Monday, March 22, 2010

Pitas

Pitas are amazingly versatile. Prepare them most anywhere. Make indoors, in a flat bread oven and over fire. They will taste so much better than those dreadful things entombed in plastic found in stores.

4 comments:

Kitchen Sink said...

Good post

gallery802 said...

Wow..it is a good source of making food more healthier.

Vicki said...

how do you make pitas?

Breadhunter said...

Here's how I make them:

PITA BREAD (also known as pocket bread)

YIELD: About 8 pita breads
Day 1
Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups room temperature water 1/2 cup sourdough starter
(pitas can also be made with instant dry yeast instead of sourdough starter)
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 3 cups unbleached, white flour

Experiment. Vary the proportions of white to whole wheat

Procedure:
In a large bowl, add the water, the starter (straight from the fridge is fine), the salt and then stir in the flour. Stir until it’s all evenly mixed. If the all flour won’t stir in, then you’ve added too much flour, but you do want the mixture moderately stiff.
Don’t forget to replenish your starter by stirring in 1/2 cup of flour and enough cool water to make a porridge consistency. Return the starter to the refrigerator after a couple of hours if you’re going to use it the next day, or you can return it immediately to the refrigerator if you won’t be using it until the next week.




Day 2

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole wheat or white flour

Procedure:
The mass of dough should have expanded overnight, and that’s what you want. Temperatures above or below 70 degrees F. will change your timing. If not much has occurred, then you may have to wait until lunchtime for the next step. You are looking for expansion.
Your dough will not be as stiff today as it was yesterday, but if it’s very soft and gooey, then your room temperature was probably too high or you didn’t use enough flour. If this is the case, then with your well-floured hands, handle the dough very gently and next time find a cooler place for your dough to rise.
Now dump the dough onto your work surface where you’ve spread out a 1/2 cup of flour. Divide the dough into about eight equal size chunks. Pat and then roll out a chunk of dough with a rolling pin, but if you don’t have one, then maybe a wine bottle. A diameter of about 6 inches and a thickness of about 1/4 inches is about right.

Your oven has been fired, with the fire pushed to the back or side, and it is hot, hot. Using your wooden peel, slide some pitas into the oven. In less than a minute they should balloon up. If they don’t, then maybe your pitas are not thick enough or your oven is not hot enough. Pitas bake quickly, and if you over-bake them, they’ll turn brittle so remove the pitas from the oven before they reach that stage. Pitas also cool quickly and you can use them almost immediately.


An alternative method is to cook the pitas directly over a flame or with a three stone fire outdoors, of course. Three stone fires are used all over the world in third world countries. Generally, three stones support a steel plate with a fire underneath. Unfortunately, many of these fires are built indoors without proper ventilation, causing severe respiratory problems.
I scrounged around for a steel plate and found one that used to go on the top of a defunct wood-fired heater. Build a fire under the plate, and you’ll find that it heats up very fast, often too fast. You really need just a small fire. Place a pita on top, and after if balloons up, flip it over and cook for just a few moments. Children particularly enjoy this method of making pitas.
Stu