Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pita Bread

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

I have been putting this off for waaaay too long. 

    3 c flour 1 1/2 Tbs sugar 1 1/2 tsp salt 4 tsp yeast 2 Tbs melted butter 1 1/4 c warmish water
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the water and butter. Mix to combine.
2. Knead for 10 minutes by hand, or on medium speed in the mixer using a dough hook. (I did the latter.) The dough tends to get sticky. You want it to be a little tacky, but not incredibly sticky. You must go all the way to window-pane!
3. Spray a bowl with pam, turn the dough once to cover in the oil. Put plastic wrap on top and let the dough sit for about 1-1.5 hours until double in size.
4. Punch the dough down (gently). Divide it into 8 small balls. Cover with a dish towel and let them rest for 20 minutes. Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat to 450.  Start now while the dough is resting because it takes time to get your oven to 450! 
5. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each of the 8 balls until they are about 8 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch thick.
6. When the oven is hot, spray a bit of water on the pizza stone (or splash with your fingers like I did). Wait 30 seconds. Now put the dough on the pizza stone. I had to work in batches, cooking 1-2 pitas at the time.
7. The pitas cook very quickly. What you want is them to inflate into a little balloon. When they get like that, wait 30 seconds and take them out. I found that a big pancake turner works really well.  When they come out of the oven, they deflate and become pita pockets. It you wait too long, they will not deflate and you will have a pita balloon. *Total* cooking time is about 3 minutes per pocket.

If any don't inflate properly or go stale, you can always toast them for pita chips.  Remember, as with all cracker-like goods, don't over bake because they will continue to harden as they cool.  

Do I have to wait until tomorrow to fill one up?