After awhile, when you cook long enough, you kind of get used to things just working the way you expect it to. Or you get used to recognizing possible pitfalls in the recipe as written and know how to work around it so that you get the results you want. Things hum along.
Sure, sometimes there are failures.
Like when I made banana bread a couple months back from the tried-and-true recipe I’ve made 25 times before with no trouble, and, who knows what happened, but the center never baked. Which I didn’t find out until it had cooled and I sliced into the middle of the bread and… ew… out spilled the unbaked batter.
Kitchen Pixies? Yeah, that’s who I’ll blame. The kitchen Pixies. (Which, by the way, would make a good band name.)
Anyway, mistakes and miscalculations happen, particularly when I’m rushing and haven’t read the recipe all the way through or when I forget a step, but, really, true surprises are rare.
Which is why, had you peeked in our kitchen window mid-day last Saturday, you would have seen me doing my Kitchen Pixie “Dance of Glee” when I saw magic happen in the oven.
Get a load of this: You make a dead-simple silky dough (you can do it in your mixer), let it ferment for a couple of hours (or up to a few days), cut it into pieces, shape it into balls, roll the balls flat, then bake the flat discs in a nice-and-hot oven for three minutes.
And then, all by themselves, they POOF! They know how to do this from some deep encoding in their little pita DNA. Or something. They just… puff up. You don’t flip them. You don’t touch them. They perform this little trick of magic on their own. And then? You get to eat them.
Who says there’s no such thing as magic?
p.s. If you need something to dip the pita in, try this hummus recipe, also from Smitten Kitchen. It’s the hummus recipe we’ve been hankering for for years. It really works.