Pita Bread

This is very puffy, spongey pita bread. It has a great softness and yeasty smell. That said, it’s definitely a bit different than the pita you might expect to buy at the store. I have had great luck with this recipe puffing to make pita pockets. The trick to the puff is to spray the pitas with a clean, water-filled spray bottle two minutes before baking. Delicious filled with falafel burgers!

Makes 8 rounds.

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour, or bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup room temp water

Proof the yeast by combining it in a small bowl with 1/4 C warm water, and 1 tsp sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and start by combining the wet and dry with the standard mixing blade. Once combined, switch to the bread hook and let the machine do the work for 10 minutes (level #3 on kitchenaide mixer). Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for at least four hours – preferably more – or even overnight. Press it down whenever you see it trying to rise.

Preheat the over to 475*, with a clay sheet or pizza stone inside. With something sharp, divide the dough into 8 equal chunks. Shape each piece into a ball, then smush it into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 20 minutes. Set up a “factory line” to roll each disk out thin with a rolling pin, then mist with a spray bottle, and let sit for 2 minutes. Then pop them in the oven, two at a time, for 3-3.5 minutes – no more! Do not wait for these to brown – that is too long. They should all puff nicely, and if they don’t, knead and mist each dough again to moisten more. Or don’t sweat it! Non-pocket pitas are just as delicious. Remove from oven with a spatula, and let the oven collect heat for a few minutes between each batch.

 

Adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/03/pita-bread/

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