Monday, 7 April 2008

The Intrepid Baker Continues... Pita Breads!


Good start to a post?? Maybes not.

Hmmmm... Ok, so it appears this is how my post wants to start!

Well, following the success of my naan bread and berber pizza crust, I do believe I was starting to get, well, a bit cocky really! And following a craving for home-made hummus, I decided to go the whole hog and make the pitas from scratch too!

I checked out a few recipes, then decided on the amalgamation of recipes I was going to use to bake my pitas. (Hmmm... the Intrepid Baker suddenly realises that her inability to follow any recipe as it stands may be at least partially to blame for baking related issues!)

I got my huge tub of yeast from the fridge and activated it as I had before. I decided on a mixture of whole-wheat and white flour - attempting to be healthy? I did read somewhere that there is nothing special about pita bread recipes - it is the manner of baking that causes them to puff and swell in that fabulous way.

So the yeast was activated; the flour sieved; dough kneaded for 12 minutes (!!!), and left to double. So far so good! Once dough was doubled, I rolled them into thin oblongs, covered with a damp cloth and left to rise for another 15 minutes.

It all seemed to be going according to plan... until it came to the baking of the breads. They are supposed to be cooked in a very hot oven, on hot baking sheets (I think a oven stone would be ideal - but I don't have one...)

So the oven was smoking hot, when I realised I had already put the breads onto the cold baking tray. Doh. No worries, I had used parchment paper, so lifted them off, heated the trays before putting thim into the oven. However, hot oven, hot trays, small kitchen and no available work-surface resulted in several burns to the wrists... Note to self, get bigger kitchen. Or oven gloves.

I popped them in and left them for a few minutes. I could hear a really strange noise... The pitas were stuck to the parchment paper... eek! and as they puffed, the paper curled round the pita, the paper was touching the exceedingly hot back of the oven, and burning up!

They all had to go in the bin...

That was two-thirds of my dough, gone in 4 minutes ;) I only had four pitas left to attempt to create something edible!

I'm happy to report, that I did manage to get four, fairly successful pita breads in the end. They puffed up, and tasted good - but I maybe baked them for a minute or two too long, so they were a wee bit brittle at the edges.

This has been a bit of a stream of conscious post, so I won't bother posting the recipe I used. I don't think I have successfully tested it ;) But I test it again, and with some tweaks, hopefully be able to present you with some fabulous pita bread soon!

See, it did puff up in the end!

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Peter M said...

Kittie, they look fab! You've gone where I have never gone, that is to say making my own pita. Now I must, can't be upstaged by the wee lass.;)