A Pyrex dish exploded in my oven today and that was NOT the worst part of my day! I know!
(I wrote ALL ABOUT the worst parts of my day in a different post, which I then deleted. You are welcome.)
As you know, my college degree is in See How Many English Classes I Can Take Before The School Sends Me A Cease And Desist Letter (WHICH HAPPENED). I took exactly four science classes* in four years of college. I am not PROUD of this but, well, I'm not sure I would do things differently. And this is why today's Chinese schoolchildren will soon be our overlords.
Anyway, all that is to say: I'm sure there's a very simple explanation as to why a Pyrex dish shattered in my oven and I'm sure one of you will know as soon as I tell you what happened and you probably won't be able to contain yourself in your glee of Knowing Everything and then I will feel STUPID. So please, when you leave your THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED, YOU MORON comment, could you go light on the YOU MORON part? I'd appreciate it.
SO. I'm into baking bread right now (and eating it, GAH) and we were going to a friend's house for dinner and I wanted to bring bread. I mixed up a batch in the morning, let it rise and was all set to bake my loaf while the kids were eating lunch.
The recipe calls for a baking stone that you set in the oven while it's preheating. You also put a broiler pan on the other oven rack - you pour about a cup of water into the broiler pan and cook with steam. (I don't know why they want you to cook with steam. Something about a crackly crust? I AM AN ENGLISH MAJOR.)
Well, I don't have a baking stone OR a broiler pan. I had a broiler pan that came with my oven in the old house and I THOUGHT I left it there when we moved, because it CAME with the oven and I just thought that was the proper thing to do. However! Phillip snatched the broiler pan (and other things-that-really-do-belong-to-the-house, like a window latch we never reattached, I KNOW, he is TERRIBLE) on the last night before we closed. So. We DO have a broiler pan, but it's in a plastic bag in the garage with a bunch of other junk I can't deal with. EITHER WAY. The first time I baked bread (this is not my first time! or my second!) I baked the bread on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. It worked JUST FINE. And instead of a broiler pan I used a glass casserole dish, just because it's the first thing I thought of.
NOW. I cannot remember if I preheated the casserole dish the first several times I made bread. I think I probably did, because I follow recipes exactly, but maybe not.
THIS time, I decided to use a SMALLER casserole dish. Again, because it was the first thing I saw when I opened that particular cupboard. And no big deal, right? I just need a container for water. So I put the cookie sheet and glass dish in the oven, set it to 450 degrees and waited twenty minutes. At the twenty minute mark I picked up the parchment paper under the loaf and plopped it down on the cookie sheet. Then I measured one cup of hot water, poured it into the glass dish and freaked the heck out when the dish immediately shattered. It popped and crunched and broke into many little pieces and I just stood there thinking, "HUH?"
Jack said, from his perch across the room, "You broke it Mommy? You broke it?"
Molly said, "Uh ohhhh. Uh ohhhh. Uh ohhhh."
It did not occur to me until later, when Phillip was asking me about it, that this might have, ah, induced injuries. Nothing like that happened. It was hardly even a huge mess, even, because I'd lined the bottom of the oven in tin foil, and so many of the pieces were big enough to pick up with tongs.
And you KNOW I just went right on baking my bread (using a cake pan this time) because dude, all the timing for rising and preheating is sort of EXACT and I needed to bring bread for dinner!
Later, after the oven was cool, I slipped the tin foil out of the oven, wiped it down, dug out the bits of glass in the drawer beneath, and called it good. As far as I know, everything still works.
But HOLY HECK was that freaky. I've never seen glass do that before. I'm sure this all has something to do with temperatures and expanding and sudden changes and BLAH BLAH BLAH but whatever dudes: ENGLISH MAJOR. WHO LIKES TO EAT BREAD.
Anyway. Happy Friday, everyone. I will spend my weekend researching military schools, circuses and gypsies.
*The four science classes I took? I can't even remember the first two. The last two were Astronomy (surprisingly, astronomy is NOT all about pretty constellations!) and Weather (one of the hardest, if not THE hardest, class I took in college, which probably says terrible things about me, maybe something like: student's horrifying lack of understanding re: temperatures, expanding masses, will one day get her into trouble when she tries to bake bread with steam.)