Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Pita Bread Recipe

This recipe is the one that I have mentioned to a few friends and family members. I spent 2.99 for 5 flat breads at Food Lion on my last trip to buy groceries. I was appalled when I realized what I had done and promptly opened my favorite cookbook - Joy of Cooking - to find this recipe for pita bread. Cheap, easy and fun.

Combine in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy duty mixer:

3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
4 t active dry yeast

2 T melted butter
1 1/4 cups room-temperature water

Mix by hand or on low speed for about one minute to blend all the ingredients. Knead for about ten minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic. Add flour or water as needed; the dough should be slightly tacky but not sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough down divide equally into eight pieces (or more for smaller pitas) and roll the pieces ito balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven (and pizza stone, if using) to 450 degrees. If you do not have a pizza stone, try using an inverted cookie sheet.

On an very lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into a thin round, about 8" in diameter and 1/8 thick. Spray the stone or baking sheet with a mist of water, wait thirty seconds, then place as many dough rounds as will fit without touching directly onto the hearth/stone/cookie sheet. Bake until the dough puffs into a balloon, about 3 minutes, wait thirty seconds then remove each bread to a rack to cool. If you leave them in the oven too long they will not deflate to flat disks.

Due to the lack of preservatives, these do not last as long as store bought pitas. Store them in a zipper baggie in the fridge. On the other hand, they are so good, they will not last as long as store bought ones, because you will eat them allllllll gone! We have used them for mini pizzas, sprinkled wih parmesan and oregano and served with pasta, and as sandwich bread. Hope you have the chance to make them, they are really easy, and my kids especially enjoy watching them rise in the oven.

No comments: