Monday, July 13

BAKE IT: Pita Bread

Pita bread is a great addition to any recipe box. I developed a love, partial obsession for it while in Greece, where a bowl of fresh baked pita slices were served with hummus and olives before my meal. Although, later I learned this wasn't always the case, I just happen to be very close to the Turkish border and this meal starter is very common in Turkey. 

I decided to learn how to make my own after I decided to make hummus one day, I then realized I didn't have pita or chips. Having watched the bakers in Greece closely I realized that pita needed a few basic ingredients and an extremely hot oven, that held temperature perfectly. Now, I have the ingredients but, an industrial oven? So I played around with the recipe and settled on one, it creates nice soft pita which can be browned off before serving in a pan. It also turns into pita chips extremely well!

Makes 12 pitas
Full time: 2 1/2 hours (includes rising time)

The needs-

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cup warm water, 115 degrees
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast, or 1 package
2 tsp salt

The know-

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in water and sprinkle yeast over top. Allow to sit for 15 minutes until yeast is extremely foamy

Pour in olive oil and salt, give a quick stir to incorporate
Add in 3 cups of bread flour and begin to knead to form a dough. As you knead if the dough feels sticky add in small amounts of remaining flour at a time. Do not add in additional flour so watch how much your adding in

Knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, if it begins to feel stiff stop
Form dough into a ball and cover bowl. Set to rise for 2 hours in a warm spot

Once risen. Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly oil a baking sheet

Punch down dough and knead for 3 minutes
Slice dough into 12 equal pieces (if small pitas are desired you can form it into 16 equal balls)
Roll dough on an extremely lightly floured surface to 1/4" piece
Place dough on the baking sheet and poke with a fork several times
Bake for 3 minutes in oven on lower to medium rack

Flip over and repeat

Remove from oven and place on a clean towel to cool, cover with additional towel. 
When completely cooled, lightly oil a saute pan and heat over medium-low heat

Place pita in saute pan and brown off each side for 1-2 minutes, the whole thing will not brown off, just contact points.

Cool down completely before storing in a zip bag, or enjoy fresh out of the pan!