Now you’re probably not going to believe me, Pranksters, when I tell you that I occasionally bake. You’ve seen what happens when I try to cook (see also here and here) and we all know that while I’d like to PRETEND that what happened in those blog posts were just for show, they weren’t. Sadly.

But once or twice a year, I forget that I can ruin Jello and decide to bake something. This year, it was my mom’s famous Christmas bread.

Round about September, I got all, “IMMA MAKE HOMEMADE BREAD, BITCHES.”

Stop laughing.

I mean it.

Ass.

I carefully mixed up all of the ingredients. I even followed the recipe rather than throwing a bunch of shit into a pan like they do in those cooking shows.

(I learned the hard way that this is not, in fact, how one cooks)

I threw it into a bowl, after I beat the fuck out of it, and waited. I’d started in the mid-afternoon, my cobwebby-memory banks telling me that it took a couple of hours to actually rise. I waited. And waited. I watched some annoying cat videos. I waited some more. I shook my fist in fury at the three toys that randomly come to life and play music whenever the fuck they want, scaring the bejesus outta me.

Still, I waited.

By 6PM, a full five hours after I’d lovingly placed the dough in the bowl? Fuck nothing. It hadn’t moved a millimeter.

By 8PM, I got frustrated enough that I slapped it into a pan and was all, IMMA EAT THIS, YOU’RE GONNA EAT THIS, WE’RE ALL GONNA EAT THIS.

By 8:30, I admitted defeat. I pulled the bread from the oven, dumped it onto a baking rack and realized it could easily double as a brick (to throw through a window) or a paperweight (if people actually used such things). I tried to eat the thing, because I’m stubborn, but it was…it was not good.

A few weeks later, determined that it was, in fact, the YEAST that had fucked mah bread up, once again, I gathered up my ingredients, threw them together and practically sat there, trying to watch the bread rise.

It was like one of those optical illusions – if I looked at it with THAT eye, I could ALMOST see that the bread had moved. ALMOST.

After 8 hours (bonus points for being both stupid AND patient), I sadly accepted my fate: I would not be able to make this bread rise. Angrily I dumped the rock-solid hunks of dough, where, adding insult to injury, they succeeded in knocking over the garbage can.

Last week (or was it the week before), I picked up some frozen loaves of bread. I’m not certain if I was thinking, “Oooo! Bread!” or “Ooooo! Frozen weapon!” but I guess it doesn’t much matter. Same thing, if you ask the Atkins movement.

Yesterday, I dumbly was all, “IMMA MAKE SOME BREAD” because I’m still not on solid food. Fucking tooth socket.

So I pulled the frozen hunk of bread from the freezer and debated using it to kill someone. Seemed like a good idea at the time. In the end, tho, I merely threw it into a pan to “let it rise.” Which, after all that time making UN-risen bread, sounded like a conspiracy.

And um.

Woah.

I’m now strutting around, feeling all accomplished, until I remember that I didn’t actually participate in the actual assembly of the bread.

Which, as I’ve learned the hard way, is how it should be.

—————–

So, Pranksters, tell me something. Anything. I’m in the mood for some stories.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

29 Responses to (insert joke about unleavened bread)

  • wasnt_serious says:

    So here’s the story my sister always tells about my cooking. I was in the third or fourth grade and wanted to make dinner for the fam that night…what was I thinking? Easy peasy recipe from my 4-H cook book, pigs in a blanket. Mom said ok. She went to take a shower and I was left alone to assemble the dough. I knew that the eggs and milk should be in a bowl, but I didn’t know which one was the right one. I asked Mom through the bathroom door and I heard a very frustrated ‘Just make it on the counter.’ That didn’t seem right but Mom said so…oh I bet she wishes for those days I trusted her completely. Anyway..flour, baking soda/powder went on the counter, and then came the milk and eggs….and the MESS-just as Mom came in the kitchen. She couldn’t decide between yelling at me and laughing. A bowl was found and everything came out ok, but my little sister (the devil she is) likes to tell the story. Of course now, you are supposed to mix it all together on the counter (according to those cooking shows), just have to make that crater first…whoops.
    I am actually a good cook and baker of cookies, biscuits, cinnomon rolls, and buns…now. ;)

  • That sounds like my “saga of the bread bowls” tale wherein I tried to make bread bowls with much epic fail. I ended up buying them at panera because…well… they can make bread…I can make ALL SORTS OF OTHER THINGS…honest…

  • Jes says:

    I suck @ baking, but am a pro at getting stuck in cupboards.

