Thursday, 12 March 2015

Pita Bread

Pita Bread or Pita Bread Recipe


Pita Bread is a soft, pocketed bread consumed mainly in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. It resembles naan or even a pizza base but it has pockets. The pale color even reminds me of the wonderful khamiri tandoori roti at Karim's in Jama Masjid in Delhi.

I am a big fan of non-veg food especially cuisines from land of Muslims or Arabs.

Pita Bread
Pita Bread

Pita bread is generally cooked at high temperature. Traditionally, it cooked at very high temperature in big ovens and temperatures can reach 400-500 degrees C which is hard to replicate in your homely oven. The high temperature causes this bread to rise up dramatically and that leaves a nice pocket in it. So, when you remove it from oven, you can cut it in half and use the pockets to fill with stuffing of your liking.

Sometimes, Pita will not puff and not have pockets. It is called "Pocket-less Pita". Then you can eat it with Hummus dip which is another popular dish in middle east.

Find recipe for Hummus here.

Pita Bread
Pita Bread
Making Pita Bread is really simple. Nothing complex as you will see. I have given it my own twist by adding one of my favorite spice. I added a little extra salt so that I could eat it without anything else.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  1. Refined Flour. 1 cup. This is enough for 2 medium size pita breads.
  2. Dry Yeast. 1/4th of pack.
  3. Warm water. Not hot.
  4. Salt as per taste.
  5. 1 teaspoon sugar
  6. Ajwain or Carom Seeds. This is my twist.


Method:
  1. First we need to activate the yeast. For this take yeast in a small bowl.
  2. Add warm water and sugar and mix well. Sugar is the food for yeast to get activated along with warm water.
  3. Keep it in hot place for 15 minutes. I put it inside microwave which I had just used so it was hot. No, you don't need to turn on the microwave. It will turn frothy which means yeast is activated.
  4. Once that is done, take flour in a bowl.
  5. Add the yeast, salt and Ajwain and mix nicely.
  6. Once it is mixed, transfer it to shelf and drizzle some flour so that it doesn't stick.
  7. Now knead it for 10-15 minutes till you have a nice dough.
  8. Once done, comes proofing. For this, keep the dough in a bowl, cover it with cling film and let it rest for 2-3 hours. This is process of proofing. You need to give it time.
  9. Now once proofing is done and you have fought with your fast losing patience, it is time to get down to baking.
  10. Now, make two small balls of the dough. I had dough for 2 breads so I made 2 equal size balls.
  11. Let them rest for 10 more minutes. Okay, no more waiting after that.
  12. Pre-heat the oven nicely. Oven has to be very hot. As I mentioned, Pita bread is cooked in high temperatures.
  13. Roll the balls into thin chapati size circle. Put it on baking sheet.
  14. Put it in upper rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees C.
  15. If you have a microwave with convection which I used, take a high grill rack and put the baking sheet or crust plate on top of it.
  16. Once it is done, you will see it has nicely puffed.
  17. However, sometimes it might not puff as it is difficult to reach really high temperature in ovens at home. 
I was actually amazed to see the puff. I cut it in half and there were very nice pockets which I am still thinking as to what I can stuff it with. The bread was super soft and tasty.

Well, it is actually a wonderful bread that tastes amazing and takes you to wonderful lands of Middle East.

Do bake it, it is really worth it. And it with Hummus.

Love,
Raj

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