June 8, 2010

Pita Bread

If you still aren't convince that Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day isn't the best bread cook book (see note below) there ever was than make a batch of the master dough and gives this super simple, super fast, incredibly delicious pita recipe a spin. 

1 pound of Light Whole Wheat Dough
Flour for dusting

1. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500 F with a baking stone.  If you don't have a baking stone just preheat the over and continue.
2.  Just before baking, dust the surface of refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit size) portion.  Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surace of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating th eball a quarter-turn as you go.  Place the dough on a flour-dusted pizza peel.  Use a wooden cutting board if you don't have a pizza peel.
3.  Using your hands and  a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a round with uniform thickness of 1/8 inch throughout.  This is crucial, because if it's too thick, it may not puff.  You'll need to sprinkle the peel lightly with white flour as your work, occasionally flipping the bread to prevent sticking to the rolling pin or to the board.  Use a dough scraper to remove the round of dough from the peel if it sticks.  Do not slash the pita or it will not puff.

We like to divide the one pound into 4 pieces and make individual pitas.  The kids love to pat their own piece out for an extra fun treat.

4.  If you have a ventilation fan, turn in on now because stray flour may smoke at this temperature.  Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. (it may take a number of back-and-forth shakes to dislodge the pita.) If you do not have a baking stone, bake on a baking sheet.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed.  you may need to transfer the pita to a higher shelf (without the stone) to achieve browning.  We like ours softer and lighter so I don't worry about browning. 

5.  For the most authentic, soft-crusted result, wrap in clean cotton dish towels and set on a cooling rack when baking is complete.  The pitas will deflate slightly as they cool.  The space between crusts will still be there, but may have to be nudged apart with a fork.

We often make this for lunch and serve warm with hummus and raw vegetables.  They are delicious stuffed with tuna, chicken or egg salad.  If you enjoy Mediterranean food you will like these with Tzatziki, falafel, kabobs or gyros.   

Note:
This from a girl who was completely dedicated to James Beard's book Beard on Bread for more than 20 years of my life.  And for those who go to check it out on Amazon this is the new and updated version.  A worthy book to have, for those who are serious about bread baking.

5 comments :

  1. Thank you for your prayers and support.
    Blessings,
    andrea

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  2. Your Rye bread and Pita bread sound delicious. There's something very special about home made bread of any kind. We are into Naan bread at the moment!
    Lindsay
    x

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  3. Oooooh......THANK YOU! :> )

    Blessings~
    Laura

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  4. Thanks for posting this! Just a few days ago I was thinking pita bread is the next thing I wanted to try making from scratch!

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  5. Kat,

    WOW you are really on a bread "roll" this week with your amazing recipes. I'll have to try this one too!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

    ReplyDelete