Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pita Bread, from Kris

My friend (who grew up in Israel) is trying to teach me how to make her mom's pita bread. So far, I've done it twice and have had good and bad pita both times... I'm not giving up though! Here's the recipe:

1 lb flour
1 cup water water
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast

Activate yeast in water water (115 degrees) with 1 TBSP sugar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. In bowl, combine flour and salt, then add yeast water and bring together into dough ball. (If dough is too dry, add more *warm* water 1 teaspoon at a time). The dough should not be sticky, but not too dry either.... Knead dough ball (I haven't figured out how long to knead the dough... I keep trying different things. I don't really understand why dough gets kneaded...). After kneading, put into bowl that has been lightly oiled with olive oil. Spray the top of the doughball with a little olive oil, cover and place in warm area to rise for at least an hour.

After dough has risen, preheat oven to 500 degrees. pull dough off of main ball and form into slightly bigger than golfball balls and put aside (keeping covered so they don't dry out). After all the dough is in golfball sized pieces, roll each one flat (if too thin, they will not puff and be like large crackers, but if too puffy they won't cook on the inside and will burn on the outside). Try to roll to 1/4 inch (that is what I strive for!). They end up being about 3 - 4 inches in diameter. Put into oven and cook for a couple of minutes until done (about 5 minutes or so). They should be puffy and golden brown, but not crunchy. Cool on wire rack.

I think I will try to make more tonight. I keep changing the amount of time I knead and the thickness of the pita. They do turn out very yummy. My kids love them warm with butter. I love them warm with grilled chicken and tzatziki.

Edit from Kris:
I will add 1 TBSP of olive oil to the loaf, plus I will allow the dough, in golfball state, to sit for 8 - 10 minutes covered with a slightly damp towel before I try to roll them out. I also am going to put the cookie sheet in the oven and leave it there to get hot. I was reading that if the surface that the pita is cooked on is hot in the oven, the pita puff better...

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