Saturday, October 12, 2013

Perfect Pita Bread


I'm not kidding, this pita bread is foolproof. If  *I* can make it? I'm not a great baker. Granted you're not going to bake these. But it requires yeast, that's kind of baking. This pita bread is so easy to make. Really. It's great for sandwiches like Gyros, BLT's, club sandwiches, ranch chicken, lamb kabob sandwiches and more. It's great for making pizza's, dipping in olive oil and spices, hummus, tzatziki sauce.
I have a recipe for hummus here, but I also have one that I will post soon, no Tahini needed.
I'll be posting a Greek Chicken to go in this Pita soon, in the meantime this marinade is perfect for chicken breasts. Give Peas A Chance Greek Chicken Kabobs.

The great thing about simple recipes is that you can adapt and change them up to your liking. I've listed some ideas at the bottom of the recipe. Shaping the dough is very easy, you do not need a rolling pin at all. I just take portions of dough, and pat them into a disk that is a little less than 1/2 inch think, but not too thin.


Ignore the rolling pin, you don't need it.

Give Peas A Chance Perfect Pita Bread

2 cups warm/hot water, for yeast
4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
4- 3/4  cups flour, plus ~1/2 cup more for shaping
1- 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to oil the bowl

  1. Add water and yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer, or use a big bowl if you will be kneading and stirring by hand*. 
  2. Stir just to combine. Set aside and let the yeast proof, for about 5 minutes. It should get foamy, if it doesn't you may need new yeast.
  3. Place the dough hook onto the mixer. Add 4 cups of flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Turn on the mixer to the lowest setting and let the dough hook stir the mixture, increase speed a little at a time to medium.
  5. The dough should start coming together and pulling off the sides of the bowl.
  6. Stop the mixer, pinch the dough, if it is too sticky add more flour a little bit at a time. Until the dough is not tacky to touch.
  7. Turn the mixer on to knead the dough for about 8 minutes.
  8. Remove the dough hook, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the dough ball. 
  9. Gently spread the oil around the all of the dough in the bowl.
  10. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for about an hour until doubled. 
  11. Once doubled separate the dough into about 16 pieces.
  12. Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat. A cast iron pan works well.
  13. On a floured surface flatten the dough out with your hands to a little less than 1/2 inch thick disks. You can also use a rolling pin, but it's not needed and is just one more thing to wash.
  14. Brush or wipe the bottom of the pan with a little bit of oil.
  15. Place the dough in the pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds.
  16. Turn the pita bread over, let it cook for 90-160 seconds. Turn and cook the other side for 90-160 seconds. Adjust the temperature on the stove as needed. I like to cook my pita on a medium heat.
  17. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. (Optional)
  18. Repeat with remaining dough portions.
Notes-
* If preparing by hand, stir the flour, oil, and salt  into the water with a wooden spoon until combined. Then knead the dough until it's smooth. After, oil the ball of dough and return it to the bowl to rise.
*If it's cold in my kitchen I heat a cup of water in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Then I remove the mug of water and place the covered dough in the microwave, shut the door and let it rise in there.

Change it up
Add spices like- garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, curry powder...
Add herbs like chopped parsley, or cilantro.
Use ghee instead of olive oil, brush with ghee before serving. I know that's a Naan thing, but can you really pass on the flavor ghee gives? I think not.
I like to brush each piece of pita bread with a little bit of oil and sprinkle with salt as they come off the stove.

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