I had a project in mind that called for pita bread, and so figured that this was as good a time as any to try my hand at making a batch. A quick trip to da Google provided this recipe from Saad Fayed, which yielded a dozen tasty disks of bread – some puffier than others, but all good.
I was never really able to use my home made pita as pocket bread for sammiches – but since I have issues using store bought pita bread thus, I will assume it a user error, and not some deficiency in the bread.
•2-1/4 tsp yeast, or quick rising yeast
•1/2 cup (110º) warm water
•1 tsp granulated sugar
•3-1/2 cups flour
•1-1/4 tsp salt
•1 cup lukewarm water
•Good olive oil
Stir together the yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and the sugar until the yeast has dissolved and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
Whisk together 3 cups of the flour with the salt in a large bowl – or as I did, in the bowl of your stand mixer. Make a small depression in the center and add the yeast mixture.
Mix on low, using the dough hook, while you drizzle in the remaining cup of lukewarm water.
Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
I had, ermmm, issues with this bit, and ended up adding 1/4 cup more of flour, and then another 1/4 cup before the dough started to come together in the way I thought it should.
Once the dough has been well and truly kneaded, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and roll to coat all sides.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rest in a warm spot for about 3 hours, by which time the dough should have doubled in size.
Roll the risen dough into a long rope on a lightly floured board and pinch off a dozen pieces, rolling them into small balls and arranging them on a the board.
Cover with the kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes while the oven is heating.
Heat the oven to 500º and position one of the racks at the very bottom. Add your baking sheet(s) to the oven at this point to have them nicely preheated. I did not do this, and the first batch of bread never really puffed.
Roll out each dough ball into a circle about 6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake on the preheated baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) for 4 minutes, by which time the bread should puff up. Flip the bread over and bake for another 2 minutes or so.
When done, remove to a rack to cool and lightly push down on the puffed bread. Your cooled bread will last for about a week in a bread box, or a month in the freezer.
Really nice, tasty bread; but wait’ll you see what I have planned for it!