I think I have mentioned it several times here already, but in our last apartment we didn’t have an oven. Every time I wanted to do some baking (and I often did), I had to use this funky little vintage Toastmaster toaster oven that I thrifted for $2.95. While it was big enough to do a single pie, a layer cake (in batches of course), about four biscuits, or a casserole in a short dish, baking anything in it was quite a hassle–and I couldn’t make bread! I guess technically I could have made this recipe, but it would have taken an hour or longer to do all the pitas one by one. Anyway, enough with the sap story. I have a real oven now and I am making up for lost bread time.
On to the pita. This was my first go at making it. I found the recipe online (can’t find the source now!). For some reason I thought making pita bread would be some hard and laborious task. Other than the kneading, and the discovery of a hole in my oven mitt (ouch!), this was incredibly easy. As far as taste goes, after two bites I decided I am never buying store bought pita bread again. These were so much more flavorful as well as tasting much more moist and light.
In a small bowl add warm water, yeast, and stir in sugar to dissolve. In a large bowl mix flour and salt, then make a well in the center.
Once yeast is frothy add to well in the center of flour. Mix, adding water while stirring.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface.
At this point you will want to take your rings off, unless you want sticky dough all over your jewelry. Knead away now, for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is nice and elastic-y.
Knead, knead, knead, knead, knead….until it looks something like this.
Roll dough out to a rope, and cut into 10-12 sections.
Isn’t this the funniest little roller? I got it years ago when I worked at Michael’s. I seldom use it, as a full sized rolling pin is more practical for most things, but it was the perfect size for this little pita breads.
Ah, nice warm pita! Serve in wedges with hummus, roll up falafels and tahini, or cut in half and stuff with veggies for a pita sandwich….or you could be like me and just eat them as is!
- 1 package yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (about 115° F)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water
1. In a small bowl add yeast to 1/2 cup warm water. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Set aside for ten minutes, until frothy.
2. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour in yeast mix.
3. Slowly add 1 cup of lukewarm water, stirring until elastic.
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for ten minutes.
5. Coat a large bowl with oil, turning it to coat the sides. Add dough to bowl, turning over once or twice to coat with oil. Cover and set aside for one to two hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
6. On a floured surface roll dough out into a long robe. Cut into 12 pieces. I like to cut it in half, then those pieces in half, and then the last pieces into thirds, just to ensure they are even. Set dough balls to the side to rest, covered with a towel for ten minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 500° F. Make sure the bottom rack is the lowest it will go. Place baking sheets in oven to heat.
8. Roll dough balls out until they are five to six inches around and about 1/4 inch thick.
9. Place two or three circles on a baking sheet (or however many fit) and bake for four minutes, until puffed.
10. Remove from oven and turn over with a spatula. Bake for two more minutes.
11. Remove from sheet with spatula. Gently press down on top of the pita with spatula, to flatten puff.
12. Once cooled seal in an airtight container. I forgot to do this for about an hour and several of my pitas started to get tough around the edges–so this is important!