    A PRO.

    You see, I have a problem figuring out what my dimensions are …

    Last Thanksgiving I was in my knees looking for something in a lower cupboard, spied it in the back… reeeeachhed back, scrambled with my SOCK covered feet, and took a header directly in. One arm stuck above my head, face sideways, head down/ass up. The boys said they heard muffled yelling and came to investigate. I ORDERED them to not laugh, and ORDERED them no videos be taken, but did they listen?

    No.

    There is a video out there of me halfway in a cupboard, surrounded by Marines. Instead of just pulling, oh no, they had to go ALL MOTHERFUCKING OUT. You will hear the moment they turned feral when one yells “Oh Holy Fuck! Get the Dawn and some Crisco!”.

    I’m nothing if not supportive to our troops.

  • Paula says:

    For dinner last night I made burgers in the broiler. Which set off the smoke alarm. And because all smoke alarms in the house are wired to each other, there was a chorus of deafening, shrill alarms going off. It took opening all of the windows and doors, along with the ceiling fans, to get them to shut up.

  • katrina says:

    Whoa becky that is the MOTHER of all breads!!……I don’t have a good baking story. But when i was about 9 i was sent to the store to buy some napkins for dinner. (parents were having company). I walked to the little store a block away and was looking at the paper napkins. I spotted a box that said “feminine napkins”….(they must be pretty ones, i thought). Yeah…..you could hear the laughter miles away……

  • Melissa says:

    I dont bake, I do cook though. One year for Christmas I used fresh spinach to make creamed spinach. I figured 1 lb of spinach was enough, because I was cooking in my Mom’s kitchen (mine was a wreck) I had bought 3 pounds, but my mother said 1 lb was enough. Let me tell you something. Spinach shrinks like a mofo. When I brought it to my sisters house all she could do was laugh. Needless to say everyone at dinner got about a teaspoon of spinach. My mother doesnt like people cooking in her kitchen. So she fucked me over. She gets panic attacks when people cook in her kitchen.

  • Mayor Gia says:

    Oooof. I can’t even begin to grasp the science (or black magic) behind yeast, but since I’m not a baker (or magician). I can’t even try. Someone probably voodoo hexed your bread. I like to blame my life fails on that.

  • The Mommy says:

    When I was newly married and just learning to cook I decided I was gonna make shrimp scampi (I’m a “go big or go home” kinda girl). I read the recipe, fired up the broiler on my ELECTRIC oven and began prepping the shrimp. I slid on my oven mitts, placed the shrimp gingerly on the top rack and pulled my hands out…only to realize my thumbs were ON FIRE! Good thing I had been doing dishes before starting dinner (I don’t KNOW why…) and I ran over and dunked my hands in. I didn’t even know it was possible to catch oven mitts on fire, let alone using an electric oven. Lesson learned. Red Lobster is where we go for shrimp these days…

  • Just Jenn says:

    I would love the recipe to try!

    I burn my hands almost every time I make steak. We have the oven safe pans, so I sear them on the stove and then bake them in the oven to finish them. After using an oven mit to remove the pan from the oven, I always forget the handle is hot and grab it. I have blisters on my palms about every month. I’m a SMART blonde!!

  • Tygemo says:

    Were you trying to raise the dough in a cold kitchen? That might be the reason that it didn’t rise. When I make bread in the wintertime (make = dump everything in a bread machine, then pull it out and dump the mixed dough in my own loaf pan so that it doesn’t have the weird bread-machine-pan shape) I first put a tupperware bowl of water in my microwave on high for about 5 minutes to make the inside of the microwave warm and steamy, and then put the bread dough (in the normal bread pan) into the steamy microwave for around 45 minutes to rise (without turning the microwave on….the steam from the previously heated water is enough warmth to let the bread rise). If your kitchen wasn’t all that warm you might want to try this method and see if the bread will rise. Yeast likes it all warm and humid, and a cool/cold kitchen will put the yeast to sleep instead of making it want to rise up take over the world.

