Pita Breads

Since we’ve been working on the great hummus experiment recently, I’ve been wanting to come up with a good, easy pita recipe (because $2 for 5 pita, while not a terrible price, gets old). Yesterday I did a side by side of two different recipes I found online. The first recipe, a Greek pita recipe, was ok. I used this recipe to make pita chips today, and they turned out quite well. The recipe is repeated here for modification:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of warm water
4 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Proof yeast in 1/2 cup of water, with sugar. Mix dry ingredients, then add the liquid and bring together to form a smooth dough. Let rise until doubled, then knead briefly. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Portion dough out into small amounts-I was able to make about 12, although you could probably get 16 pita easily as well. Roll out to about 1/8″ thick, and place on a greased sheet pan. In the future, I won’t dock the bread, as I’ll be using this for chips, and in that case, pocket pita does work better. Bake for about 3 minutes on the lowest rack of the oven, then flip pita and bake for another 3-4 minutes.

To make chips, cut pita into 8 wedges and brush with oil and lay out single file on a sheet pan. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle pita with salt and pepper, and any other herbs or flavorings you care for-in the restaurants around here, zatar seasoning is popular, but it’s up to you. Bake for 6-7 minutes, then flip chips over and bake for another 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. These go great with hummus, the cannellini bean dip, or a baba ghanoush.

The second recipe was found here. We both preferred this second recipe as soft pita for simply eating or dipping. Now, neither of us are too keen on the typical pocket pita (aside from the aforementioned chip application), as they tend to be dry and rather styrofoam-like.

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups milk, warmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour.
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast

Proof yeast in milk with sugar. Mix the remainder of the dry ingredients together, then add the liquid and oil. Bring together, kneading as necessary to form a smooth dough. Let rise until doubled. Knead dough, and divide into 10-12 small balls. Roll out to 1/4″-1/8″ thick, and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place on a greased sheet pan, and punch down slightly with the knuckles before baking for 4-5 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.

For the next round of pita I make, I’m going to get some whole wheat flour and substitute about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the bread flour for it. Hopefully that will give it some extra bite and and good grain undertone.

EDIT: We finally made these again, and used a ratio of 2 cups of bread flour to 1 cup of whole wheat flour. These were awesome. A deeper wheat flavor, and they retained more moisture too. Definitely an adjustment we’ll be keeping.

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