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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pita Bread

I don't buy a lot of bread anymore. Once in a while if I haven't had time to make bread and we're eating a meal that requires a good, crusty bread, I will buy a loaf. But I find that we generally don't eat it fast enough and then it goes bad. I also usually feel better about eating bread when I know it's homemade. Homemade pita bread has become somewhat of a staple in our house. I probably make some at least every couple of weeks. It is good for dipping, it is great for sandwiches, and it can even be turned into a delicious "chip." It is also surprisingly easy to make. Once you make it at home, you will never buy pita at the store again.

Pita

The pocket on this batch was perfect. They don't always turn out so perfectly. Sometimes they don't split at all. When that happens I just use it like a wrap - it's still delicious! A couple of weeks ago I made some pita and turkey burgers and used the pita instead of a bun - SO TASTY.




The best pita is right after it comes out of the oven. I don't even need to eat anything with it to enjoy it. Once you bake the pitas they will keep for a few days (and make a great vehicle for chicken salad!) but after it rises the dough can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and pulled out and baked when needed. Don't get discouraged if your pitas don't puff up the way mine did below. Even if they don't, you might still get a pocket.



Pita Bread
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2.5 hours, includes rising and cooking time

2 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water (about 105 degrees)
3 cups flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Mix the yeast and the water in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until has started to foam. Add the oil and salt then gradually mix in the flour. If you are using an electric stand mixer, use the dough hook and set the speed to low. Mix for about 10 minutes until the dough has come together to form a ball. If you don't have an electric stand mixer, stir until combine then turn out onto a large, floured surface. Knead until the dough comes together and is soft but still slightly sticky. Place the dough into a bowl that has been lightly oiled and set in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour. it should double in size. At this point you can put it in the fridge or continue to make the pitas.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a regular baking sheet.

Place the dough on a floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll out the pieces into circles that are about 6 inches in diameter. Bake the pitas for 3-4 minutes. There is no need to flip the pitas partway through the baking and they shouldn't really get brown. I find that I can bake 3 pitas on my baking stone, but don't over crowd your stone - you can bake them in multiple batches. Serve immediately.

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2 Comments:

At March 1, 2015 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Rebecca said...

I am going to try your pita tonight!

 
At March 10, 2015 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Fit Girl said...

I hope it was tasty!

 

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