A Valiant Vessel

Pita Bread

Makes 8 pita

Adapted fromChef John’s

INGREDIENTS

2 c (240 g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1/2 c (60 g) whole wheat flour*

1 package (8 g) active dry yeast

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Dash of salt

* You can adjust the ratio of whole wheat to all purpose. I also made a batch with the measurements reversed. The version with more whole wheat was denser but still nice and perhaps more flavorful.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the yeast, pinch of sugar, 1 c (120 g) all purpose flour, and 1 c (235 ml) room temperature water and gently whisk just to combine. It’s ok if it’s a little lumpy. Let stand at room temperature for 15 – 20 minutes until you see a light bubbling forming on the top surface.
  2. When the mixture is ready, add the olive oil, salt, and whole wheat flour, and about half of the remaining all purpose flour. Stir to combine and start kneading with your hands. Add the remaining flour as you knead.  You can also use a stand mixer and dough hook. In either case it’s better not to add all the dough at the beginning but rather to see how it comes together and add as needed.
  3. When the dough comes together, knead for at least 5 – 8 minutes to develop the glutens and form a smooth dough the springs back to the touch.  Add a tiny dash of olive oil to the boil to coat the dough so it doesn’t stick and cover tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Let the dough rise in a room temperature or warm place until doubled in size, ~ 1.5 – 2 hours.
  4. Once risen, on a floured surface turn out the dough and lightly pat down and shape loosely into a rectangle about 1 in thick. Cut the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball but when you do this, take the ends of the dough and pull and tuck under into the bottom on the ball (see video).  This is important to perhaps make the difference between creating flat bread and pita bread.  Both taste great but only one has the pocket.
  5. Cover the balls of dough with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Once rested, on a floured surface pat down with your hands forming a flat, round shape ~ 1/4 or 1/3 in thick.  Work in batches here, about 4 at a time. Let the flatted dough rest for 5 minutes, covered lightly with plastic.  Again, this is important to perhaps make the difference between creating flat bread and pita bread.
  7. Heat a cast iron on medium high heat or regular skilled on high heat. Place the flattened bread on the hot skillet. Flip when bubbles are forming on the side up and the underside is lightly brown, ~ 2 minutes depending on the heat of your pan. Flip and cook another 1 – 2 minutes. Flip again to original side and cook for another minute or so and you should see the pita puff up and an air pocket forming. Remove from heat and enjoy when cool enough to handle.

 

 

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