Saturday, June 1, 2013

#130 We made Pita Bread!

I was filled with joy when I successfully made pita bread at home, it was almost as delicious as the best tasting pita bread I've ever had! The best tasting one so far is the one that my friend's mom  makes. Aola is a magnificent cook, I just haven't had the chance to ask her for the recipe, will do very soon.  Pita bread is a round pocket bread widely consumed in many Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Balkan cuisines. It is prevalent in Cyprus, the Balkans, North Africa, the Levant, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and parts of the Indian Subcontinent. It is served with almost every dish in the Middle East. I've been wanting to do this, but since the total preparation: kneading, proofing and baking time is 3+ hours, I had to do it on a weekend. I failed the first time, so I had to make another batch. After successfully making the Pita Breads, here's what I learned:  It is important to roll the dough into 1/4 inches thick, because rolling it too thinly will prevent it to puff. It is also important to heat your baking sheets before adding the rolled dough on it to cook in the oven. And no matter how tempting it is, never open the oven while it is cooking, doing so will let go of the steam created by the high heat that is much needed to puff the breads in the oven. If your pita breads don't puff, then a pocket in the middle of the bread is not created. Lastly, make sure to put your cooked pita bread in a storage bag immediately after taking it out of the oven, failing to do so will cause the bread to harden. This recipe is very good, the pita breads were so soft, it puffed in the oven, and after a few days in the pantry, it remained soft. The bread will also freeze very well, using a freezer bag for up to a month. It is very hard to replicate pita bread made in  brick or commercial oven, but I was happy with the result using my small oven. My best friend who eats pita bread regularly, tried it last week, and he said that "it's very tasty, and soft, it's great" :)



1 package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

  1.  Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
  2. Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
  3. Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.
  4. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
  5. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
  6. Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.
  7. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  8. Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
  9. Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
  10. Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.
  11. Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
  12. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags. 
Recipe adapted from here

1 comment:

  1. As being from the middle east, the pita bread is not easy to make..or maybe I was raised in a lazy country nobody would make it at home.. we always used to buy it from the grocery store for very cheap. Thanks for that recipe though! Enjoy