time

The Time Factor

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I’ve been thinking a lot about time, and how it generally seems that we are working AGAINST time in our lives. It’s a race, or we lament the lack of it, or we wish we had more of it.

So when I find something that uses time to work its magic, it makes me slow down in general. Bread making is like that – there’s not much one can do to speed up the bread process. Sure, you can add more yeast, or throw in baking powder – but those “fixes” affect the taste and frankly the pleasure of eating it.

Nope, time is the magic in bread making. Learn to embrace that time magic with this recipe for Homemade Pita Bread, featured on this week’s Tasty Thursday.

And maybe it’s time to figure out what else in our lives is made magic by time?

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ c warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 scant TBS yeast (1 packet )
  • 2 c bread flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • ¾  c warm water
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine ½ c water, yeast, and honey in a medium sized bowl (you’ll use this for the whole recipe, so plan accordingly) and let sit 5 minutes, until bubbly (if it doesn’t get bubbly, toss it out and start again – there is an issue with your yeast. Maybe the water was too hot.)
  • Whisk flours together.
  • Whisk ½ c flour mixture into the bubbly yeast mix and let sit, covered, for 45 minutes.
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients – rest of flours, more water, oil, salt. Knead for 10 minutes, or until really silky smooth (can also do this in a stand mixer or food processor – reduce kneading time.) You may have to add more flour to prevent sticking.
  • Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, turning it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and put it in a warm place to rise until about doubled, about an hour.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured board. Cut into 8 pieces and form into balls.
  • Squish the pieces and roll them out into rounds about 6.5-7 inches in diameter. If you are shy on counter space, put them on cornmeal-sprinkled cookie sheets and let them sit on top of your stove.
  • Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put bottom rack of oven at about the bottom third level. Remove any stray pizza stones that happen to live there.
  • Preheat oven to 500.
  • When the oven is hot and the pita is puffy, put 4 pita breads onto the rack (directly onto the rack!) and close the oven door as fast as you can. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip them over (I find a Teflon spatula and a wooden spoon to be better tools than tongs, which can pierce the pitas.) Cook for another minute.
  • Remove and let sit for 2 minutes, then cover (wrap) in a clean dish towel and let cool in a kind of steamy environment.
  • Repeat with the other 4 pitas.
  • Do not blame me if your family refuses to eat store-bought pitas ever again.

Respect!

Finished sweating!Yesterday I looked at the calendar for today and realized I needed to be rolling well before 6, to take my son to meet the bus for a field trip. Since I know me and the way I work best, I backed this timing up to the unwelcome realization that my alarm would have to go off at 4:30.

So by the time we hopped out of the car, ay 6:02, I had done a couple of workouts, showered, dressed, and even made my coffee.

A friend was there, dropping her son off as well. “Did you really get up at 4:30?” she asked me. “Yes. It lets me start the day off well – on my schedule.”

We chatted for a few minutes, and looked at each other with some surprise when the bus rolled away at 6:15. One or the other of us commented, “In middle school, there’s no way they’d have left before 6:30.”

My son and I had talked about this on the way to school, wondering aloud what time the bus would actually leave. He was worried we’d get there, 2 minutes late, and find the bus rolling away. I pointed out that that was pretty unlikely, that if the bus needed to leave at 6 we’d have had to be there about 15 minutes before. But anything was possible, I suppose.

It’s a respect thing, though. If the bus had not left before 6:30, that’s disrespectful to all the kids and parents who got up and were there at 6. Holding the bus for latecomers as a matter of course means that people will arrive later and later, which is not honoring the schedule set.

I can go on and on about this. But the main point for me, sitting here at 7:07 am with my coffee, is that respecting time is a way we can be a part of a community. That community can be a community of one (me, getting my workout even if it is some ridiculously early hour) or a community of tens (arriving to the bus on time, and the bus leaving on time.)

Being timely, being respectful of your schedule and that of others? Small notches in the badass belt. But every notch counts.