Friday, May 28, 2010

whole-wheat pita

My approach to bread-making is usually keenly cautious. I think this wariness is due mostly to my inability to produce anything bread-like that has not also been rock-like.

But this! This.

Pita, I can do. It has been pillowy and chewy and downright palatable each and every time I've made it, and that is saying something. Give it a try; it's tastier than the store-bought variety and absolutely worth the effort.

Whole-Wheat Pita (adapted from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger)
1. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons active dry yeast over .25 cup warm water (about 110 degrees), then add a pinch of sugar or a bit of honey. Stir until dissolved, then let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup warm water with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, and 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Mix hard for about a minute with a wooden spoon, then add the yeast mixture. Add 1.5 cups unbleached white flour half a cup at a time until the dough is soft and shaggy and clears the side of the bowl.
3. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes on a lightly floured surface, then place the dough in a deep, lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough to coat both sides, cover the top with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1.5-2 hours.
4. Divide the dough into 8 portions and form each into a ball, then let rest for 10 minutes while your oven preheats to 475. Using a bit of flour as necessary, flatten the dough into 6-inch circles about .25 inch thick. Let them rest again until they start to puff a bit, about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer the circles to a Silpat (this is one of the top 5 best kitchen purchases ever), and bake for 8-10 minutes, being sure not to open the door during the first 4 minutes, and also being careful not to let them burn. Let them cool a little between dish towels and enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. Oh how wonderful! I never thought about making pitas! I will have to try these using Kamut Khorasan Wheat flour for sure. I bet they will turn out awesome since this flour really has a great texture to it when baking. It's also super nutritious which our family works hard to incorporate in what we eat. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Where did you buy your whole wheat pastry flour. I haven't been able to find it.

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  3. Bob's Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills both make whole wheat pastry flour, but I bet you could substitute "soft" whole wheat flour (it has less gluten and can usually be found in health food store bulk bins), or easier yet, try faking it with a half-and-half whole wheat and white flour mix (so you'd end up using .75c wheat and 2.25c white in this recipe).
    I hope this was helpful!

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  4. Just made these for dinner and they came out beautifully! These are the first whole wheat pitas that were worth eating. Thanks!

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