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Pita Bread

May 11, 2010

I love Pita bread but I can never bring myself to buy it in the stores. (remember I am CHEAP?  Yeah, I just can’t bring myself to pay the price when I have another loaf of bread sitting there for less than a dollar)

When this recipe came to my attention to make Pita Bread, I just had to try it!  Oh….MY….GOODNESS!  These are better than any other store bought pita bread I have EVER had…that and they made awesome pita chips (more on that later this week…maybe tomorrow).

Anyway, want to learn to make them?

Tools:

Bread Machine (if you don’t have one, you can do the work by hand kneading and mixing and letting it rise…it really is that simple)

Countertop

Rolling pin

Oven rack

Large Spatula (for moving bread in and out of oven)

Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

1 Cup Warm Water

1 TBS Oil (I used olive, but you can use any kind)

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Sugar

3 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp yeast (or one package yeast, yes it’s a bit more than that, but it still works

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into the Bread Pan.  Water:

20100508 104Salt:

20100508 105Oil:

20100508 106Sugar:

20100508 108Flour:

20100508 109Yeast:

20100508 110Put it on dough cycle and press start:

20100508 112Take out only once the timer goes off (you want it to rise nice an big, right?):

20100508 128If you don’t have a bread machine, just knead all the dough together and let it rise quietly in a warm place

Lightly flour the counter top:

20100508 129Turn out the dough onto the counter top and punch down…no really, get some aggression out!  THIS is why people make dough from scratch…the punching and pushing and pulling!

20100508 130So, punch that baby down and cut it into 8 equal pieces: 

20100508 131Roll each of those pieces into balls:

20100508 132Then, on that lightly floured counter, take one ball at a time and roll out to about 6-7 inches wide:

20100508 133Lay each piece on a lightly floured surface:

20100508 134Cover with a dry towel (or two) and let rest quietly for about 25 minutes.  You want them puffier, but they are going to stay flat and thin, just puffier:

20100508 135While they are resting, preheat the oven to 500 (YES, FIVE ZERO ZERO, I know, it seems extreme, but it’s not).  After they are well rested, place them in the oven directly on the oven rack…don’t worry, they’ll be fine, remember the taco shells we made this way?):

20100508 138Don’t forget to be careful..it’s FIVE HUNDRED DEGREES IN THERE!  Now, if you want to have some fun, watch through the window.  These babies puff up big!  I wish I knew how it all worked because, seriously, the science of it is a bit amazing to me:

20100508 142I just can’t figure out how one FLAT ROLLED OUT piece of bread actually FILLS WITH AIR!  It’s not like it’s two pieces layered together…it just baffles the mind…but there it is!

While they are in there, get two towels and dampen them.  You don’t want them too wet lest your pita get soggy, just damp enough to keep them from drying out as they cool.  Lay the towels out one on top of the other on a countertop:

20100508 143After 4-5 minutes, check on those babies and see if they are lightly browned yet.  They should be.  Take them out and place them in a single layer between the two towels:

20100508 144They will stay poofy for a bit (yes, it’s my own made up word, but you know what it means), but after they are cooled down, they look something like this:

20100508 145Yes, all you have to do now is cut in half and fill…oh, and don’t forget to enjoy!

My Comments:

I am a fairly decent cook; I am far from a chef, but I feed us pretty well.  The husband doesn’t really complain about my food unless it’s really bad (and I have had a few that were bad…not many, but they have happened).  However, if he comments on it being “good” then I know it’s something awesome!

I know, saying nothing means it’s good; saying it’s good means it’s awesome-make-me-that-every-day-please got a little confusing for me, too, when we were first married…oh well, it works for us!

Anyway, he really liked the pita bread and the pita chips that came after…oh, stay tuned for those!  They will be coming this week!

Tell me, do you get the science behind the poofiness?  Please explain if you can!  It’s like magic! 20100508 147

Pita Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1 TBS oil

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

3 cup all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp dry yeast

Directions:

In bread machine pan combine ingredients and put on dough cycle

Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface

Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball

On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6— or 7-inch circle

Set them aside on a lightly floured surface and cover loosely with a dry towel

Let rest for 25 minutes until they are slightly puffy

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees

Place dough directly on the oven rack and bake for 4–5 minutes until just slightly browned…these will puff up while cooking, don’t worry, they’ll come back down after resting a while; the important thing is SLIGHTLY brown, you don’t want too brown

Remove from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in between two damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads if there is more

Allow bread to completely cool before using

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