Monday, November 10, 2008

Pita Bread

Pita Bread (also called and less commonly known as pitta or pide (Turkish), pitka (Bulgarian) and pronounced "pitta" in Greek) is an often round, brown, wheat flatbread made with yeast.

Similar to other double-layered flat or pocket breads, pita is traditional in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It is prevalent from North Africa through the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula, possibly coinciding with either the spread of the Hellenistic world or that of the Arab expansions under the banner of Islam.

Pita bread is used to scoop sauces or dips such as hummus and to wrap kebabs, gyros or falafel in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita breads are baked at high temperatures (700°F or 370°C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.

Ingredients:
  • 3 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 pack of yeast (I used a pack and a tiny bit of the next for better results)
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Preparation:
  1. Put flour in mixer with dough hook and add yeast.
  2. Add water, sugar, salt, and olive oil . Mix until you get a slightly sticky, shiny dough.
  3. Place a tiny bit of oil in the bowl, roll the dough in the oil and let dough rise until doubled in size.
  4. Heat oven to 500°F.
  5. Divide into balls and let rest for 10 more minutes.
  6. Roll into flat discs and place in oven for 5- 7 minutes. Stay close to the oven and keep checking until the pitas have little golden areas.
Tip: Pitas can be frozen and heated in microwave.

Homemade Pita Bread Video:

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