Monday, March 31, 2008

PITA Bread

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 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 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.


k said...

Thank you for the pita recipe!!! Can't wait to try it out. Cheesecake looks amazing too.

Leah said...

I can't believe you made that pita, I'm scared half out of my wits by trying to make anything with yeast in it!!

Read your comments on my blog -- maybe you should get your husband a transfer to Milwaukee and we can hang out. haha!!

Now I must go te'vo the Today Show for REM!!! I'm still a fan after 28 years -- scary!

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

K~make will be pleasantly surprised how easy and yummy it is. We used some for hummus and some for lunches/sandwhiches.

Leah~You are the 2nd person in the last 2 weeks I have heard say they are scared of yeast. If you love to cook and truly love bread please go to Barnes Noble and get "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day". You will NOT be sorry. I have made rye, pumpernickel, pita, brioche, ciabatta and today I am making babka. I am not real keen on cookbooks anymore because everything is on the net for free but this book is a MUST.

LOL, the closes I will get to you is back in Omaha, NE...that is the next transfer and probably the last.

Love REM! Went to Pink Floyd in Pittsburgh while I was pregnant with the first kid, went to Metallica's Summer Sanitorium Tour at the LA coliseum w/the 2nd pregnancy. I was too tired to go anywhere w/the 3rd.

Leah said...

I do love bread but I'm more in to conquering yeast because I want to make great pizza dough and haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet!

That is so funny, we had fourth row to Dave Matthews when I six months pregnant with Griffin (he's now 12) -- I had surprisingly little tolerance for the drunks (even though I'm usually one of the drunks, lol) and stoners (but I've never been a stoner) who were bumping into my largely pregnant self. Second and third pregnancies, I didn't even go to the friggin' MOVIES!!!

The new REM cd is getting great reviews! I can't wait to get it and pop it into the old Volvo station wagon!!!! How sad am I?!?!

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Leah~ How funny....our 3rd and last son is named Griffin. He is 16 months.

I make pizza dough all the time and have a great recipe. I cook mine on the Big Green Egg and it turns out perfect grilled pizzas. Have you been on my normal blog??
I can post a pizza dough recipe on here but I post all my other stuff on the other blog. I just use this blog to keep track of recipes.

Prudy said...

OOh, I love making homemade pita when my tomatoes are ripe. I've been making it during the summer for me and my dad since I was a little girl-that was a long time ago. Homemade pitas are sooo yummy with tomato and homemade mayo. You're inspiring me! Gorgeous blog and I love your header shot.

mikky said...

wow... a homemade pita bread... i always buy mine, hope i'll be able to have the courage to make my own someday... will keep your recipe... who knows? :)... thanks for sharing...