Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Homemade Pita Bread

The only thing scary about making pita bread is how hot you have to get your oven.  Although there's white flour in the recipe, this bread is so versatile, preservative free and delicious.  It's easy to store and freeze.  It's a weekend project that will save you some time planning dinner during the busy work week.  The kids get so excited when they see I'm about to make pita bread.

Pita Bread
Easy recipe but it takes about 3 hours with having to wait for the dough to rise

2 1/2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
2 cups of whole wheat flour
4 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of salt

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  In a huge mixing bowl, mix the yeast into the warm water.  Add the whole wheat flour and one cup of white flour.  Mix well with a spoon for one minute then set aside for about 20 minutes.  Next, add the salt, oil and one cup of flour at a time while you mix.  When the dough becomes too difficult to stir, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes.  The dough should be sticky and become smooth.  Then return the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rest for about 1 1/2 hours until it's doubled in size.  Meanwhile, make aluminum foil squares which we'll use to bake the dough.  Take a piece of foil and fold over each side 1/2 inch to make a small 'tray' to bake the dough. Make about six of these:

Save the foil trays for next time!

This dough should make at least 16 pitas, depending on the size.  You can choose to divide the dough up into smaller pieces and roll into balls or pull apart golf ball sized amounts.  Roll the dough on a floured surface and then place the 1/4 inch thick dough onto the foil.  I usually place three foils at a time directly on the oven rack for about 3 minutes.  It's better to under cook than over cook because the leftovers can be cooled, frozen and then reheated in the toaster oven on another day.  Using tongs and an oven mit, carefully remove each foil from the oven racks.  Turn the foil upside down to remove the pita onto a long piece of foil, stacking them as you go.  Bring an end of the foil up over the bread to allow the steam to continue cooking the bread.  Repeat the process.

I usually make this bread over the weekend and our first meal with it is almost always a scrumptious Mediterranean spread.  The following night we'll do 'make your own pizzas.'

Oh, and look!  These pizza toppings look a lot like what I'll use for Taco Tuesday the next night!  Chop once, use twice!  

If there are any leftovers after all that, stack the pitas, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil.  These can be stored in the freezer.

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