  • sarah says:

    we grew up with those healthy type parents, the kind that made us use a stupid wheat grinder to make our own whole whear flour, then make our own bread, etc. So my older sister was in charge of making the bread most days, she fell in love (literally) at the very young age of 13 and her boyfriend (now husband) of 20 adored her, he ate everything she made – no matter how horrible it was. So he devoured about one and a half tons of whole wheat bricks… if the water is too warm it kills the yeast, it it’s too cold outside it does something else to the yeast, and so on… i hated whole wheat bricks. They have been married 27 years now.

    • La Printemp says:

      Dudette,

      I’m not judging, but the whole 13 year old sister with a 20 year old guy thing threw me. Where did you grow up? Did they marry when she was 13 or just meet then?

  • Cindy says:

    First – I don’t cook. My daughter even knew this by the time she was 18 months old. She was pretending to cook in her play kitchen:
    “Daddy cooks” she says and mimes stirring a pot of something delicious and opening the oven and pulling out something remarkable.
    “Mommy cooks” she says and pokes at the air three times and says “beep, beep, beep”.
    Yeah, that kid had it nailed.

    So in college a billion years ago I lived with 5 other girls in a suite. Each week one person would cook on Sunday. I decided to make egg plant parm because how could I mess that up? Well, I cut up that eggplant, breaded it, layered it with sauce and cheese – looked beautiful. Then I put it in the oven. 5 hours later it was still crunchy when I tried cutting into it. I guess I should have fried the eggplant first.

  • The problem is that people who bake keep the important things secret so that they can gloat when you fail and think to themselves, “Ha ha, I’m SO much better than you.” My first attempt to make yeast bread turn out semi-wonderfully. The bread rose. It came out of the oven golden brown. The bread inside of the crust was delicious. But it took a chainsaw to get through the crust to the bread. You could kill people with my bread. I called my grandmother and she asked if I had oiled the top of the bread before I let it rise. Uh. No. The recipe didn’t say to do that. She told me that I should’ve known. HOW? No one told me. I’m not psychic. It’s a baker’s conspiracy.

  • chrisinphx says:

    I dont like to cook, I can follow a recipe and make a pretty good cake but that is about it.
    Oh, and, get this, yesterday was the other halfs birthday. I gave him an i-Pad and was then bitched out for not getting an actual birthday card as well. Sorry, guess that 600.00 gift wasnt enough.

  • I love to bake, honestly. My thing is pretzel bread, which I’d give you the recipe for but it does involve boiling the rolls in water that has salt and baking soda in it…seeing your current baking-fu leads me to believe you’d explode the kitchen if you tried it!

    Funny cooking story? Oh, I have it. This was back in undergrad. I was making a cheese sauce for pasta, like I had always done. Got the butter melted, put the flour in it, made the roux, and added the milk. It heated up into CRAZY FOAMY WHAT THE SHIT. I had no idea, so I tossed it out. Rinsed the pan REALLY good (in case something had messed it up) and started over. Same thing! FOAMY CRAZINESS!!!!

    My string of curses had drawn my roommates out of their rooms to see what was wrong with me. One of them looked at the pan, noticed how whenever I put it back on the heat it bubbled up and tried to kill everything, then asked me “Which canister has the flour?” I pointed to it. “…oh LORD.” “Whaaat?” “YOU USED THE BAKING SODA!!!!” “…WHO CHANGED THE CANISTERS?!” “Did you seriously not taste it?” “WHY WOULD I TASTE THE FLOUR?! IT’S FLOUR!”

    Cue everyone falling down laughing at me and my idiocy. I still have a photo of the foaminess somewhere…

    • La Printemp says:

      OMGoodness, please give me the pretzel bread recipe!!!

      • Sure sure. :) Take this recipe: http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2009/05/11/pretzel-rolls-soft-pretzels/

        Now. Tweaking. I find that 3 and a half cups of flour is good. But use BREAD flour, don’t use all-purpose. Trust me on this. Then, I give the dough about 3 hours to rise instead of 1. Makes for fluffier final product. My giant wok that I use for the boiling process only takes about 1.75L safely once you add the rolls, but just stay with the ratio of baking soda and salt, it’s fine. Also, I found that 20 minutes in the oven was not enough to produce the chewy chewy crust that I personally like on soft pretzels, but 35 minutes just about does it!

