Pita bread has been a surprising discovery for me. Not that I didn’t know about the bread, I just never tasted one that made me want to go back for more. So when I started looking around for some healthy snacks a friend encouraged me to give pita chips and humus a try. I figured I would give my hand at making them from scratch. I mean, why not? If I can make sourdough bread, why not pita bread?
Whenever I set out for a bread recipe, most the time I start with King Arthur Flour and branch out from there. Most the time their recipes do NOT disappoint. And this pita recipe certainly delivered.
I really did not know what I was getting myself into in making pitas from scratch. It comes together quite easily and acts like a traditional bread … but then 4 minutes into cooking it poofs like a balloon! The steam creates this pocket and you end up with this wonderfully light scrumptious bread. Funny thing is that my first batch of pitas never ended up as chips. They were too good.
A few recipes came into my radar this week that just begged for another batch of pita bread. And being that I have way too much fun being mesmerized by the poofing of this bread I gladly made a batch.
Start with some whole wheat flour.
Then some all purpose flour.
Add a little orange juice. Weird, I know, but King Arthur says it is supposed to mellow out the hefty flavor of the wheat and any potential bitterness. It is optional though, you can just replace it with water. I’ve done both and didn’t notice a difference.
Now toss in the rest of your ingredients … water, salt, yeast.
Mix it all up and knead till you have a smooth dough. Cover and let rise for 60-90 minutes.
And after some resting it is time to shape into 8 dough balls.
Then roll into 6 inch rounds or there about.
Now for the fun part. Toss into the oven onto a hot baking stone.
Wait for it … 4 minutes later … poof!
Flip … 1 more minute … then enjoy.
I enjoyed mine last night as a bun for Black Bean Burgers with creole seasoned potato wedges.
So much win.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 3/4 cups/205g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups/178g unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 – 1 1/8th cup/8 – 9oz luke warm water
2 tbsp/1 oz orange juice (optional, can use water if no OJ is on hand)
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together forming the dough.
If using a stand mixer: mix on a medium low speed with the dough hook for about 5 minutes or until a smooth dough forms.
If kneading by hand: Turn dough out to a lightly floured board and knead till a smooth dough forms. Place back in the bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and set aside. Let rise for 60 – 90 minutes or till almost doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 450ºF/230ºC and place a baking stone (or an upside down cookie sheet) on the lowest rack.
Deflate dough and divide into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes.
Take one dough ball and quash it down with the palm of your hand on a lightly floured surface. Turn dough over and lightly flour top of the dough. Roll out to an approximate 6 inch circle. Be sure and lift and rotate dough after several passing of the rolling pin.
Once two are ready to go, open oven and carefully place one at a time on the baking stone. Close the oven and set timer for 4 minutes. During this time roll out the next two dough balls.
After the 4 minutes, using long tongs, gently flip the very fluffy pitas onto the other side. Close the oven and cook for 1 more minute. Remove the pitas and place under a dish towel to keep soft.
Repeat with the remaining 6 pitas.
Makes: 8 whole pitas