Daily Archives: January 5, 2012

Homemade Pita Bread

It’s hurry up and wait time around here again. It’s been two weeks since my last chemo with three more weeks until the scan that will show if there’s any cancer left. I figured there’s no better way to signify this waiting period than to make dough…

And wait for it to rise.

No, not bagels yet (soon, I promise!). But this week I tackled another bread that’s been on the to-do list for a while – pita bread!

I’ve finally figured out the environment that best encourages active yeast and rising dough in my kitchen. I start with 100F degree water with a few pinches of sugar and activate the yeast with a hot, damp towel over the bowl in the microwave (turned off, obviously). It gets wonderfully bubbly after 10 minutes.

My newest trick?

A KitchenAid stand mixer!! It was a Christmas gift. So shiny. So beautiful. So dang useful. I broke it in by allowing it to knead the dough for 10 minutes while I rested my gimp left arm.

My next trick for rising dough is sticking it back in the microwave with a hot towel over top and a couple thermoses of boiling water.

Punching it is arguably the best part. Makes all that waiting worth it.

For pita bread, you have to divide the dough and roll it into balls first.

Once the dough is settled, roll it out and stick it in a very hot oven. I had mine a bit hotter at 450F. This is where you can gasp and yelp in amazement.

THEY PUFF UP!! I promptly called my sister into the room going “Look! Look!” Once you place the flat dough on the hot pan in the oven, it only takes seconds for them to start bubbling up and separating in the middle.

The recipe I followed can be found here. The pita bread was delicious, but I wouldn’t say perfect for my first attempt. Not all of them puffed fully and I found they were too fluffy. I would definitely recommend the hotter oven temperature and I think next time I’ll roll them out thinner. They also really do get crispy when kept in the oven for longer than three minutes.

Coincidentally, I had some homemade hummus on hand. (a very basic version – 1 can drained chickpeas, 2 tbsp liquid from can, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 small cloves garlic, 1 tsp cumin, salt, pepper, all in the food processor!)

In completely unrelated news…

MY MOM GOT A PUPPY!!

Her name is Maggie Mae, her previous owner named her Megara, which my mom said was too ‘cumbersome.’ She’s a 12-week-old Havanese. Super shy and cuddly. So soft and fluffy!

Buster scared the bejesus out of her when he came bounding into my mom’s house and straight for her. He, err, comes on a little strong with other dogs sometimes.

And in more news, I’m calling the vet today to get Buster fixed. No more waiting with that one!

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