        You can make big sticks of dough with chunks of cheese in the middle. Pretzel cheese rolls. They don’t look bakery-worthy but MAN are they delicious for breakfast! Just experiment, lol. I’m always trying new stuff now that I have the basic recipe down.

  • Lily says:

    The poor, poor yeast… You did not beat the hell out of the dough, you probably smashed each and every one of those cute little yeasty bastards to an untimely death. It’s no real difficulty to work with yeast, but rather complicated to explain in a recipe. That’s why it seems to be a conspiration… I’d recommend a baking session with an experienced yeast wrestler, who can show you how the dough must feel and look. Keep on keeping on :-)

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Mormons use regular bread for communion. One week it was my cousin Lehi’s job to bring the bread for communion, which they call, “The Sacrament.” (I think it may be the only sacrament in their church, which is why they call it “THE sacrament” as opposed to “A sacrament.” Everything else, like marriage and baptism, is either an ordinance or it isn’t really anything.

    Anyway, Lehi forgot to mention it to his mom until they were heading out the door to church on Sunday morning. The only bread that Mormons use for “THE Sacrament” is white bread, a la “Iron Kids’ Wonder Bread.” No stores were open. My aunt considered breaking into one.. The neighbors were all already gone to church. All Mormons are late to church, but my relatives are usually even later than everyone else. My aunt considered breaking into someone’s house to steal a loaf of white bread. She knew she wouldn’t have enough money to send that month to her son who was on a mission in Singapore if her husband had to bail her out of jail.

    So she took a loaf of the wheat bread she had baked the previous night, The Mormon 16-18-year-olds wipe their hands with baby wipes and then break up the bread into bite sized pieces while a normally fairly graphic and gory song about the atonement or the crucifixion is being sung. You could see the guys whow were breaking uo the bread giving each other funny looks, as in, “What in the Hell are we supposed to do now?” Then it came time to pass the bread portion of “THE Sacrament” around. The twelve and thirteen year olds picked up the little trays of bread. It’s customary that the most important person in the room, ecclesiastically speaking, is served “THE Sacrament” first. In this case it was the Bishop of the Ward. He stuck his hand down to pick out a piece of bread (it honestly looked like he was looking for the biggest piece) when he realized SOMETHING WAS WRONG!!! THE BREAD WAS NOT WHITE!!! “This bread is not sacrament-worthy!” he bellowed. ” It must be WHITE BREAD!!! NO ONE may partake of THE Sacrament today! It is a blessing on which we will all miss out, and we will never regain this opportunity. And it is all because SOMEONE did not PROPERLY prepare for the SABBATH!!” He stared down the guy in charge of the lower (Aaronic ) Priesthood boys. That man in turn stared down my cousin Lehi. The Bishop then gave the evil eye to Lehi’s mother. (It’s always the mothers fault, no matter what happened.). My uncle, seated to the bishop’s right as his first counselor, said, “The I’ll eat it all. It’s worth enough for me,” and started shoving handfuls of the whole wheat bread into his mouth. Someone said, “Amen,” and the meeting was over about an hour early. Of course we still had two hours of Sunday School and young Women’s or Priesthood meetings to sit through. I don’t remember what they talked to the young women about. I’m pretty sure they talked to the Priesthood boys about bringing only WHITE bREAD for “THE Sacrament.”
    P.S. This was post 1978, when the blacks were given the opportunity to hold the priesthood in the LDS Church. One would think since the members didn’t all have to be white, the bread didn’t necessarily have to be white, either.
    P.P.S. I don’t think it’s written in any Mormon rule book that the bread for “THE Sacrament” has to be white. I think it was a local tradition.

  • Suniverse says:

    I got a fucking ticket for going through a yellow light [IT WAS SO YELLOW] and I wasted an hour of my day going to the courthouse and dealing finding out that I need to schedule a hearing to contest the ticket and the entire time, because I am a giant ball of stress, my stomach and innards were gurgling SO FUCKING LOUD that everyone could hear them.

