Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pita Bread

I'm never going to buy pita bread again! This was very easy (with a bread machine) and tastes just as good if not better than store bought pita bread. I'm still working on the hummus. The first time I made MckMama's hummus and it was too strong in lemon and garlic, and this time I made up my own by looking at several recipes and it was too bland. I also made it in a small food processor. I feel like food mixes better in a blender, so I will use the blender next time. Anyway, here's the recipe for the pita pocket bread.

Homemade Pita Pocket Bread
Tammy's Recipes
Makes 16 pita pocket halves

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Directions (using a bread machine)
Put the following in order in your bread machine: water, oil, flour, salt, sugar, yeast. Turn on your bread machine, and put it on the 'dough' setting. This takes an hour and a half on my machine.

Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured countertop or table, and cover loosely with a towel. (I placed damp paper towels on top of them - these don't bubble up and separate in the middle if they aren't a little damp.) Let rise for about 25-35 minutes. (I'm not sure how necessary this is, but I let them rise for about 15 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. (I used a pizza stone - preheated in the oven.) Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)

Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired. Store pitas in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge for a few days, or place in the freezer for longer storage. To re-warm pitas, wrap them in a damp towel and then wrap in foil. Place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven for about 20 minutes. (To reheat, I just put them in our convection oven at 350 degrees for a couple minutes.) Enjoy! :o)

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