Make your own whole wheat pita bread - only 100 calories each!
Making Pita bread is really an easy thing to so. If you have an afternoon to spare this is a great way to have fun in the kitchen. For me, making bread takes me away from my work and provides a great form of relaxation.
Being able to make your own bread will save you a ton of money as well. A good loaf of bread is well over 5 dollars. Personally I'd rather buy a 5 pound bag of good quality flour, and make about 6 medium size loaves or a tray full of Pita bread that I can freeze for a month.
A brief history of Pita bread
For many centuries Pita bread has been a traditional bread which originated in the Middle East. It was usually made with Whole Wheat flour and baked in a brick oven filled with hot ashes.
It was not till the 70's when it started to become available in the U.S. As we all know Pita is great for sandwiches but one of my favorite stuffing's is felafel's onions and yogurt. The word Pita also spelled Pitta is actually where the word Pizza came from. Pizza is an inversion of what Pitta was during this time.
Pita is also leavened with yeast and is simply Water, Whole Wheat Flour and Salt, that’s it. I've included a recipe below also contains Flax seeds which will give it not only a great flavor but there's an added health benefit in there as well.
The advantage of making your own Pita bread
When you make your own bread, you have total control of the ingredients. These Pita's are a mere 100 calories each. So why not make your own Pita Bread? It's fun and the quality of bread is much better than what you will find in any supermarket. The cost is only a couple dollars if that. The whole process takes about 3 or 4 hours, but most of that is just waiting for bread to rise and then relax.
Pita Recipe & Ingredients
Packet of active dry yeast
½ cup warm water, 105°-115°F
Mix and knead:
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups lukewarm water
2-3 tablespoon Flax Seeds (optional)
Making Whole Wheat Pita Bread
You will want to first let the yeast disolve in the warm water for about 5 minutes. Then add the remaining water, flour and mix and knead till dough is almost elastic - at this point I add the salt and flax seeds then continue kneading for another couple minutes.
Important note: You'll want a good quality yeast - I use Bob's yeast, although Red Star is good - don't use the quick rise type and for sure don’t use yeast that is expired.
Form your dough into a large ball and place in glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with a towel and let let it rise in a warn place until doubled (about 2 hours). You'll want to put your pizza brick in the oven at this point and turn the temp. to 475 degrees.
Punch the dough down and let rest for 30 min while brick get hot. Its actually the heat of the oven that will allow the Pita bread to baloon and puff up therby creating a pocket.
After 30 minutes you will want to but the dough into equal portions then form into tennis balls shapes. Let these rest a couple minutes then with fingers flatten them out into small pizzas of about 6-8 inches in diameter. Let these rise for about 20-30 minutes.
Baking the Pita Bread
The trick to making good Pita Bread is keeping the over hot. You'll want to quickly open the over door and place one loave in and immediately close the door. T Repeat for the remaining loaves.
They only need about 4 or 5 minutes of baking time. Turn the light on to watch as the loaves rise like balloons. When they are done let them cool for about 20 or 30 minutes. When completely cooled they can also be frozen.
And Remember... Pita Bread Keeps You Healthy Too
Pita Bread has lately been getting a second wind in some of the latest diet books. They make great mini pizzas as well. The pita by itself is only 100 calories. With just a couple spoons of pizza sauce, a handful veggies and a sprinkling of feta cheese you have a filling meal under 400 calories.
About the Author
Besides making bread in his spare time, Erik Zetterberg has been a SEO since 1992. His blog at rankbydesign.com contains tips for Webmasters on how to improve search engine rankings naturally.