    I wish I was joking.

    Stupid ticket.

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Suniverse,
    I know being a law enforcement officer probably isn’t pleasant, donuts and free workout time notwithstanding [at least in my jurisdiction], and they usually deny it, but most of them have ticket quotas to meet. We all know about it even if the chief of police or captain or whoever denies it. So you got caught in a yellow light when someone was in danger of not meeting a quota. he or she ticketed, you hoping you wouldn’t bother challenging it. I’m so sorry, and hope your hassle is soon resolved in your favor.
    Alexis

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Suniverse,
    I know being a law enforcement officer probably isn’t pleasant, donuts and free workout time notwithstanding [at least in my jurisdiction], and they usually deny it, but most of them have ticket quotas to meet. We all know about it even if the chief of police or captain or whoever denies it. So you got caught in a yellow light when someone was in danger of not meeting a quota. he or she ticketed, you hoping you wouldn’t bother challenging it. I’m so sorry, and hope your hassle is soon resolved in your favor.
    Alexis

  • Liz says:

    Dear AB, proof your yeast first – mix it with a little warm water and sugar – if it foams up after a minute or two, it’s good. If not, nothing will happen. If the water is hitting the yeast straightup, it can’t be over 110 degrees. In fact, I’d keep it under 100. If you mix the yeast powder with your flour, then you want your water to be around 120 degrees. Or a little less. Also putting a pan of boiling water in your oven (on the bottom rack) and your bowl of dough to rise on a rack directly above it will allow it to rise. Also cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a dishtowel. All of these help. I used to fail at bread all the time. I taught my husband how to make it, and his loaves come out great. Yes, my husband has nice buns!

  • Kristi says:

    I live overseas right now. There is no Christmas here. No music, no decorations, no wreaths, no lights. A few other expats say it’s a great time to have a “pure” Christmas and concentrate on the religious aspects of the holiday rather than the commercial, but I call BULLSHIT on that. Christmas begins and ends with the Birth of Christ, but I have a three, five and six year old. I want to take them carrolling, I want to have hot chocolate (it is stinking hot here and we’re in t-shirts) and take them to watch the frantic shoppers as we sit in smug superiority of already having finished our shopping. (Do not mock, my mom and I do this every year. And then we gift someone our parking spot as we leave an hour after the mall opened and we leave. It’s our freaking holiday tradition, damnit.) I want them to see the beauty of twinkle lights, a living creche, a cardboard creche, ANY creche. But we did have a cooking party and my girls DID deliver their toys-for-tots presents in a joyful fashion. And I have downloaded every oddball, old, new, cartoon and classic Christmas show that I can get my hands on.
    Because we’re not giving up, damit. Merry Christmas.

  • Me says:

    You should try again i too have been there, yeast goes bad! It is not you, it is the yeast.
    And the frozen loaves fucking rock! I use them with my three year old as a project. You can twist or braid them and you feel like you made bread! Add Italian seasoning, pamasian, garlic, ooohhh bread sticks.
    My soon to be ex wife was never for the frozen loaf. But I too am from Chicago, my daughter had fun, it worked, and if you support them then she can just put that in her bong and smoke it!

  • Mary L says:

    I had the opposite problem the first time I *tried* to bake bread. Just so you know, there is a HUGE difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. The bread rose to epic proportions! It scared me. I threw it out in the trash and wouldn’t let anyone open the lid….well, except the unsuspection garbage man but he still comes back so it must have been ok.

  • BakerGirl says:

    I find it offensive what you people put about Mormons. We do not just use white bread. Many times we use wheat too. I don’t know what is wrong with those people who said you can”t do wheat. Please this is not suppose to be a religious forum. I am 13 and I make bread. The water is suppose to be at a “baby bath” temperature. You then put the yeast and sugar in. Usually my family freezes the yeast so it is not active when you are not using it. Like someone else said you have to oil the bread before you rise it. One trick I know for rising bread is when you are rising it in the pans you can set your oven to the lowest temperature then when it is heated, turn the oven OFF. Then put the bread in for however long the recipe says to rise it. After that take it out and preheat the oven to the baking temperature and bake it. Hope this helps!

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