Pita, also called pocket bread
, is a round, flat type of bread. It is typically baked in small loaves, each one being about the right size for a single serving. Pita's most distinctive characteristic is that it is hollow
inside: if you break a loaf in half
, you have two little half-moon
s, perfect for filling with all types of tasty treats.
Pita bread recipe
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1&3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and water. Water temperature is important here; too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cold and the yeast won't grow. It should be around 120 degrees fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer, stick your finger in it and ask yourself, "Would a fungal organism thrive at this temperature?"
While you wait for your yeast to grow, mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. You can adjust the proportion of white/whole wheat flour to your taste; I personally like it about 50/50.
When your yeast mixture is all foamy and lively looking, stir it into the flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should be fairly stiff and not at all sticky. More flour can be added during kneading, if necessary. Place in large bowl, cover, and let rise until double (about 45 minutes). Punch down and shape into 15 balls. Set these aside and let them rest for 45 minutes. Be patient, or your pita will turn out tough and too thin. Roll each piece out into a disc about 1/2 inch thick, using flour to keep them from sticking. Place on ungreased baking sheets; bake 5-7 minutes in preheated oven at 425 F. As they come out of the oven, stack them in a clean terry-cloth towel until cool.
Be forewarned: if you skip this last step, your pita will become inedibly hard!
These are marvelous with hummus or falafel.