(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe
Fresh Pita Bread
A must on the Middle Eastern table that is welcome on any menu. Store-bought pita is easily found but nothing beats warm, fresh pita which you can serve with Syrian Lemon Garlic Hummus.
4 teaspoons yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular white bread flour)
3 cups white bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
In a mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in water and stir in sugar, then honey. Let stand, allowing yeast to dissolve, three to five minutes. Stir in olive oil, and most of flour (hold back 1 cup of the flour until you see how much more you will need) and salt. Mix and knead 8 to 10 minutes to form an elastic, supple dough, adding in reserved flour as required. Shape dough into a ball and place dough in a well-greased large bowl and place in a large plastic bag. Let rise, until doubled.
Otherwise, you may allow for a long, cool rise in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. You may refrigerate dough for three days. Bring dough to room temperature before proceeding.
Divide dough into 16 pieces and form into balls. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest a couple of minutes. Flatten each ball with a rolling pin into a disk (6 to 8 inches in diameter by 1/4 inch thick). If dough is resistant and springy, allow it to rest a couple of minutes.
Cover disks with a damp tea towel and let rest or rise 15 to 25 minutes (until slightly puffy). Preheat oven to 475 F. and place several pitas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until they puff up (2 to 3 minutes). Turn and briefly bake other side. If oven is too hot, pitas will burn or burn before they puff. Lower heat if this is the case. Wrap baked pitas in clean tea towels (this keeps them soft). Freeze leftovers.
Makes 16 pitas
© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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