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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pita Bread

Here's another gem from the kitchen of Joann Randall, my friend Shanna's mom. Joann of the Cinnamon Rolls and Buttermilk Donuts. This woman knows her stuff, so I went in feeling very optimistic.

I've made pitas one time before - a whole wheat recipe I got from Cooking Light. The pitas turned out OK but were kind of lacking in flavor and some didn't totally poof. It was a good first go but this time I wanted to try a different recipe. And now I shall look no further. As you can see below the recipe is completely simple. Make a dough, let it rise briefly. Cut into 12 pieces, let rise briefly. Roll into circles (*rolling from center out is key!*), cook briefly in screaming hot oven. Voila! Kind of like magic. They all poofed up to make roomy pockets but no tears.Pita Bread
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T yeast
1 3/4 cups water
2 T olive oil

1. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix well. Heat water and oil until warm but not hot. Add to flour mixture. Blend until moistened. Beat 3 minutes by hand (I used my mixer and dough hook.) Gradually stir in enough flour to make a firm dough. Knead until smooth and elastic.

2. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let sit 20 minutes. Divide into 12 equal balls. Cover again with plastic and a towel for 30 minutes to rise.

3. Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Roll each ball into a 6" circle. Roll from center out - this helps it puff. Lay on wire cake racks and place in oven. I used my pizza pan (the kind with holes) and it worked great. Pitas will puff and brown in about 5 to 6 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove to cool on wire racks. Serve with favorite fillings. Makes 12 pitas

Recipe adapted from Joann Randall

I like to eat at least one warm from the oven with butter and honey or jelly on it - just delicious. Then I fill cooled fresh pitas with fillings like chicken or egg salad, hummus, falafel, cheese, deli turkey with greek salad, etc. Below is a picture of our favorite chicken salad. We fill pitas with it, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and freeze them. Take them out in the morning to take to work (or thaw at home) and they are just right by lunchtime. Then I freeze any leftover pitas and use them later for a quick pita-pizza lunch or dinner (spaghetti sauce, cheese, any toppings, microwave or heat in oven.) Not a one should go to waste!
Hickmans' Favorite Chicken Salad: 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (about the meat off a rotisserie chicken), 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery, 2 T chopped onion, 1/3 cup raisins (I like golden but purple are good too), 1/3 cup chopped dried apricot, just barely enough mayo to hold it together, salt and pepper to taste.


Marna said...

I have a whole wheat pita recipe, but have trouble with the pockets forming. I can't wait to try this one!
Sounds like the perfect thing for dinner today!

Jenifuz said...

those look yummy! I think I have to go get more yeast before I can try them though! I used most of what I had left in the french bread I made for dinner! I have to say I love your blog! I love looking at all the yummy recipes! Thank you for keeping it up!!

Leslie said...

Perfect I tell ya...perfect! I can think of a million things to shove on those cute little pockets

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