Last night (and this morning) I made some pita bread. Pockets included. Who knew it was this easy?? Well, I’m sure some people knew, but I definitely didn’t. The recipe is from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which I blogged about before. As I mentioned before, the idea behind the book is that you mix a large batch of dough that lives in the fridge, and then cut pieces off to quickly make a loaf. That method itself means you can have a fresh loaf with hardly any work time (this is the five minute part) but the fantastic thing about pita bread is that it literally takes 5-7 minutes to cook and needs no resting or rising time! I made some last night and we ate it with homemade hummus and some greens and then, because it is so quick, I made some more this morning so Gary would have something to take to lunch.
The pita can be made from several different pre-mixed doughs in the book. I used Light Whole Wheat but you can find the recipe for the European Peasant here if you want to try making your own pita. I’ll include the directions here, but I do really recommend getting the book since there are so many recipes. If you make bread you could probably try this with your own dough as long as it is a very soft dough, and just a flour/water/yeast/salt kind of dough. You do need a baking stone. (I think mostly these are sold as pizza stones. And if you like baking bread you should probably have one.)
1. Preheat oven to 500F with the stone on the middle shelf. At this point, your dough should be in the refrigerator.
2. Just before baking dust the dough with flour and cut of an orange sized piece. I weigh mine and a large pita is 8oz of dough. Shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides. Dust the counter with lots of flour and place your ball on the counter.
3. Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin to a 1/8 inch thickness. Dust the rolling-pin liberally with flour, and flip the bread occasionally to stop if from sticking. Place the pita on a floured peel.
4. Slide the pita onto the stone. Turn on your ventilation fan, as extra flour may smoke at such a high temperature. Bake for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned and puffed. If you are making more you should be rolling one out as this one is baking. Mine didn’t really brown much but did puff.
5. Remove pita from the oven and wrap in a clean cotton towel. And that’s it. Eat warm or use to make pita sandwiches.