Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Again, been cooking, just not blogging.  We are in our last week of official school, and then we go to testing.  I can't wait to be done.  This year has been a bit painful.  But at the same time, I am excited for next year's school to begin.  I am so fickle.  

Not about pita's though.  I love pitas and homemade is just that much better.  We really enjoyed these pitas.  I think I would experiment with some other recipes before I commit to this one, but this is a solid and pretty easy recipe.  Making these with all the other things we made this night was a chore.  We did grilled lemon garlic chicken, tzatziki, roasted veggies and kale chips.  It was a meal where I wished I was a cow, and had four stomachs, or compartments, or whatever.  Oh, to eat like a cow!  

One other note.  I found these rise times to be true to form.  A lot of recipes I find I need to add time to get the rise I need, but this one rose beautifully.  Enjoy!

recipe from: thegalleygourmet

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2-2 1/2 cups lukewarm warm water, divided
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast, (two 1/4-ounce packages)
  • 3 cups (13 1/2-ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (13 1/2-ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 Tablespoons for coating
  • cornmeal for dusting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the honey and 1 cup of the warm water.  Stir in the yeast and set aside until the yeast has bloomed, about 5-10 minutes.  Add both flours, salt, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 cup of the warm water.  Mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth and elastic, adding up to 1/2 cup more water a tablespoon at a time as needed.  Increase the speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil in the same mixing bowl. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, drizzle the top of the dough with the remaining oil, turning to coat the dough with oil.  Cover the bowl with a cloth or piece of plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Gently deflate the dough and let rest for 20 minutes.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough (I like to use my kitchen scale) into 12-14 even pieces, about 3 3/4-ounce each.  I found my first ones I weighed were too big.  Better to go with your gut sometimes.  Shape each piece into a ball on an unfloured area of the counter, cup your hand over it, and quickly rotate your hand over the dough, forming a tight, evenly round ball.   On the lightly floured surface of your counter, roll each piece of dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle, about 7-inches in diameter; keeping the remaining dough balls covered with a sheet of plastic wrap.  Set each round on a large baking sheet without overlapping.  Lightly dust the rounds with cornmeal to prevent them from sticking.  Cover the dough with a lightly damp towel and let them rise for 1 hour until puffy, but not necessarily doubled in size.  

Meanwhile, position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 500º F.  Bake the dough rounds one baking sheet at a time until the pitas are puffed and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  As each batch comes out of the oven, stack the pitas 3 or 4 high and wrap in clean kitchen towels.  Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature.  Best served day of, but will keep for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Enjoy!

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