It’s been a while since I’ve baked pita bread. I was asked to make some for an upcoming family dinner, and I thought I would get some practice in. Just as easy as I remembered! This recipes from a great cookbook, Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, by Sonia Uvezian.
1 1/4 tsp yeast with 1 1/2 tsp sugar,
in 1/2 C warm water. I do it in my glass measuring cup and sit it in a bowl of hot water. Let it set for 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve, cover and leave it another 5 minutes. Meanwhile,
add 4 1/2 C flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt to a large bowl,
mix the flour and salt, and make a well in the center.
The yeast should be all puffed up by now. If not…you’ve got to dump it and start over, sorry 🙁
Pour the puffed yeasty water into that well you made in the flour, and add another 1 cup warm water. Keep another cup on hand, just in case. Also add 1 1/2 tsp either oil or water (I do water for oil free days).
Mix. Mine was dry for some reason, so I used some of that extra water. Just add a little at a time.
Once a dough has formed, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes,
or until shiny and elastic.
Form the dough into a 10″ log.
Cut into 10 pieces.
Knead each piece lightly and roll into balls. I cut a couple half because I was experimenting with sizes.
Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in a draft-free space for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. It’s been a little chilly here lately, so I turned my oven on the lowest setting for just a few minutes and made a nice cozy space for the dough to rise on a cookie sheet.
During the last 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a baking sheet inside. Place one rack on the lowest level and another on the highest.
(IMPORTANT: If you were letting the dough rise in the oven, remove before preheating!!!)
I got distracted by various things and left the dough for 2 hours. It got a little dry on top. Careful of that.
Back to the floured surface. Gently press down a round with your hand, then roll it out to about 1/4″ thick,
I was very daring and stacked mine one on top of the other so the moisture would help soften some of those hard spots. It could be dangerous if your dough is sticky.
Carefully remove the super hot baking sheet from the oven. Bake three rounds at a time for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the bread puffs up and is slightly brown on the bottom.
Then place under the broiler until golden on top. Remove to wire wrack to cool, and repeat until you’ve used up all the dough.
Well, it’s still a little crusty on top, oh well. Let’s cut one of these baby open…
I just made a little tomato sandwich, with salt, of course. There was one casualty, probably from the stacking…
this little guy did not separate or puff. He was still delicious, and great for hummus. Just not so great for a sandwich.