Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pita Bread


Pita bread is an awesome alternative to regular loaf bread. Instead of a regular ol' ham and cheese sandwich, I will stuff the ham and cheese in the pita and some how, it's transformed.  It also makes me feel healthier and gets me to eat better; so, I will automatically add lettuce and tomatoes to the ham and cheese.  When I make pita bread, I also get in the mood for Mediterranean food and will make hummus for a really healthy snack.  Here is the easiest recipe for pita I have found, and some tips to assure you get that nice pocket.

PITA BREAD
serving: 12

package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1 ½ cup warm water
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon molasses or dark brown sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast into warm water (110°F). Add molasses or brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Add salt and all-purpose flour to yeast. Stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. With kneeding attachment on mixer slowly add whole wheat flour until smooth and no longer sticky, about 10-15 minutes.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
Allow to sit in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500°F and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake each circle for 5 minutes until the bread puffs up.
Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.
 

TIPS:
For added fiber, add flax seed before adding the whole wheat flour.
Roll out over corn meal if possible to prevent too much flour sticking.
Do not roll dough out too thin.
Let flattened dough rest for a couple of minutes before putting in the oven
Open the oven as little as possible to let bread puff up.

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