple shards, but refused to throw it away because it was really good banana bread! I made the right decision because neither Josh nor I have a torn esophagus.