I Pita the Fool

I’ll admit it, I’m a fan of Mr. T. I used to watch the A-Team as a kid… anyone else? Hmmm… I think I just showed my age. For a short time used I even used the “Mr. T” voice on my GPS. However, I got tired of him calling me a fool if I missed a turn. Its all fun and games until you really start to feel like one! lol!

Anyway, I had some free time last week and decided I was in the mood the bake. After thumbing through my cookbooks, came across this recipe for pita bread. Since I had all of the ingredients on hand, pita it was! This was my first time making it, and I even impressed myself. Who know pitas were so easy to make and yet SO complicated looking! It really is fascinating how you can put a thin, flat piece of dough on a hot surface and it will balloon and turn into a beautiful pita. The best part is the dough is good in the fridge for up to a week. This means you can have fresh pita at your whimsy… Now THAT is good stuff, my friends!



A little hummus…

Some Campari tomatoes and a generous slice of feta…

and some uber-fresh tabouleh rounds out this dinner. Find recipes for the side dishes here.

Pita Bread Recipe
(adapted from Baking with Julia)

1 tsp dry yeast
2 1/2 c tepid water (80-90 degrees, F)
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour

1. Stir the yeast and water together in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon and stirring in one direction, add the whole wheat flour, about a cup at a time; then stir 100 times, or until the mixture looks smooth and silky. This is the sponge that needs to rest covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes, although it is best if it can rest longer, up to 8 hours in a cool place.

2. Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and then stir in the olive oil, mixing well, again stirring in the same direction. Add the all purpose flour a cup at a time, mixing until the dough is too stiff to mix with the spoon. Scrape into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. The dough will be moderately firm and have a slight sheen.

3. Rinse the mixing bowl, dry it and coat it lightly with oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours or until it doubles in bulk.

4. You can bake in the oven or on the stove top. I tried both ways, and preferred the oven, as you end up with a much more uniformly cooked product. To bake in the oven, place a baking stone or quarry tiles in the bottom rack of your oven. If you do not have these, you can also use a sheet pan. Preheat to 450 degrees.

5. Deflate the dough by kneading it briefly. Divide it in half and keep one half under plastic or a cloth while you work with the other. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and with the light floured cupped hands, form the pieces into tight balls; keep the balls under plastic while you work on the others. On a well floured surface, flatted the balls of dough into a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Cover, but do not stack the rolled out breads.

6. Place the dough on the preheated stone and bake for 3-5 minutes or until the breads resemble well blown-up balloons. Don’t worry of you get seams or dry spots or less than full balloons (your tiles might not have been hot enough) the breads will still taste good. As the breads come out of the oven, wrap the together in a large kitchen towel. Finish baking this batch of bread, roll out the remaining dough and continue baking.

Makes 16 pitas

Note: To bake on the stove top, preheat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat and lightly oil. Bake one rolled out circle at a time, putting the pita top side down on the pan cooking for 20 seconds before turning over. Cook for another minute until big bubbles appear. Turn again and cook until it balloons completely.

 

23 Comments

  • Dana McCauley 10 YEARS AGO

    Looks like a great meal – totally my kind of food!

    I haven’t made pitas in years and I can’t tell you why not. As you remind us all, it’s so easy!

  • Droze 10 YEARS AGO

    Seriously. Could you make me anymore hungry? That looks awesome and based on my past experience with your dishes. I’m sure it tastes even better.

  • elra 10 YEARS AGO

    Candace, your pita bread look amazing, it puffs out so perfectly.

  • Susan from Food Blogga 10 YEARS AGO

    Are you kidding? I had a folder with the A-Team on the cover! My mom drew the line though when I wanted Mr. T’s haircut. ;)

  • maybelles mom 10 YEARS AGO

    I once met Mr T at a party, but that is a story for another time. I love the pita–it looks so delicious.

  • stephchows 10 YEARS AGO

    whole wheat tortillas that you can make the dough ahead of time!! YOU ROCK!

