Pita Bread…everyday bread

pita bread

Happy Navratra to all.
I was supposed to post a very special post for this festival. I tried making popped amaranth ladoos with jaggery but unfortunately binding could not happen for reasons unknown.sour dough fruit bunsSour dough bread was an another failure.  Actually they came out very delicious  but not as perfect as it was shown in the picture of the blog from where I adapted the recipe.   But, it was an experience to work with wild yeast and hopefully next time I will come up with something very  beautiful with other sour dough recipe.IMG_0848

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.

Terry Pratchett

And after this two debacle I longed for a success story so I trusted no one but my  favorite book “Baking with Julia“.

pita bread

Tomatoes from my own garden.

home grown tomatoes
Every time I open this book I can’t help myself baking something out of it with a hope that my bread too turn out as good as theirs. This time I bookmarked a very easy Pita bread, which is in appearance looks exactly like our regular chapatti but no need to tell the experience or charm of baking was much, much more.

yeasted dough
Whenever a bread in baking in my oven I can’t get my eyes off from the glass door. A child like curiosity to watch how the oven spell its magic on a simple piece of dough. It was so enchanting and can’t be explained in words.

pita bread
And when my bread puffed up in the oven exactly the way mentioned in the book I can’t explain how happy I was. Because every time I replace plain flour with whole wheat, and left it to proof, it rises up to a dream but when baked, it  fails to work.pita bread
When I served this to my husband he was surprised to see it served this way because as expected he relate it with our regular chapatti. I don’t blame him, we all tasted this bread for the very first time in our lives. My mom-in-law and I enjoyed it a lot though it was difficult to convince her that it is not our everyday chapatti. My son declined to eat this straightaway, again for the same reasoning

pita bread with salad
I learnt that from the book that it can be baked as well as can be made on an iron skillet on gas top.

salad
You can enjoy this versatile bread with any stuffing you want like grilled vegetable, salads or what ever stuffing you can think of. I prefer my simple salad of cucumber, cheese, tomato and onion with topping of lemon juice, coriander leaves, pepper and salt to taste.

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast – 1 tsp
  • Lukewarm water – 2 ½ cup
  • Whole wheat flour – 2 ½ cup (sponge)
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Whole wheat flour – 2 ½ cup (you can add little more, if you find it very sticky, but remember don’t tempt to add lots of flour
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Method
For the Sponge
Stir the yeast and water together in a bowl. Stir in the whole wheat flour about 1 cup at a time. Mix until mixture looks smooth and silky. Let it rest in a warm place cover it with cling film for at least 30 minutes or for 8 hours for fuller flavor.
Final dough
Sprinkle the salt over the sponge, stir the olive oil and mix well. Add the whole wheat flour again cup by cup and mixing well after each addition.

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead the dough on a slightly floured surface for about 8 to 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at some warm place for 2 to 3 hours, or until is doubles in bulk.

After it doubles in size deflate the dough by kneading it briefly. Form the balls of plum size, while you make the balls keep the dough and balls under plastic cover otherwise it will get dry.

On a well floured flat surface roll them with a rolling pin and make small circle of around 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than ¼ inch thick then press some sesame seeds over and remember to keep them cover with a damp cloth or with a plastic wrap until you roll out other balls.

Preheat the oven at 240 degree C. Put these circles on a baking sheet leaving some space in between. Bake them for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it balloons fully.

 

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