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
before

 after
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.
before
 after

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

Cheers!