Monday, March 31, 2008
This recipe is from the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T granulated yeast
1 1/2 T salt
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
cornmeal for pizza peel
Mix the yeast and salt w/the water in a 5 qt. bowl, or a lidded not airtight food container. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup food processor w/dough attachement or a heavy duty stand mixer w/dough hook. Mix until flour is just incorporated....do not knead.
Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temp until dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.
Dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded, not airtight, container and use over the next 14days.
This makes 1 large family-style pita or 4 individual pitas
Twenty minutes before baking preheat the over to 500 with a baking stone.
Just before baking, dust the surface of the dough w/flour and cut off a 1-lb or grapefruit size piece. Dust the piece w/more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Place the dough on a flour dusted pizza peel.
Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a round with a uniform thickness of 1/8 inch throughout. This is crucial, because if it's too thick, it may not puff. You'll need to sprinkle the peel lightly with the white flour as you work, occasionally flipping the bread to prevent sticking to the rolling pin or to the board. Use a dough scraper to remove the round of dough from the peel if it sticks. No rest/rise time is needed.
Slide the bread directly onto the hot stone and bake for about 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed.
For the most authentic soft-crusted result, wrap in clean cotton dish towels and set on a cooling rack when backing is complete. The pitas will deflate slightly as they cool. The space between the crusts will still be there, but may have to be nudged apart with a fork.
I rolled my pitas out on parchment paper and baked them right on the parchment paper on the stone. It worked out great. I think a smidge thicker than 1/8 works better in the thickness also....mine didn't need to be nudged apart at all....my thinner ones didn't want to come apart. You can keep the remainder of the dough refrigerated for up to 14 days and pull it out and use it as you need it in grapefruit size portions.