Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pita Bread

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups tepid water (80 to 90 degrees F)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 T salt
1 T olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Preparing the dough:
Stir the yeast and water together in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon and stirring in one direction, add the whole wheat flour, about a cup at a time; then stir 100 times, or until the mixture looks smooth and silky. This is the sponge that needs to rest covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours in a cool place.

Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and then stir in the olive oil, mixing well, again stirring in the same direction. Add the all purpose flour a cup at a time, mixing until the dough is too stiff to mix with the spoon. Scrape into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be moderately firm and have a slight sheen.

Rinse the mixing bowl, dry it and coat it lightly with oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours or until it doubles in bulk.

You can bake in the oven or on the stove top. To bake in the oven, place a baking stone or quarry tiles in the bottom rack of your oven. If you do not have these, you can also use a sheet pan.

Preheat to 450 degrees F.

Deflate the dough by kneading it briefly. Divide it in half and keep one half under plastic or a cloth while you work with the other. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and with the light floured cupped hands, form the pieces into tight balls; keep the balls under plastic while you work on the others. On a well floured surface, flatted the balls of dough into a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Cover, but do not stack the rolled out breads.

Place the dough on the preheated stone and bake for 3-5 minutes or until the breads resemble well blown-up balloons. As the breads come out of the oven, wrap the together in a large kitchen towel. Finish baking this batch of bread, roll out the remaining dough and continue baking.

To bake on the stove top, preheat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat and lightly oil. Bake one rolled out circle at a time, putting the pita top side down on the pan cooking for 20 seconds before turning over. Cook for another minute until big bubbles appear. Turn again and cook until it balloons completely.

Makes 16 pitas


Followers of The Cook In The Family::

  © Blogger template 'Isfahan' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP