Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pita Bread - Illustrated

I don't know if I have the patience or focus to do a real tutorial but I can illustrate some directions. :o) This is an adaptation of the Pita Bread recipe that my sister Mary gave me a while back. We love it and it is really good for you.
All Done
I bake this bread in very hot oven, 450* F. on a baking stone. I got mine when I was a Pampered Chef dealer. I highly recomend theirs. I love mine!

Pita Bread
2 3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
6 to 8 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat the oven to 450 degres F. with your baking stone in there.

Mix the water, oil, honey, salt, yeast flaxseed, wheat germ and 3 cups whole wheat flour. This will be very soupy. Let it rise about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of four and mix in well. If the dough seems really sicky then add more flour about 1/2 cup at a time. The dough is done when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. You do want it a little sticky. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Quick lesson about wheat while you let that rise. The bran and germ of the wheat kernal take a long time to absorb water but when they do they really hold onto it. That is why they are so good for you. When making bread with them, they can play tricks on the begginer. If you kneed your flour until you have a nice tight dough and then let it rise, your beautiful dough will become stiff and hard and will make a very dense and dry loaf of bread. This isn't just what you are looking for. However, if you leave your dough just lightly sticky, as the dough rises the bran will contuinue to absorb water and your sticky dough will end up to be a very wonderful, elastic dough, making a beautiful loaf of bread. I have read somewehre that some people soak their wheat flour in their liquid the night before and add their yeast in the morning and a little extra flour to tighten the dough up. I haven't tried that yet but may try it. I think they skoaked their wheat in milk. Well back to the recipe.
Now that your dough has risen you need to divide it into 4 pieces to work with. Divide each of the 4 pieces into 8 balls of dough (one ball at a time).
Divide Dough
Now take and work the balls of dough one at a time in plenty of flour. Like this.
Plenty Flour
Then roll out the dough into your pita shape. The thickness of your dough is up to you. I shoot for 1/4". Here is Hannah the Chief Pita roller at work. She is also explaining the process.
Roll it out
Next you want to put them in the oven on the baking stone. If you don't have one, you can use a cookie sheet but your results may varry.
Bake the pitas for 3 minutes on one side then flip them over and bake for 2 minutes on the other side. (I actually skip that and just do 5-6 minutes on one side only because I like having eyebrows).
Bake it
When you take them out of the oven, wrap them in a dishtowel to keep the moisture in. This will help them keep soft while cooling off.
With Jam With Honey
Hannah likes her's with fresh strawberry jam. I like mine with butter and honey.
For dinner on Monday, we had fresh pitas right from the oven with Garbonzo Bean Dip. Even Bryan likes this one and that is amazing.
Garbonzo Bean Dip
Here is the recipe for that too.
Curried Garbonzo Bean Dip
2 - cans garbonzo beans - drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
In a food processor, blend everything except the cilantro until smooth. Add the chopped cilantro and blend until it is pretty unifor in texture.
Serve with Pita bread, pretzels, veggie sticks, crackers ..... etc.... . I love this in a veggie sandwitch with sliced cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and avacado and if I have it I add a slice for fresh parmasean cheese.
Also, if you don't have cilantro or if you are like me and think it tastes like dish soap, you can use parsley. Bryan in now a cilantro nut so I add it and hide the fact that it has curry because he HATES curry in all forms. It has enough other flavor (namely curry) which hide the cilantro enough for me that it doesn't bother me in this recipe.

4 comments:

Alisa said...

Yum, yum yum. This looks so fantastic. I have a white flour pita recipe which turns out very well, but I'm excited to try the whole wheat. Also that dip looks wonderful. It's just the type of food our family likes to eat. I can especially imagine the pita loaded up with the dip, some plain yogurt, lots of shredded carrots, fresh spinach, and red bell peppers. Yum. Sign me up.

Alisa said...

Me again. We just had the dip for lunch. I have made LOTS of kinds of hummus and this is one of the best that I've ever tasted. I loved it. Really, truly.

angeliclenore said...

I just bought the ingredients today! Well, I still need wheat germ, but.. I can't to try them! Thanks!

Marylois said...

Lucy, I have a flat bread book that is full of things to go with flat bread including Pita.h I'll see what interesting things you can share here. You should mention that I got my recipe from a Pakistani woman so it is authentic :o).

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