The challenge is for one of my favourite breads: pita.
In these cold, wet, rather miserable days what could be better than spending some time pottering round a warm kitchen, kneading and proofing and baking?
As regular readers will know, I have a bit of a ‘thing‘ for baking with yeast. There really is something so therapeutic about it, that other forms of cooking just cannot replicate or live up too. Not that I don’t enjoy other forms of cooking & baking, don’t get me wrong, I love all forms of cooking. In fact I love food, full stop.
Pita breads are simple to make, but, I confess I use my KitchenAid free standing mixer to knead the dough which takes all the effort out. Doing it by hand takes a fair bit more effort of course, but either way these breads are worth it.
Yet another bake that tastes better homemade. In fact, pitta don’t just taste better; they blow shop bought pitta out of the water. Since I first starting baking pitta a couple of years back I have never reverted to buying prepacked ones.
Pita (Pittot) are such a staple of the diet of many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. I’ve often said that if I get to visit Israel (I hope I will one day soon) I’ll come back looking like a falafel stuffed pita but that is beside the point. Here’s what Jana Gur has to say about the humble pitta:
Pita is not just an extremely popular pocket bread, it is the mainstay of the way Israelis eat. Anything can go into a pita — from chocolate spread (a favorite school snack) to a whole lunch, such as schnitzel with salad and French fries. Apart from packing it with innumerable foodstuffs, pita has another important use: to mop up hummus, tahini, labane, eggplant and other dips, spreads and salads. Pita must be oven-fresh or it’s no good.
The recipe used for the challenge was very simple and straightforward, yielding light breads which beautifully puffed up on baking. I used a baking stone instead of a baking tray as I find you get better results with them.
I have also included my favourite pita recipe, from Janna Gur’s amazing book: The Book of New Israeli Food.
So versatile, so tasty, so simple. What are you waiting for? Go Bake!