Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Homemade Pita Bread
Source: The Brown Eyed Baker
(Makes 8 Pitas)
3 Cups of Flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBS Sugar or Honey
1 Packet of Yeast (Instant)
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 Cups of Water - Room Temp
2 TBS Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Butter -or- Shortening
Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and Sugar. Add the Olive Oil and 1 1/4 Cup Water and stir together with paddle attachment on Kitchen Aid Mixer until it just starts to combine & then switch to the dough hook. Continue to mix until all ingredients form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick - add more water. I actually needed to add more flour (my dough was SUPER sticky). You just gotta go with your gut on it... Mine felt too sticky so I added flour.
Once all of the ingredients form a ball, knead dough, on low, for 10 minutes (thank the Lord for Kitchen Aid mixers... they do all of the work for you!). Once dough has been kneaded, form into a ball and place into a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Roll it around until all sides have been coated with oil (lightly). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise - until doubled in size - approximately 90 minutes.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces (You can eyeball it or if you are OCD like me... you can use a kitchen scale). Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel and allow them to rest for 20 minutes. This allows the dough to relax so it's easier to work with.
After 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. Sprinkly a little flour on top and use a rolling pin to flatten dough. You should be able to roll it out to 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick (6 inches in diameter). If the dough does not stretch sufficiently - cover with damp towel and allow to rest 5-10 minutes and then try again. Repeat with all 8 balls of dough.
Place Discs on a lightly greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper) and allow to rise uncovered for 30-45 minutes until barely doubled in thickness. I know, I know... there's a lot of rising going on here, but it's worth the wait- I promise!
While dough is rising (AGAIN), preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven so it can 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 your baking surface!
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 3-5 minutes. Repeat until all pitas have been baked.
ENJOY! Serve with Hummus... or use for Gyros... or toast and make Fattoush!