Pita bread is one of the most useful recipes to have at home. It can be cut into wedges, toasted then used as chips or to make delicious sandwiches in the pocket stuffed with savory fillings. Pita bread is served at just about every meal in numerous countries from the Mediterranean to the Middle East. Pita is easy to make and definitely more affordable than the store- bought version.
Pita Bread Recipe
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsps. salt
1 cup warm water
4 cups bread flour, not packed
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the half cup of warm water. Cover and set aside for about 15 minutes.
2. Dissolve the salt in warm water.
3. Place bread flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture and salt water into the well.
4. On a slightly floured surface, hand-knead dough for 10 minutes.
5. Add the olive oil and knead until the oil is completely absorbed. The dough should still be soft, but pliable.
6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a covered bowl in a warm area. Allow to rise until double in volume. That should be around 90 to 120 minutes depending on the room temperature.
7. Preheat oven to 375oF.
8. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
9. When the dough has risen, punch down and knead for another 5 minutes.
10. Break off pieces of dough the size of an egg and roll out to round pieces with a diameter of 5 inches and thickness of 1/4-inch. Prick the flat dough with a fork in several pieces.
11. Place the rolled out dough on the oiled baking sheets and in the lowest oven rack. Bake each side of the bread for 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Remove from the oven and place on a tray in between 2 clean dishtowels. Once cooled, place in resealable bags and store chilled or frozen.
13. Before using, reheat on a grill, in the oven or in a lightly oiled pan.
Storing Pita Bread
Pita bread 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 use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.
Sources: food magazine, mideastfood.about.com