Posts Tagged pita

Achievement Unlocked: Pita-Esque Flatbread

Homemade pita.  Ambitious, but who am I to shy from ambition?  I’d be a poor blogger indeed if I didn’t share something new with you all, whether or not it’s a success.  (The picnic got rained out, but we just moved it inside and saved the trouble of schlepping around a basket.)

The key to getting the pita just right is figuring out how to make them puff.  Smitten Kitchen saved the day once again with a handy little tip: it’s all about the moisture.  She spritzes her pita with a spray bottle two or three minutes before cooking each one on a hot cast-iron skillet or baking stone.  Learning from the best, I scrounged up my roommate’s spray bottle and got to work…except it really didn’t work for me.  They bubbled, sure, but they never got that balloon-like puff I was looking for.  Lacking both time and a particularly picky audience, I left the batch as-is and merely served my falafel with tasty flatbread.  Someday, I’ll make this again and figure out what I did wrong.  For now, I’ve got a picnic to cater.  🙂

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Homemade Pita (makes 12)

  1. Start these the day or night before you’re planning to serve them.  Mix three cups flour, two teaspoons salt, two teaspoons olive oil, and a packet of rapid-rise yeast (or two teaspoons of instant).  Add one-and-a-quarter cups water, and stir and squish the mixture until it forms a soft dough lump.
  2. Turn the dough out onto your kneading surface (again, marble baking board for the win!) and knead for, oh, five minutes or so.  I pay very little attention to the kneading times given in recipes.  When the dough is smooth, the dough is smooth.
  3. Let sticky dough rise, under the overturned bowl, for twenty minutes or so.
  4. Knead some more, then plunk into oiled bowl and press down.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate.
  5. Every couple of hours, check the pita.  Punch the dough down (gently) the first two times, then let it rise.
  6. (Mess up your evening’s proceedings briefly by having used the wrong bowl.  Leave the pita where it is and go do dishes.)
  7. The next morning: remove your lovely pita lump from the fridge.  Divide it into twelve pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  Flatten each ball and leave them on your baking board to rest for twenty minutes or so.  Go have some tea.
  8. Grease your cast-iron skillet and heat it to medium (6, on a gas stove).  Fill a spray bottle with water.
  9. Roll out your pitas nice and thin, and relatively round, and spritz them with water.  Let the water soak in for two or three minutes.
  10. Cook your pitas in the skillet.  They should first start to bubble, then lift around the edges.  Flip ’em around a bit so one side is flat and slightly browned and the other side is bubbly and cooked.
  11. Slide your pita-flatbread-things onto a plate, cover with a towel, and serve with falafel and tabbouleh.  🙂

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