Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pita bread

Now that I feel somewhat confident about making edible bread by hand at home (edible, not necessarily delicious!), I thought I'd expand my repertoire. My copy of Vegetarian Cooking (the vegetarian's Joy of cooking!) offers lovely recipes, and one of the ones I stumbled upon is pita bread. I had no idea it could be made at home.

Here's a simplified version:

1 1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp agave/maple syrup/sugar (honey if you're ok with it)
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (with flakes of bran in it)
2 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Mix water, yeast, and sweetener, stir, and let sit for 10 min. Oil another bowl.

Add salt and oil to yeast, then flour until smooth. Add rest of flour 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated, removing from bowl to knead. Knead until it's a smooth dough, not tacky. Place in the oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place (a kitchen window is good) for about an hour to double in size.

Punch dough down and separate into 10-15 balls. Separate balls and then cover with a towel about 15 min. Preheat oven to 475oF with pans inside.

Roll each piece into a circle less than 1/4 inch thick (that's pretty chubby, don't roll too thin! if you made 10 balls they should be about 8 inches across each). Don't stack the breads.

Carefully place as many pita rounds on the baking pans/sheets in the oven as you can and bake 3 minutes. They should start to puff. Remove and place  in a tray and cover with a towel, then put more in oven until they are all done.

*NOTE: mine didn't puff all the way but my yeast turned out to be old and I did roll them a bit too thin. Still, they are far more delicious than store-bought ones.

Serve warm (reheat in oven or microwave or gently on stovetop) with hummus, bean-dip, baba-ganoush, or any other dip.

To make pita chips, separate them into two layers, cut into triangles, sprinkle with oil and spices, and bake in the hot oven until crisp!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay! Happy to see the posts and the delicious pita recipe. Something to try soon! (I've been nervous to do pitas at home....)