Friday, March 8, 2013

Pita Bread

One thing that I could eat everyday of my life would definitely be pita. I absolutely love pita, but I always thought that or was difficult to make or you needed something special to make it in to get the pockets to form. Guess what? You don't. I wish I would have found out sooner how simple it was. Who wouldn't love fresh warm pita whenever they wanted?! This recipe for Pita is super simple and very easy. With only 5 ingredients and nothing more than some patience while the dough rises and a cast iron pan, you too can be munching on soft, warm pita.

1 cup warm/hot water
2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/4 cup for kneading
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Mix the water and yeast together in a large bowl and let sit for about five minutes until the yeast begins to foam.
2. Add flour, salt, and olive oil to the yeast. Sprinkle a little of the extra flour onto your clean work surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If dough is sticking to surface or hands, dust with a little bit of flour. 
3. In a clean large bowl (you can use the same bowl), lightly coat with oil. Not too much because you will be using oil on the pan. Set the dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it's doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll out each piece into a thick disk. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces into a circle 8-9 inches wide and about a quarter inch thick. Lift and turn the dough as you roll to make sure the dough isn't sticking to your surface. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it starting to stick. 
5. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
6. Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Drizzle a little oil in the pan and wipe off the excess.
7. Lay a rolled-out piece of dough on the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side. The pita should start to puff up; if it doesn't or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel. 
8. Keep cooked pitas covered with a clean dishtowel while cooking any remaining pitas. These are best eaten fresh, but will keep in a ziplock bag for a few days or in the freezer

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