Pita Bread

October 26, 2009

Pita bread is one of my favorite things to make at home.  The following recipe makes a soft, scrumptous pita.  It should make a nice pocket in the oven, but if you don’t get a nice, hollow area, no worries!  Just cut the pita in quarters and enjoy!  I almost like it that way better!

* 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS

1. Proof dry yeast in warm water with the sugar for about 10 minutes. Make sure your water temp is not too hot. I used a meat thermometer to make sure it was at 110 degrees before adding my yeast.
1a. When foamy add oil and pour into the flour that has already been mixed with salt.
1b. I mixed it all in my Kitchen Aid mixer and, with the dough hook attachment, kneaded it on high speed for 4 minutes

2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into a 12 inch rope. DO NOT OVERWORK DOUGH. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle. Set aside on a lightly floured countertop. cover with a towel. Let pitas rise about 30 minutes until slightly puffy. (mine didn’t look that puffy, but they puffed right up in the oven).
2a. I brushed a few of mine with olive oil and added some ground garlic and dill. I also dusted a few of them with the garlic and dill and skipped the olive oil.

3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Place 2 or 3 pitas on a wire cake rack. Place cake rack directly on oven rack. Bake pitas 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediatelyr cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft. Once pitas a softened, either cut in half or split top edge for half or whole pitas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.

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