Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pita Bread via bread machine

If you don't have a bread machine, please get one! Mine was a surprise gift when my partner went to a moving sale to buy an awesome rug.  I use it at least once a week, sometimes more.

If you want to find a non-bread machine pita bread, click here to view Food Blog Search results and pick a recipe that looks good!

Bread Machine Pita Bread
adapted from the Happy Housewife

3 1/2 cups flour (I use about 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 unbleached white)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp honey*
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil**

Add the ingredients to the bread machine according to instructions - mine is liquids first, then flour, then yeast.

When dough is finished, plop onto a floured surface and divide into 8-12 pieces.  When I did 8 they were very soft and awesome, and when I made 12, they were still soft and awesome.

Roll into balls and let rest under a damp towel for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400, with a baking stone or cookie sheet in the oven.

Place the pitas on the baking sheet or stone and bake for 3-5 minutes, depending on your oven.

Mine have puffed up both times I made them, but I haven't gotten a fully functional pita pocket yet, so I have just used the pita as a pull-apart flat bread for hummus***, which is my favorite way to eat it.

*Please buy local honey - the more commercially produced your honey is, the more likely it is to not actually be honey.  Also, honey that you get from a local farmer supports a system of agriculture that sustains life - Bee Colony Collapse Disorder is caused by pesticides from industrial farming, so please make sure your honey comes from a local farm - the bees and the future human race will thank you for their continued existence.  Our fates are linked - without bees, we wouldn't have much to eat.

Also, honey is awesome.  I learned from Carl Sagan in Cosmos that honey never spoils.  People have found honey in 2,000 year old tombs and eaten it. 

**Yes, it has to be olive oil, no you may NOT use any other kind of oil.  :)

***Mmm...hummus!  Here are my recipes for flavored hummus - Roasted Red Pepper, and Spicy Spinach.

Update: April 11, 2012 - Frozen Pita Dough
When I made the pita for this post, I froze half of the dough balls after shaping.  Two days later, I took them out, and thawed them on the counter (forgot to time it, but it seemed like it took about 40 minutes).  When they felt not-frozen anymore I rolled them out and baked as usual.  They weren't as awesome as the fresh batch, but more than edible, especially with hummus!  From now on, I will probably make a double batch of pita dough and freeze so I can have fresh pita's quickly and easily whenever I need them.

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