I was always a little intimidated by the idea of baking bread and thought I didn’t have what it takes. But as Jillian Michael would say, ” The only handicap is a bad attitude”, so one day when I was feeling really lucky I tried, I ate and I was happy. Yeah it is really cool when you surprise yourself with what you can do and what could be better if you get to “eat” the surprise.
Working with yeasted dough is time consuming no doubt about it but you don’t have to watch the dough rise? Leave it, get back to it, punch it, leave it, punch and shape ( I am still talking about pita bread btw) and bake.
ingredients: (8 pitas)
3 cups flour, plus 1/2 – 3/4 cup more for kneading
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar or honey
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add water and oil and mix with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. Place the ball on a work surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. If using a mixer with dough hooks, run it on low. As the dough is mixing, keep on adding 2 tbsp of flour at a time till the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Place the dough is a lightly oiled large bowl, rolling the dough around so it gets lightly oiled on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and leave for at least 90 minutes.
When the dough has doubled in size, lightly punch it down to release trapped gases; divide in 8 equal pieces and make a ball of each piece. Lightly cover and leave for another 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece to 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick and 6 inch round. You might need to flour your hands and rolling pin too. Place these discs on lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper and leave uncovered to rise for 35-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven about 20 minutes before baking at 220 degree celsius. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well. If you don’t have one, place a cookie sheet upside down in the middle rack of your oven. This will be the cooking surface for pitas.
Open the oven, place as many pitas on cooking surface and bake for 3-5 minutes. Flip and bake for another minute.