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perfect pita bread

07/31/2010

*pictures coming once I find the right cord…*

Pita bread seemed so intimidating… bread that miraculously comes out of the oven with its very own pocket? That has to be complicated, right?!?

But it’s not… it’s really not. I promise! It’s so easy. I’ve made it both with and without the mixer (though I have to say – the mixer makes it a no-brainer).

I used the recipe from the Bread Bible, and hints from Smitten Kitchen. And it came out beautiful. Puffed, golden. I will say I preferred my version w/ 1/3 whole wheat white flour. The all white flour version seemed… bland. Maybe more salt, or better olive oil would have helped. But added a bit of whole wheat flour seemed to add just the right nuttiness that it needed. This recipe halves and doubles as desired! 

Pita Bread
adapted from the Bread Bible

  • 2 cups AP white flour
  • 1 cup + scant 1/4 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup room temp water
  1. Combine the yeast and water until dissolved
  2. Whisk the salt into the yeast
  3. Combine the flour mixture, yeast mixture and oil – stirring until just combined
  4. (mixer method) mix with dough hook at medium speed (#4 KitchenAid) for 10 minutes. Dough will cleanly pull away from the sides of the bowl and the hook. Add more water or flour if necessary (I didn’t need any).
  5. Let the dough rise, covered, until doubled (at least an hour) At this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days, allowing to come to room temp for an hour before moving on.
  6. Preheat the oven to 475. Have a baking sheet or pizza stone preheating on the lowest shelf. Start the preheat as early as possible – an hour is ideal.
  7. Cut the dough into 8 (for sandwich size pitas) or 12 (for cutting into snacking wedges) pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten lightly into a disc. Cover with a dish cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Roll each piece to a round about 1/4 inch thick. Cover and allow to rest again, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  9. About 3-4 minutes before baking sprinkle a few drops of water on top of each round (spray with a squirt bottle or flick with a pastry brush).
  10. Bake, in batches of 2-3 rounds, for three minutes each. Allow the oven to reheat for a few minutes between batches.
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