Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homemade Pita Bread

I love Pita bread.... you can have almost anything stuffed in them! My favorite thing  to put in them is chicken salad or  turkey and cheese for a light sandwich at lunch! I ran across this recipe on the Internet (maybe on Pinterest) but I tweaked it a bit by adding half white-whole wheat flour (I love that stuff). That way they're a little more healthy for you. These are easy to make and fun! They puff like magic in the oven and then after they cool a bit and you cut them in half there is a pocket --Magic! I was impressed that this recipe was so easy and turned out! I had one or two pita's that didn't have a 'complete' pocket so I just sliced it open the rest of the way with a sharp knife! Enjoy!

Homemade Pita Bread
 1 Tablespoon yeast (I like to use the rapid rise yeast)
1-1/4 cups luke warm water (not too hot or it will kill your yeast-should feel just warm on your wrist)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups White-whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups all- purpose flour (might need just a bit more)

Place the warm water in a mixing bowl, add the yeast and sprinkle the sugar over the top. (Did you know the yeast likes the sugar and will bubble more with it in the bowl?) Let the yeast and water rest for 5 minutes or until the yeast becomes bubbly and foamy on the top.
Next add the 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour and the salt. Mix with a dough hook until this forms a batter. Add 1 cup of the all purpose flour and continue to mix and add a little more flour if needed until you have a rough, shaggy mass of dough. Knead for 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed if it gets too sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces for large pitas for sandwiches or smaller for snack sizes. You can make all kinds of different sizes to suit different snacks or meals. Form the dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into 1/4 inch thick discs. Try to keep an even thickness as this is what helps the pita to 'puff'.
Let rest on the floured surface for about 40 minutes until slightly puffed.
While your pitas are resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lightly spraying with a non-stick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
When the pitas have rested, carefully flip the rounds of dough upside down on the baking sheet with a large spatula. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. After about 8 minutes I turned mine over in the oven. (Be sure to watch the magic happen in the first five minutes--that's when they puff! )
Let cool and cut in half if you like or keep them whole depending on how you plan to use them. I cut mine in half.

These store for up to 2 days in a Zip-loc bag or 3 weeks in the freezer.
I like to warm the pitas up in the toaster for a minute before filling. Enjoy!! (I filled mine with chicken salad-- recipe for that will follow)


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