Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pita Bread

Every now and then we have the tendency to think that any recipe involving flour will be an ordeal and not worth making for the everyday occasion. Of course some recipes are impractical to whip up for lunch, many bread recipes require a minimum of two days of preparation. Even good pizza dough falls into this category. Fortunately there are breads that can be made quickly. This pita bread recipe only requires a 30 minute rise, making it the perfect recipe if you don't have a lot of time. It is an extraordinarily simple recipe and fun to make. It is perfectly well suited for those days when you just don't feel like taking a bike ride to the bakery or making a loaf of bread yourself. I like to celebrate pita bread's versatility and sometime use it outside of the hummus/falafel circuit. Why not wrap up a veggie dog in it? Or even make a pocket of peanut butter and jelly? Today I ate my pita with black beans, cheese and salsa, but tomorrow why not try stuffing it with a spicy garlic tofu mix (like Seattle's Paseo wonderful sandwich)? On thing is clear, this is a bit more versatile than your basic sandwich loaf.

The Recipe:

1 tablespoon Instant Yeast
1 ¼ cup warm water
(about 100 degrees F)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of Bread Flour (or all purpose flour, unbleached)
1 cup of Whole Wheat Flour (or white flour if desired)

Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer. 

Add salt and 1 cup of the white flour and 1 cup of the wheat flour and mix with the dough hook. Then slowly add additional AP flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Continue to knead with the dough hook or by hand for about 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Feel free to use enough flour as it takes to achieve a tacky, not sticky, dough.  

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. Shape dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try to make the thickness as even as possible. 

Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes, they will slightly puff. Meanwhile Preheat oven to 425F.

With a large spatula or dough knife/paddle, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a b
aking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. 

These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks.

Adapted from under the highchair

Stuffed with black beans, salsa, and cheese, burrito style.

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