I made these pita breads for my grandsons, Noah and JD. They’re spending the afternoon with me and I like to offer them something good to eat. I also made a roasted eggplant spread, but that was for me because I like roasted eggplant. I found this recipe for pita bread on The Fresh Loaf which is a wonderful place for any aspiring bread baker to find all types of information. The comments on this pita bread post range from what kinds of flours to use, the whole wheat flour puffing issue, who knew?, recipes for hummus, tsatziki and how much someone loves shawarma, including pictures. There’s a whole new world in bread baking just waiting to open up to anyone who has an interest in this topic. Personally, I remembered making pita bread dough in my food processor awhile ago and wanted to give it another try. But, I have to say that I did get pretty excited when my pitas puffed, after reading that some people’s pitas didn’t puff, that’s the kind of thing you never really think about, will my pitas puff? It’s the miracle of puffing, they just do it!
3 cups flour, I used 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar or honey, I used sugar
1 package yeast, I used instant yeast
1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups room temperature water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Mix the yeast in with the flours, salt and sugar. Add the olive oil and the 1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups water and stir together with a wooden spoon. The ingredients should form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, like the counter or a cutting board and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I used my Cuisinart with the dough blade, mixing all the dry ingredients together in the bowl, then pouring in the oil and the water, and then kneading the dough until it formed a ball that went around the bowl, for 2-3 minutes. You may need to add more water to get the dough to come together and form a ball, I used a total of 1 & 1/3 cups of water, adding the last bit of water slowly. I turned the dough out on the counter and kneaded it a few more times and form it into a nice ball, ready for action.
2. Place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly oiled, roll the dough around to cover it with oil. Cover the bowl and set aside until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.
3. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
4. While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, preheat as well. If you don’t have a baking stone use an upside down cookie sheet or a large flat griddle, just be sure and preheat whatever surface you plan on using to bake the pita bread.
5. After the dough balls have rested, spread a light coating of flour on your work surface as well as on a rolling pin. Roll the balls out to about 1/4 inch thickness, you can start with the rolling pin and finish with your hands, stretching and flattening the dough.
6. Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can on the hot surface. They should be baked through and puffy in 3-4 minutes. They keep pretty well but are best eaten right out of the oven.
Makes 8 pitas
1 head of garlic, cloves separated
1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°
1. Wash the eggplant and slice in half. Brush with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, along with the garlic cloves, and roast 45- 60 minutes.
2. Let the eggplant cool for around 20 minutes, until you can comfortably handle it, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place it in a bowl. Press the garlic flesh from the skin and add it to the same bowl. Mash the eggplant and garlic together, I used a potato masher, until they are combined. Add the lemon juice, half the zest, save the other half for garnish, 1 tablespoon olive oil, at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix everything together, check the seasonings and fold in 1 tablespoon of mint.
3. Transfer to a smaller bowl and garnish with the rest of the lemon zest and chopped mint.
This recipe for roasted eggplant spread is adapted from Finecooking.com