Baking, Bread Hoarders Anonymous, Breads
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Bread Whore ~ I Pita the Fool

 

I’ve been sucked in to the hype. “The Bestest Ever Pita Bread!”, “The! ONLY! pita! recipe you’ll ever need!!!!” (note – and be wary of – rampant exclamation points), “Throw out ever other Pita recipe… this one is the BOMB!!!”

meh….

They’re not even close to the hype. And why they aren’t is several fold:

  1. Pita Dough needs massively long proofing periods (+ 8 to 12 hours) in order to create structure and flavor… or, a proven cheat to create those effects.
  2. Wet  Doughs produce flat breads… ” If the pitas don’t rise… don’t worry – they make great flat breads”… well, that just defeats the whole purpose of making pita… If I wanted roti, I’d find a roti recipe… right?
  3. Dry Doughs produce crackers.
  4. 100% All Purpose Flour (regardless of the proofing time) doesn’t have enough Gluten to create a structure capable of capturing the steam in order to get a puff.

So… with all those road blocks in the way, we’re going to cheat.

Here’s the thing… This is not a traditional recipe – by any means. It’s a way of getting a great result in about an hour. I’ve used Spelt flour in these pitas… mainly because I like the nutty flavor, and using plain wheat flour always comes off tasting flat (minimal rise time, remember?) If you aren’t exactly cotton to ancient grains, substitute Bread Flour for the Spelt, and you’ll get a run of the mill pita.

The microwaving is essential – as is the flour added to the heating water.  This greatly reduces the timing and gets the starches and gluten to break down, loosen up, and start to work early.

Lastly, the nutritional yeast is a flavoring agent – only. There are no active spores in nutritional yeast, but you will get a good developed flavor.

Plate Fodder Pita(ish) Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 2 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 32 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Bread
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 cups Strong (Bread) Flour
  • .5 cup Spelt Flour
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Barley (or Sorghum) Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Water (Reserved)
  • 1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Directions

Step 1
Make the Yeast Mixture - Mix the water (cup), syrup, and 2 (two) tablespoons of the spelt flour in a Microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 (one) minute. Add the yeast. Mix well and allow to bloom for 15 minutes.
Step 2
In a stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the remaining flours (all of them), nutritional yeast flakes, salt and olive oil.
Step 3
Add the bloomed yeast mixture, With the mixer on medium speed, work the dough for 5 minutes. The dough will pull together quickly. If the dough stays shaggy (rough looking and dry), add the reserved water a tablespoon at a time until it pulls together smooth.
Step 4
Leaving the dough in the mixer, cover with a cloth and let rise for 30 minutes
Step 5
Remove the cloth and knead in the mixer for another 5 minutes. Cover once again with the cloth and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Step 6
Turn the dough out onto a working surface. Using as LITTLE flour as possible (the dough should be slightly tacky - but not sticky). Divide the dough into 8 to 10 equal sized balls. Dusting with a small amount of flour, Roll each out into rounds 1/8" thick. (Thinner rounds create puff. The thicker your rounds are, the less likely they will perform properly)
Step 7
Heat a large skillet over Medium Heat for a full 10 minutes. You want the surface to be completely heated and enough residual heat available to keep the pan from cooling down between pitas.
Step 8
Cooking - (THIS IS IMPORTANT) - Working 1 at a time, Cook on one side for 20 SECONDS - Turn over and cook another 20 seconds. Flip again and cook for 40 Seconds - Flip - Cook for another 30 Seconds. The pitas will begin to puff at the 2nd turn, and will massively inflate on the 3rd and 4th.
Step 9
Immediately place the cooked pita on a large tea towel and cover. Repeat with each pita.. Stacking each in the tea towel when cooked. Allow the pitas to cool COMPLETELY in the towel before using or packaging for later use.

Stored in a zipper bag, your pitas should keep for 3 to 4 days out of refrigeration, or a week in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

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