Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pita Bread

I really like trying to make different ethnic foods, Chinese, Latin, Italian and some Mediterranean. We really like Gyros around here, the ground lamb or beef mixed with spices and cooked on a spit, I've found a restaurant that makes that better than I can (they have a spit) so I've given up trying to make Gyros and have moved on to other Med/Greek and some Turkish foods.

This recipe is part 1 of a 3 part series on a dinner we had of Pita, Pork Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce and Sauteed Squash. We also had rice pilaf but it was an out of box mix, I have trouble cooking rice that does not come in a mix or minute box.

This is the first pita recipe I came across and I just kept coming back to the easiness of it, it might not be the best one but the flavor was right and if I'd made my dough balls a little smaller they might have puffed up more.

What You Need: AP Flour, Active Dry Yeast, Salt, Honey and Water, the Olive Oil is for coating the bowl for rising.

Yeast mixture bloomingAdd a half cup of warm water and 1 tbsp of honey to the yeast and let it bloom, I like recipes that start with this step so I can make sure my grocery store yeast is still good without throwing an entire recipes' worth of ingredients in the garbage.

Sift 3 cups of flour with 1 tsp salt and add to the yeast mix (in a bigger bowl). Combine and add another cup of flour and 1 cup water. Mix with a spoon then switch to using your hands, if it's still too dry add up to another half cup water. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. It should be a little sticky.

Risen Pita DoughAdd a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a clean bowl and swirl around to coat the sides, add the dough ball and flip it over to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise to double in size about an hour.

Punch the dough down and with as little kneading as possible divide into at least 10 balls ( I did 8 and they were just too much). Flatten these with your hands to about 1/4 inch thickness (you want a 6 inch or so circle or close to it) and place on a greased pan. Let rise again for about 30 minutes til again doubled in size.

I was in a bit of a hurry at this point so yeah they be ugly.

Bake on the bottom rack of the oven at 450 for 5-6 minutes.

Finished pita breadLet them cool on a wire rack, and they are ready to eat.

Since I made these in the afternoon, while grilling the meat for the Souvlaki I threw these on the grill as well to toast the outside a little and reheat them.

1 packet active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup warm water
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour and extra for board
1 tsp salt
Olive oil for the bowl

Combine yeast, honey and half cup water and let stand for 10 minutes. (The blooming part)

Sift 3 cups flour with salt and add to yeast mix.

Add 1 more cup of flour and up to 1 and a half cups water, mix with spoon and then hands.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Dough should be a little sticky.

Lightly oil a clean bowl. Put the dough in the bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

Divide dough into 10-12 pieces and pat into inch circles, place on greased pan and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Bake for 5-6 minutes on the bottom rack of a 450 degree oven.

Cool on a wire rack, and if you want to add some color, throw on the grill for a few minutes just before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment