Monday, January 19, 2009
What is better than fresh baked pita bread? Well until now I would not know unless I was eating out at a wonderful Greek Restaurant. The recipe I posted for the baguette is so versatile you will not believe it! These pitas are made from the exact recipe I used for the baguette, the only difference is a few different techniques. With pita you must roll out the dough very thin. If you don't it will not puff up and puffing is what makes pita, well pita. I hope you give this one a try. It really makes a great lunch.
This comes from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.
Recipe for Boule(This is the one used for the baguette).
Preheat oven to 500' for twenty minutes if you are using a baking stone preheat until oven reaches 500'.
Just before baking cut off a grapefruit size ball of dough. I am making small pitas so I broke mine into orange size balls.
Using your hands and rolling pin, roll out into flat round uniform discs. They should be 1/8 of inch thick and must be very even, I cannot stress that enough. Do not slash the pita or it will not puff and again that is what you want. Flour your rounds slightly and place on baking stone or in my case I used my Silpat on a cookie sheet. Turn on your ventilation fan, the flour on pita may smoke at this high baking temperature. Better safe than sorry. I hate when my smoke detectors go off when I am baking. Ransome on the other hand finds it quite entertaining. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly brown and puffed. You may have to place pita on a higher shelf without stone to achieve proper browning. Mine did just fine but remember I am not using a stone.
For the most authentic, soft-crusted result, wrap in clean cotton dish towels and set on a cooling rack when baking is done. The pitas will deflate a bit as they cool. The space between the crust will still be there but you may have nudge it open a little with your fingers.
I remember the first time I ever ate Pita Bread. I was visiting some friends in Kansas and their mom set out sandwich makings with pita bread. Well.... I place my mayo and sandwich fixings on one side and place another pita on top. Their mom, a really lovely lady and still is, whispered the way "she liked to eat them, was by opening them up and placing the fillings inside the layers". This was before any of the other teens saw what I was doing. Thank goodness, and yes,I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and the only thing we ever put between bread was a hot dog or burger.I think of this every time I eat pita. Thanks for the memories Evie.