Monday, August 20, 2012

Pita Bread

1 package of yeast, 2 1/4 tsps
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for ten minutes until the water is creamy.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast water into the center. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water and stir with a spatula until well blended and elastic.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for four minutes. When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, set the ball aside to rest and clean the flour off the kneading surface.

Wash the bowl you created the dough in and then coat lightly with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough thoroughly until coated, then cover with a clean dish towel. Set near the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Once doubled, roll out into a rope, then pinch off 10 pieces. Place the pieces on a lightly floured surface. Let them sit covered for ten minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the rack is at the very bottom of the oven. Place your baking sheet in the oven at this time.

Roll out each piece of dough with a rolling pin into rounds, about five inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Bake each round for four minutes until the bread puffs up, flip and bake for two more minutes.

Remove each pita with the spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.

Take the spatula and gently push down the center of the puff. Set out to cool, then stack and store in storage bag. They can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to specifically use freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.

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