I wanted to make a complete meal of Middle Eastern Cuisine, when i planned for the Falafel and Hummus. So Pita bread it was, to stuff the falafel in, along with a few veggies and served with Hummus, as a main course. Saw these beautifully puffed up Pita Breads at Deb's Smitten Kitchen and totally fell for them. They looked like almost, deep fried pooris - puffed up completely and inviting. Only difference being they were baked and had a small fraction of the fat that would go into a poori :)
Well, i followed the recipe almost the same - but substituted half of APF with WWF, and the texture was good. It tasted good with Hummus and the stuffed ones were a hit. All of them puffed up and gave me beautiful pockets to put in the stuffings. The stuffing was Falafel, Hummus with Tahini, Lettuce, chopped tomatoes and a few slices bell pepper. It made for a heartening meal and we loved it.
Preparation Time: 1 hr active time + a lot of waiting time
Baking Time: 3-4 min per batch of 3-4 pitas
Source: Smitten Kitchen
All-purpose flour - 3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup (16 oz./454 grams) [I used half of Whole wheat flour and half APF]
Salt - 2 tsp
Instant yeast - 2 tsp (6.4 grams)
Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
Water - 1 1/4 cups, at room temperature
Mixing the dough:
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for a scant 1/4 cup of the flour.
- With a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together.
- Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto the counter and scrape the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible. At this point it will be very sticky.
- Cover it with the inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 5 to 20 minutes. (This rest, Deb says, will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with.)
- Knead the dough for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary.
- Transfer the dough into an oiled large container/bowl, smearing a little oil over the dowgh as well.
- Keep covered with a damp towel or a plastic wrap.
- Let it rise till double in volume.
- If using it later, refrigerate the dough overnight (or up to 3 days), checking every hour for the first 4 hours and pressing it down if it starts to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 250°C. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking baking sheet on it before preheating.
- Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth.
- On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk.
- Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick - almost like a poori.
- Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before baking.
- Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown.
- Proceed with the remaining dough, baking 3 or 4 pieces at a time if using a stone or baking sheet.
- Transfer the pita breads to a clean towel, to stay soft and warm. Allow the oven to reheat for 5 minutes between batches.
- The pitas can be reheated for about 30 seconds in a hot oven before serving.
- The dough will not puff well if it is not moist enough. If the pita does not puff up fully, here's Deb's trick. I tries it too on one of the pitas that had gotten dry.Spritz each rolled-out pita with water two or three minutes before baking it. And bake as usual - pitas will puff perfectly.
- This bread can also be made on stove top on a hot skillet. The results were not as great as the oven baked ones, but was good never the less. Can try if you don't have an oven or just want to make a couple of them and do not wish to turn on the oven.
This post is for the Bake-A-Thon event by Champa. These are the other co-bloggers baking with me...
Champa, Srivalli Jetti, Priya Suresh, Veena Krishna Kumar and Preeti Deo.