Pita Bread (Syrian)
Now most people don't have a wood burning stove in their kitchen but you can do it in your regular oven. It just takes a very hot oven (475 to 500 deg.). Make sure your oven is clean or you will be setting off your smoke detectors.
- 4 c
- all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp
- 1 c
- water, warm (about 100 deg.)
- 1 pkg
- active dry yeast (1/4 oz.)
- 1 tsp
- 1/2 c
- water, warm
- olive or veg. oil
In a small bowl mix the yeast and sugar. Add 1/2 cup of warm water and gently stir. Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. It should be all foamy.
In a large bowl put salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix thoroughly and form a well in the middle. slowly mix in the 1/2 cup of yeast and 1 cup of warm water until fully incorporated. It will be a wet dough. Don't worry about it. This is the difference between this and regular bread.
In another large bowl put 1 to 2 tbs. of oil. Coat the sides of the bowl so the dough won't stick. Put the dough in the bowl and fully coat the dough to keep it from forming a crust while it rises. Cover the bowl with a heavy towel and place it in a warm, draft free spot for 2 or 3 hours. It should be about doubled in size when it's ready for kneading.
Preheat the oven to 475 deg. Place a large cookie sheet in the oven to heat up. If you have a pizza stone that works great. Just make sure it is heated up fully. It will take longer than the time to just preheat the oven.
Put some of the 1 cup of flour on a flat surface and place the risen dough on it. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky and comes together well.
After the kneading cut and form into small balls. They should make about an 8 inch circle when rolled out. Let them rest for 10 minutes. After they have rested, roll them out into 6 to 8 inch rounds about 1/4 inch thick
Place the rounds on the cookie sheet or stone and bake for about 2 or 3 minutes per side. DON'T walk away. They bake very fast. As soon as they puff up and have a light brown color it's time to flip them or take them out. You don't want to over bake them or they will come out crisp instead of soft. Do the first one by itself to check the times. Every oven is different. When you take them out let them cool for just 2 or 3 minutes and put them in a bag to keep them nice and soft. The puffing in the oven should form the "pocket" in the pita but it doesn't always. Don't worry about it. They still taste great.