Friday, November 11, 2011

Homemade Pita!

Everything tastes better when it is fresh and homemade. I know that's true for breads and tortillas, so why not pita bread? 

I've found that store-bought pita bread falls into two categories. (1) Chewy and delicious, but full of terrible, unidentifiable ingredients, or (2) great ingredient list, but dry and tasteless.

Version 2 isn't hopeless, you can throw it in the oven with some olive oil and sea salt, but I'd much rather have all of the good traits of pita and none of the bad. And now I have it!

Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread

1 tablespoon honey 
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 packet active rise yeast
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
  1. Stir together the honey and warm water in a bowl. Drop in the contents of the yeast packet and give a quick, gentle stir to mix in the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in flour and salt. Begin mixing with a fork and switch to kneading with your hands when dough gets sticky.
  3. Knead dough for about 5 minutes.(dough will be sticky!)
  4. Place dough ball in a large, greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise for 90 minutes (dough should double in size).
  5. Turn oven on to 400F.
  6. Punch down dough ball (this is fun!) and divide dough in half, then divide each piece in half again, and one more time. You should have 8 balls of dough.
  7. Place balls of dough back into the bowl and cover with damp cloth for another 20 minutes.
  8. While dough balls are relaxing, place two baking sheets upside down in preheated oven to heat up.
  9. After 20 minutes, roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness.
  10. Arrange pita dough on the back of the cookie sheets and bake at 400F for 5 minutes. 
This recipe makes eight pitas. These taste really great right out of the oven, and the next day- try heating leftovers up in a toaster. Mine didn't last any longer than that, but I'd guess they would last a few days. You can (very!) carefully slice open the side to create a pocket. You could also just wrap them around your food or slice up for dipping.

Dough Balls and Rolled Out Pitas:

Final Product (on the back of a baking sheet):


I actually only cooked mine four minutes, but next time I'd want to give them that extra minute as I think these were a little too light.

These were chewy and had a really great flavor, but as you can see from the ingredient list, still really healthy! I'm pretty excited about this one :)

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