Easy Greek Pita Bread 

From Half Baked Harvest

DSC_1047

Sometimes plain old weeknight dinner recipes call for some bread. Sometimes I can’t bring myself to buy it, when I know I could make it. This provides me with great inspiration for trying new recipes. Thus, when making baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt (swoon) I had to make the pita bread myself. And I’m so glad I did. So easy! So tasty! We may have devoured the chickpeas and pita chips before I had a chance to take a photo, so you’ll have to trust me when I say it was one of the best meals I’ve made in a while. Therefore, I think you should totally try these pitas and the chickpeas. But really, this is such a simple recipe you should never have to (or want to) buy pitas again. 

DSC_1053

Mix the water and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer (a large bowl will also work if you do not have a mixer), and let sit for about five minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

DSC_0931

Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour (saving the last half cup for kneading), salt, and olive oil.

DSC_0939

If using a stand mixer attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 8 minutes, adding more flour until you have a smooth dough.

DSC_0964

Clean the bowl you used to mix the dough and run it with a little olive oil. Set the dough in the bowl and turn it until it’s coated with oil. Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

DSC_0966

At this point, you can refrigerate the pita dough until it is needed. You can also bake one or two pitas at a time, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge. The dough will keep refrigerated for about a week.

DSC_0974

Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and gently flatten each piece into a thick disk.

DSC_0992

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 frequently as you roll to make sure the dough isn’t sticking to your counter. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it starts to stick. If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. (Once you get the hang of it you can be cooking one pita while rolling the next one out.)

DSC_1024

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.

DSC_1009

Lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and bake 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.

DSC_1014

Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side. The pita should start to puff up during this time; if it doesn’t or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel.

DSC_1019

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.

DSC_1069

Yield: 8 pita rounds

Ingredients

1 c hot water (not boiling)

2 tsp active dry yeast

2 1/2 – 3 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

1 T olive oil

Directions

Mix the water and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer (a large bowl will also work if you do not have a mixer), and let sit for about five minutes until the yeast is dissolved.  Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour (saving the last half cup for kneading), salt, and olive oil. If using a stand mixer attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 8 minutes, adding more flour until you have a smooth dough. If using your hands 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. Add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, but try to be sparing. It’s better to use too little flour than too much. If you get tired, stop and let the dough rest for a few minutes before finishing kneading. Clean the bowl you used to mix the dough and run it with a little olive oil. Set the dough in the bowl and turn it until it’s coated with oil. Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

At this point, you can refrigerate the pita dough until it is needed. You can also bake one or two pitas at a time, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge. The dough will keep refrigerated for about a week. Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and gently flatten 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 frequently as you roll to make sure the dough isn’t sticking to your counter. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it starts to stick. If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. (Once you get the hang of it you can be cooking one pita while rolling the next one out.) 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. Lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and bake 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 during this time; if it doesn’t or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel. 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.

Advertisements

Published by

girlkneadsbread

My adventures with bread and the deliciousness of life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s