Monday, November 26, 2012

Pita Bread


PhotobucketThis Mediterranean style round pocket bread is handy  for sandwiches and easy for beginning bread makers.  They're also fun for kids to make.

Stuff or fill with just about any combination of sandwich ingredients you like.  I like to  spread the inside with cream cheese or mayo, then stuff with sprouts or shredded lettuce, diced onion and finally with lunch meat of choice.

This link has good ideas for warm or cold pita bread fillings:
http://www.squidoo.com/pitta_bread_fillings
Photobucket
Pita Bread
3 cups flour
1 -1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tab. sugar or honey
1 packet yeast (or, if using active instant bulk, 2 tsps.)
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups water, at room temperature
2 Tabs. olive oil
baking sheet or stone

Pita Bread, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppDissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar or honey stirring until dissolved. Let sit until frothy.  Combine flour and salt in large bowl. (If using active instant yeast  just mix all ingredients together and knead by hand or with mixer)

Make a small depression in flour and pour in yeast mixture. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, stirring with spatula until elastic. Form into a ball on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.  Oil a bowl and place dough in and cover with plastic wrap to rise until double in size, about 90 minutes. If using an electric mixer knead about 8-10 minutes before setting aside to rise.

Turn out dough gently and divide into 8-10 pieces rolling into balls. Let set covered for 20 minutes. Preheat oven with baking sheet or stone to 500 degrees with rack at bottom of oven. 

With a rolling pin, roll out balls of dough into circles about 6 - 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick.  Place circles of dough on hot baking sheet or stone in batches of three or four at a time, for 3 - 4 minutes until bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes more. 

Pita Bread, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Allow to cool, then place in storage bags for use, or freeze between wax paper sheets.  I cut in half which allows for 16 to 20 "half" stuffed sandwiches. Occasionally some won't puff up, but they can be used for wraps, small pizzas, or cut up and used for dipping in humus, dipping oils or other veggie dips.

Estimated cost $1.60 or less; .10 cents or less per half sandwich.