Pita or pitta is a slightly leavened wheat bread, flat, either round or oval, and variable in size. Pita is a flatbread in general, whether leavened or not, is among the most ancient of bread. Pita is a loanword from Greek, pita, probably derived from Ancient Greek meaning “solid” or “clotted”. In the Arabic world, pita is a foreign word, all breads are called khubz (ordinary bread), and specifically this bread is known as khubz arabi (Arabic bread).
Pita bread is used in many Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is prevalent in Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans, North Africa, the Levant, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and parts of the Indian Subcontinent.
Pita bread is served at just about every meal in the Middle East. It can be used for dipping, or to make delicious sandwiches in the pocket.
In the Middle East, pita is made in brick ovens, where very high heat can be achieved. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.
Pita bread is a great bread for beginning bakers or for making with kids. Because the pita is made in a very hot brick oven it can be a bit harder to duplicate in a home kitchen, but this recipe, combined with high heat, comes very close.
! packet quick rise yeast
1/2 cup + 1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
Place the yeast along with 1/2 cup warm water, and sugar in a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 10 minutes it should be foamy.
Add flour and salt to the bowl, and 1 cup warm water. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix until it forms a tacky dough. either use the dough hook to knead on low-speed for 10 minutes, or knead by hand.
The dough should be smooth and elastic by the end.
Cover the bowl with a warm damp kitchen cloth/towel
and let rise for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size and has stretch marks.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces, and roll each into a ball. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Place an oven rack on the lowest shelf and place your sheet pan on top. Heat the oven as high it will go.
Roll each ball out into a 6 inch circle with a rolling pin, and cook 2 at a time on the preheated sheet pan.
Bake for 4 minutes on the first side, 2 minutes on the other, until puffed.
Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.
It’s now ready to be cut into triangles or filled with lamb meatballs and other tasty delights.
Storing Pita Bread
Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.
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