Friday, July 9, 2010

Homemade Pita Bread

My hubs and I love to eat fresh fruits and vegetables during the Spring and Summer months. One way we love eating them is in Pita Bread as a Veggie Pita Sandwich. I bought some "fresh" pitas the other day and, although they were good, I figured I could make them better! So here is what I did:

To make 8 pitas:

3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t. Sea Salt
1 T. Sugar, Honey or Agave
2 t. Yeast (or 1 packet)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C. Warm water (room temp)
2 T. Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients into bowl. NOTE: If you are using packaged yeast, follow the directions on the packet. If you are using bulk yeast, just throw it in! Mix and let your mixer (I use my Bosch) do the kneading for 10 min. If you are doing it by hand, knead it for 10 minutes or until your hands get tired.

(The purpose of kneading is to completely combine the ingredients as well as break down the the flour so the dough becomes stretchy and elastic which will help it rise better).

When the dough has been completely kneaded, place it into a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Gently roll the ball around so that the oil coats it completely. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

After it has risen, punch the dough down which releases some of the trapped gasses. Divide into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll into balls, cover with a damp cloth and let rise again for 20 min.

While the dough is "resting" preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone or pizza stone, place it into the oven while it is heating up. If not, take a baking sheet and place it upside down on the middle of the rack and let it heat up.

Now that the balls have rested for their 20 min., take a small bit of flour and sprinkle it onto a cutting board or counter top. Take each ball and flatten with either your hands or a rolling pin to about 1/8" thick (Thinner dough will puff better). If the dough does not cooperate and won't stretch , you can cover it with a damp cloth and let raise again for 5-10 min. before trying again.

Take a spray mist bottle and spray a light mist of water over your cooking surface. This is supposed to help the pitas not blister...if you don't have a mister, don't worry, I've skipped this step and they have been just fine.

Now place as many of the pitas onto your cooking surface as it will allow. They can be fairly close, they don't spread out much so you should be OK with an inch between each one. Bake for 3-5 minutes. They should be baked through and puffy within that time. They won't really brown, just make sure they puff up. If you want them crispy, bake an additional 3-5 minutes. They are best when eaten just out of the oven, but they will last in the refrigerator for several days if kept in a plastic bag..

I'm going to try Whole Wheat next...I'll let you know how they turn out and post rhe recipe.

These are delicious and so much cheaper than what you can buy at the store. It takes up about 2 hours of your day, but most of that is the rising time...ENJOY!!


Lynn said...

Oh yumm!!!! Thanks for the recipe AND the always help. They turned out great! My daughter who loves to cook will be back from camp tomorrow.....I think she will have fun making these with me this weekend.

addicted2shius said...

Yum!! I can't wait to try it out!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

I am going to try these. They look so delicious and like you said, most of the time is rising time. Fresh from the oven, I bet they would just melt in your mouth. Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

♥ helen said...

They look very tasty, I would like to bake some too :)