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Pita Bread

Pita bread in two hours. Yes! you heard it right. Two hours which include proofing and baking. But first let me ask you… What type of pita person are you?... I’m ‘pita-Pocket’ guy, which makes it that much harder to find any decent pita bread around where I live.


There are an abundance of Lebanese, Greek, Iraqi and Turkish style flat breads around where I am and for the most part, they are easily found at Middle-Eastern specialty markets and larger supermarkets as well. But over time, my hunts for the perfect Pita-Pocket brand, always ended up with disappointment.

 
 

So… I decided to take matters into my own hands, and just make my own desired pita bread. This recipe which is inspired by Ivone Ruperti of ‘Serious Eats’, but adapted to my own requirements and MWODI (My Way of Doing It), makes me happy. Why?... you ask… because after so many failed attempts trying to make pita bread at home, lacking a brick-wood or a professional baker’s oven, necessary to reach those high temps, I finally managed to work out a recipe that is easy and WORKS.


So... Let's do this!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water (250ml), Lukewarm = 105–110°F (41–43°C)

  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl + hands

  • 1 Tbsp (15g) granulated sugar

  • 2 Tsp instant (10g) yeast

  • 2 Tsp (10g) kosher salt

  • 300g (2 cups) Bread flour plus more for dusting

  • 60g (1/3 cup) whole wheat flour

Note:

This flour ratio for this recipe is 5:1, meaning whole wheat flour amounts to no more than 20% of the entire flour mass. pita bread requires alot of gluten and is typically a very yeasty and wet dough allowing it to rise as it does when baked. This is why we add Whole wheat flour for the purpose of taste and its nuttiness, but be careful not to add more than the suggested ratio, as it may effect the much needed gluten development in the dough.

 

Step 1

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk them together.

  • Then add the olive oil, gradually adding the water while mixing the dough

Note:

This recipe will yield you 6 pita breads. If you intend to make more, you may choose to use a mixer (Kitchen Aid) instead. I for one, prefer to mix pita bread dough by hand (I also like the added workout as a bonus).

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball.

  • Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place dough inside, then rub oiled hands over the top of the dough.

  • Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place( 75-85 F = 24-29 C) for 1 hour.

Step 2

  • Release the captured air in the dough, and turn out onto a slightly floured work surface.

  • Then work dough into a ball, cover with kitchen towel and rest for 10 minutes.

  • Cut dough into 6 equal parts roughly 100g each.

  • Flatten each part into a disc then, pinching the edges, roll each part into a perfectly smooth ball.

Note:

It is imperative to have as smooth surface as possible for each dough ball. Any cracks on the dough surface will prevent it from puffing later as the air will not be able to freely circulate and expand, creating the pocket.

  • Then cover and rest for 30-40min.

Step 3

  • Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).

  • Prepare a pizza stone, or you may use an Iron skillet or baking tray instead.

  • Line a plate with a large, clean kitchen towel and set aside

  • Flatten each dough ball into a small disc, and using a rolling pin, roll each dis into about a 8-9inch (20cm) circle.

Note:

You don't want to roll the dough too thin or thick. The golden spot is somewhere between 1/4 to 1/8 inch (0.3-0.6cm). This will help to make sure the pita bread create's the perfect pocket.

  • Keep each flattened pita dough separated and covered in a kitchen towel.

  • Place each round pita dough face down on the hot surface (iron skillet, tray or pizza stone and close oven door

  • Stay there and do not go anywhere as this will happen quick. Watch as the pita dough puffs (30-45sec), then using tongs (being careful not to puncture the pita pocket), flip the pita bread and bake for another 30sec.

  • Remove and store covered in a kitchen towel

Serve immediately (there is nothing quite like hot baked bread).


Enjoy!






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