Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pita Bread pockets

In Israel we eat on many casual occasions Pita with Hummus together (see previous recipe). We even used to eat Pita Breads as kids, as a snack at birthday parties - usually the Pita Bread will be cut to halves or even quarters, filled with Hummus and served. Yumm!

To celebrate the long weekend here in New Zealand last week, I made this amazing Pitta Bread recipe and served it fresh out of the oven with a variety of salads for everyone to pick and choose from ;)
The smell of freshly baked bread filled the house as our guests walked in and the tastes, flavours and different filling textures added a whole new layer to the aroma.

Pita Bread

Makes 5-6 Pita Bread pockets

3 Cups Bread flour or All Purpose flour
½ tsp Instant yeast
½ tsp salt
1 Cup warm water

How to:
Best to make the dough a few hours ahead of time.
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then add the yeast, and add the water slowly while stirring with a plastic or wooden spoon until everything is combined into a ball. You might need more or less water than the 1 cup. Once the dough comes together, transfer it to a floured surface and knead for a good ten minutes until it is soft and elastic. Roll the dough into a log and cut it into five or six equal parts (cut into fewer pieces if you want bigger loaves). Roll each piece into a ball and put them all on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let them rise in a warm place for about an hour or until almost double in size.

Preheat your oven to 500F / 270C. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven to pre-heat thoroughly. Flatten each dough ball and with a rolling pin form it into 1/8 inch (3mm) thick round about 6 inches (15cm) in diameter. After rolling all the dough, cover and let them rest on a floured surface for 15-30 minutes. If you have a baking stone then bake them on the stone by sliding the dough rounds onto the stone and baking till they puff up like balloons (about 2-3 minutes). Leave them in the oven no more than one minute after they puff up even though they might not have much color on them. This will insure that the bread will be soft and pliable once cooled. If you do not have a baking stone in your oven, place the rounds on a baking sheet (making sure they are not touching) and bake in the oven until they puff up.

As soon as you remove the baked bread from the oven, place in a container, flatten gently and then cover with a damp towel. Keep stacking the flattened baked bread on top of each other and covering them. Store the baked bread in a well sealed plastic bag. Never let the baked bread cool uncovered or it will harden.

Serving suggestion:
Serve with Hummus, fine chooped vege salad, Falafel, lighly browned Chiken breast pieces or anything else you like. Eat lots until full.

1 comment:

  1. Variations:
    I made these great Pita Breads yesterday using 2 cups of white flour and 1 cup of whole grain and also, I used 1ts Active yeast instead of 1/2ts Instant yeast and added just a wee bit more warm water and it turned out wonderful!
    Make sure you take them out of the oven just a minute after then balloon (you'll see what I mean) - so please dont multi-task in that 1 minute ;)