In July 2023, at around the same time that an excessive heat warning was issued for much of Texas, readers emailed us to ask about a curious matter. They wanted to know if pictures showing a woman in the Houston area baking bread in her mailbox under the hot, Texas sun were for real.
Unfortunately for our baking-loving readers, this was not true. However, at the same time, this wasn't a tale of someone creating a hoax for no reason.
One Facebook user wrote, "BREAD BAKED IN HER MAILBOX!! My friend, Roberta Wright, who lives in a suburb of Houston, posted these photos on Facebook to show just how hot it is! I've since learned IT DIDN'T ACTUALLY WORK OR BAKE IT."
According to reporting from ABC 13's Nick Natario, the woman in the picture is Roberta Tays Wright of Montgomery County.
Wright, a grandmother, told the ABC affiliate that the pictures were meant to be all in good fun.
By email, Wright explained the process of how she prepared the bread.
"The dough for the bread spent time in the mailbox for the proofing (rising) process which is needed for a yeast bread," she told us. "Typically, this should be in a warm, draftless space. When fully proofed, I baked it inside in my traditional oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, to bake it and brown the top. Then, I returned it to the mailbox for the playful photo."
Wright previously authored a children's book titled, "Out of This World Grandma." She told us that she is "hoping to inspire children to use their imagination." (She also clarified that baking bread in a mailbox is not included in the book.)
The pictures haven't just been viewed by users in the U.S. Wright said she's heard from people around the world, including a friend in Australia, previous neighbors who now live in Indonesia, and beyond.
Wright added, "Frankly, it has been a bit overwhelming, but [also] a lot of fun."