Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pita Bread

I am still trying to master these. The first two times I made them a few of them turned out perfect. They were delicious. I love to freeze them and then pull them out for quick pizza crusts. Just put on my topping and then cook for 15 min. They are a little finicky and need to be rolled out just perfect. When you can get them to work they sure are delicious. I found the recipe of this site. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pitabread . It tells all about bread, different flours you can use, and other great stuff like that. These are great, I even put peanut butter and jam on them for my little one, and stuffed them with chicken salad for my husband and I. A recipe I will use again!

Pita Bread (Makes 8 pitas, depending on what size you want them)

3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbl honey
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c water,
2 tbl canola oil

If you are using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the packet to active it (see the note on yeast above). Otherwise, mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (I had to add an extra 1/4 cup).
Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired). If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.
When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. I use canola spray oil, but you can also just pour a teaspoon of oil into the bowl and rub it around with your fingers. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it'll be easier to shape. This step is very important. If you don't do it they wont turn out. If they don't seem stretchy enough, let them rest longer.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Too thin and it wont puff up, too thick and it wont puff up either.
Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn't necessary.

Let them cool slightly and enjoy!

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