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Homemade Pita Bread
Make your own yummy homemade pitas
Pitas make the perfect hand held food. You can fill them with just about anything you'd put in a sandwich and then some. It's no wonder why this ancient form of bread is still popular around the world.
- 1 packet (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Wait a few minutes until you see bubbles (that tells you your yeast is alive and kicking)
- Mix in the cup of white flour until thoroughly combined
- Mix the whole wheat flour in 1/2 cup at a time until dough is a firm ball
- Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 6 minutes (set a timer you don't want to overwork the dough) adding more flour if the dough become sticky.
- Form into flattened ball and cut into 8 even pieces form pieces into small balls. Allow them to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Leave space between the ball so they don't stick together when rising.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees Farenheit with the cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven so it heats.
- Roll out each ball of dough into a rough circle shape about 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes until the bread puffs and browns slightly on the top.
- Remove from the oven and baking sheet. Cover with a towel until cool.
- Enjoy. Store the pitas in foil or plastic zip bag to keep them from drying out. These contain no preservatives so use within a few days or refrigerate to keep for up to a couple weeks as long as they are kept well sealed to prevent drying.
- Sometimes a pita won't puff all the way. I usually have one or two in each batch that don't form a complete pocke/t. Don't stress, you can use the non-puffed ones to make mini pizzas or pita chips.
What Makes the Pitas's Pocket?
Even though pitas are made with yeast it's not the yeast that makes the pitas puff up and form the pocket. Instead it is the high temperature of the oven causes water in the dough to turn into steam and puff up the middle of the pocket.
If you try to make pitas at a lower temperature than 500 degrees or place it on a cool pan in the oven (rather than one that's been heated already) it will not heat fast enough to puff.
Let's Make Pitas - Slightly different from my recipe but same general process
Delicious Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Yogurt is a very traditional accompaniment for pita in greek and middle eastern cooking. This sauce makes a wonderful healthy substitute for mayonnaise for all sorts of sandwiches.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch salt
- pinch sugar
- pepper and other seasonings to taste
Mix yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic together. Add salt, sugar, and any seasonings you like to taste (I like a little freshly chopped basil). Cover and keep refrigerated. Take note of the expiration date on your yogurt, this sauce will only last as long as the plain yogurt.
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