Pita Bread

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I was surprised at how easy this recipe was, and how great it turned out. The first time around, we never got to using the pita for falafel or anything else I had planned it for, because we just snacked on them. In South Africa things like pita bread and tortillas are expensive, otherwise I never would have thought to have tried this on my own. The recipe is from The Fresh Loaf, and it's worth checking out the link because there is a lot of great info there about pita and bread baking techniques.


3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 t salt
1 T sugar or honey
2 t yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c water, roughly at room temperature
2 T oil or shortening or butter


If using active dry yeast, follow the packet directions to activate. Otherwise, if using instant, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add oil and water and stir with wooden spoon. All the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick, add more water.

Place ball of dough on clean surface and knead with your hands or mix in a mixer on low for 10 minutes.
Place the kneaded dough in a bowl lightly coated in oil. Roll the ball around till it has been coated in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or damp dish towel. Set aside in draft-free place, about 90 minutes, till it has doubled in size.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down, divide into 8 pieces (or however many good size pita balls you can make - I made more than 8). Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp dish towel, and let rest 20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat oven to 400 F (204 C). Preheat a baking stone or upside down cookie sheet on middle oven rack, that you will back the pita on.

After the dough has rested, take each ball and roll to 1/8-1/4 inches thick on a lightly floured surface.
Put as many pitas as you can on the preheated tray in the oven. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.


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