Friday, November 03, 2006

Roll Out


Have you ever tried to make rolls? Like, other than the kind that comes in a cardboard tube? I mean, I thought popping the tube was hard, but that was until I tried making them from scratch. See, it turns out that making rolls isn't just like making teeny bread loaves. It involves extra stretching, steaming and, you guessed it, rolling. In my case, it also involves shattering glass.

As I mentioned yesterday, instead of going home this Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I are putting together a little urbanite meal. I've never really been a great cook, and I'm definitely not one of those people who can just whip up a savory meal out of whatever's left in the fridge, because what's usually left in my fridge is mustard and expired yogurt. What I am really good at is following rules, so I figured I would be perfectly suited for baking. I bought a some flour, yeast, and Nick Malgieri's book, How to Bake, and a couple of rustic loaves later I was feeling pretty confident. Buy rolls for Thanksgiving? Not necessary.

In keeping with my Virgo tendencies, I decided to execute a few practice runs for the big day. According to the recipe, before baking the risen rolls, you're supposed to heat up a pan in the oven and pour in a cup of water to create steam -- I guess this is to make sure the rolls don't have any gunk in their pores. I set my pan on the lowest rack, closed the door, and returned to my recipe book study the remaining steps. A few minutes later I returned to the oven with a cup of water, and per Malgieri's directions, turned my face away as I began to pour. In the next instant there was an enormous crash, and as the cloud of steam cleared I saw my lasagna pan shattered into hundreds of red-hot shards. Riiiight. That whole hot glass/cold water/shattering thing.

My next batch turned out markedly better, if only because they were hot shard-free. The only problem was, had I thrown one at a window, I could have recreated the shattering effect once again. But at least the pieces wouldn't be so hot this time.

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