September 03, 2010

Mark Bittman's Grilled Lebanese Flatbread

I've wanted to make bread all summer, since I tried my friend P's no-knead bread and fell in love. But with the whole wedding thing happening, I hadn't had the brain space to accommodate baking until I saw Mark Bittman's new Minimalist video about Grilled Lebanese Flatbread. It looked pretty easy, so I gave it a try.

See this? This is a perfectly good mixture of yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water that I managed to convince myself I had messed up. I hadn't, but was about to because I had grabbed the powdered sugar canister instead of the flour canister and was fixin' to add three cups of it.

See this? This contains the same exact ingredients, but is a second batch because I am extremely paranoid when it comes to baking. Next, I actually managed to add flour and not powdered sugar.

I became very attached to my dough, checking on it a bit obsessively just to make sure that it was doing what it was supposed to. I kind of felt like a first-time parent, convinced that everyone else must be on to the fact that I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.

After about an hour, my little dough was all grown (or risen) up and ready to be turned into bread. Am I creeping you out yet with my attachment to this bread? Because everyone at T's house thought I was a little nuts when I wouldn't stop talking about it and worrying that I was getting the timing wrong.

Rolling the dough was really therapeutic. And don't worry, I do have a thumb on my right hand.

Remember how I said I was paranoid? I stacked each piece of dough on waxed paper so they wouldn't stick to each other. I also decided to improvise a little and, in addition to brushing each piece of flatbread with olive oil, I added some salt, pepper, and crushed rosemary.

I may or may not have stood over the bread for every second it was cooking. And don't be alarmed by the creatures in the upper left; they're chicken breasts.

It's bread! And I made it! From scratch! Thanks, Mark Bittman. You continue to be my hero.

Also, it's less than a month until the wedding. This means that I've reached the fantastic place in my life where I can scream "I'm getting married in less than a month!" to anyone who asks me to do anything unrelated to the wedding. This is an important threshold to have crossed. to scrape, sand, paint, weed, dig, paint some more, and try to convince a rental company to let me use their tents, tables, and chairs for free.

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