  • Alessandra 10 YEARS AGO

    Your pita bread looks lovely and yummy. Yes, this is my kind of food. You have a great blog, do you think I could put a link to your blog on mine?

  • peabody 10 YEARS AGO

    Yum! Homemade pita bread sounds and looks wonderful. I need to make me some.

  • Barbara 10 YEARS AGO

    I adore pita- and whole wheat pita especially. I have never made it but you have given me inspiration!

  • Brooke 10 YEARS AGO

    I’ll have to work up my courage to try making these – they look fab!

  • TreehouseChef 10 YEARS AGO

    I love pita bread but have never made it. You make it look so easy. I will save the recipe and hopefully make it very soon.

  • CookiePie 10 YEARS AGO

    WOW – your pita looks so perfect!!!

  • Coffee & Vanilla 10 YEARS AGO

    Hi,

    A while ago you have been nominated to Inspiring Food Photography poll and I would want also to give you Beautiful Blog
    award (replacement for IFP event):
    http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=7020
    If you agree place link or badge linking to the B B List somewhere on your site or mention it in the post and I will place your link on the list.

    Margot

  • Jann 10 YEARS AGO

    I have never made these-you make it look and sound so easy!

  • Mrs Ergül 10 YEARS AGO

    I have tried my hands at pita once and failed miserably! I will bookmark your recipe!

  • The 99 Cent Chef 10 YEARS AGO

    What to do with that pita bread? Try my Pita Pizzas topping ideas: http://the99centchef.blogspot.com/2008/11/pita-pizza-with-clams-artichoke.html
    Also,I enjoy your blog, bon appetit!

  • raych 9 YEARS AGO

    Ok so, I’ve been on this iodine-free diet for 3 weeks and I have a week left to go and iodine is in EVERYTHING because it is in salt, and salt is in everything. It is also in dairy and soy and eggs and ground meats and the list is really long, but basically I’ve been eating rice for 3 weeks. I made my own bagels but I got sick of them pretty quickly. ANYway, I just made these (non-iodized-salted)pitas and m eating a delicious meal for the first time in what feels like years. Thanks so much.

  • Sarah 9 YEARS AGO

    I tried this today and I was amazed! Thank you so much for the great recipe. Will be posting to my blog soon and definitely crediting you. Will update you with the link. Thank you once again. You really made my day. :)

    • Candace 9 YEARS AGO

      Glad you loved the recipe as much as I did!

  • Sarah 9 YEARS AGO

    By the way, I’ve been looking at this recipe for a bit now and couldn’t get up and make it out of fear! Again, I am THRILLED with the results I got. It reminded us of our bread back home in Cairo and we MISS home so much. :)

  • Sarah 9 YEARS AGO

    Candace, I made this today! I credited you over here. http://www.buttered-up.com/2010/04/i-pity-you-for-not-attempting-this_08.html

    Thank you so much for this. You don’t realize how much it meant to us to have a piece of home (Cairo) in our Malaysian home. It really blew both my husband and me away and took us back instantly to the smell of the bread at one of our favorite restaurant back home. I am so in love with you right now! LOL.

  • Diane 9 YEARS AGO

    They look amazing! A learning tower of pitas! Going to have to make some but I don’t have a baking stone! *yet*!

  • pilot 7 YEARS AGO

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to seek out any person with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that’s wanted on the internet, someone with a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

Recent Comments

  • I visited your blog after a long time today and was so thrilled to see all these new posts and the new design. As always, your food looks gorgeous.
  • The best!
  • wow great pictures! the filling sounds really interesting.. I have lots of leftover egg whites that I've been wanting to use up...I'm definitely making them! thanks for the recipe : )
  • I did have this salad when we visited the Philippines! It was certainly delicious and very fulfilling. Although this dish is more Japanese in origin, that restaurant gave it its own twist. The Filipinos really have a good palate for excellent food! Anyway, thank you for the recipe. I will surely give this a try!
  • Absolutely mind-blowing. I tried doing spoons once.....do your spoons have a rounded bowl or a flat surface. Did many break if you were trying to push it in a little to make it have a little depth.

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