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Jessie Bee
I am a seeker of God, a help-meet to my husband and a mother to my 3 children. I love hot lattes, good books, cold weather and anything that inspires me to be creative. I desire simplicity and authenticity, but often have to remind myself to seek those .
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Food 101: Pita Bread

So I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine (who has started her own blog, btw) and she was telling me about her lunch - a pita sandwich stuffed with goodness - and my mouth started salivating.  I couldn't get my mind off how delicious that sounded.  Then when I ran across a recipe for pita bread the very next day, I heard what sounded like angels singing and printed off the recipe.  Yesterday, with the "help" of my two girls, I got to work making our own uber delicious stock of pita bread.

The dough was simple enough.  I added all essential ingredients (minus about 50% of the flour) into my kitchenaid with the dough hook attachment.  Once combined, I slowly started adding more flour until it formed a soft dough.  Pulled that out of the bowl and kneaded for a few minutes.  I then let it stand for about what was supposed to be 45 minutes.  I forget what I was doing while I was waiting, but whatever it was, I was too enticed by the lure of fresh pita that I only lasted 40 minutes before resuming with the dough. I formed appr. 16 balls of dough and handed one to each of the girls.  Here they are working on them:

My 4 year old was rolling out her "cake bread" and I corrected her - No, its pita bread.  She replied, "I know.  I just call it cake bread."

Then my 3 year old pipes in, her voice a good 10 notches louder than ours, "I call it MOTHER bread."  Umm, ok.  So here she is with her mother bread...

At one point, my sassy 3 year old decided she needed a little more "powder" for her dough.  

I was a little more intentional with my dough.  I rolled each ball to just over the circumference of my yellow bowl and, with a knife, cut away the excess.  This made perfectly round circles - just like a pita.  However, I'll let you in on a little secret - it wasn't necessary.  I tried both ways (keeping it irregular vs cutting it perfect) and when it puffs up, it loses its perfect shape anyway.  So don't bother with this step.

A good tip I read regarding pita bread is to cook it on a cooling rack instead of a cookie sheet.  Doing so gives it less grip and promotes puffiness.  Well, I don't think the word puffiness was used.  But that's what happened.  So once on the cooling rack, into the oven they go...

They came out of the oven 7 minutes later and they were amazing!  

Not to mention the magic of the pocket that pita bread is so well known for.  I have no idea how it happens, but it does.  Perfect for stuffing with pb&j or, in my case, turkey and romaine.



Blue Rose Mama said...

Very cool! Now, where's that recipe! ;o)

The Professor's Wife said...

Wow! That looks delicious!! Haha about Sedona ;)

Joyful said...

Looks good. You are the second blogger I've come across this week who made pita bread so I'm gonna have to give it a whirl. Looks like the kids had fun!

Jessie Bee said...

5 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons (2pkg. active dry yeast
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter

In a large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat milk, sugar, salt, butter to 115-120° F. Add to dry mixture and beat 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for 3-5 minutes.

Place dough in bowl, cover, and let rise 45 minutes. Punch dough down, cover, and let rest 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400° F.

Divide dough into 16+ pieces (depending on how big you want your pita bread) and form each into a ball. Let balls rest 5 minutes, then roll each into rounds - however big you'd like them, but the rounds should be pretty thin, otherwise they don't puff well.

Place pitas on a metal cooling rack in the preheated 400° F oven, and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned. Cool on cloth-covered surface.


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