The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Go at TFL Pita Bread

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Stephmo's picture
Stephmo

My Go at TFL Pita Bread

A few things converged on this fateful day. I had a craving for hummus, and I was out of pita bread. I didn't really feel like going to the store just for pita bread and then I started wondering how hard pita bread was to make. So to the google! And that's when the Fresh Loaf website informed me of the greatest fact ever. Pita Bread is one of the easiest breads you'll ever make. So the first thing I discover is that it's also one of the cheapest breads that I'll probably ever make. It starts with six ingredients (left to right: kosher salt, instant yeast, flour, buckwheat honey, water and olive oil): I figure that I had less than a buck invested by the time all was said and done. Mostly that's because I'm unsure as to how many cups of flour may actually be in a five pound sack of flour, so I'm guessing 50 cents for the flour. I also find out that my mixer can do most of the work. So mucho credit to the Indigo Master: Okay, an amazing thing happens. The rising part. I set aside the dough in a bowl to rise. It's only supposed to take 90 minutes and double in size. This has been a failure many times before in bread experiments. But LOOK: Here, I've taken my ingredients and transformed them into eight pieces of future pita rounds. These need to rest a bit and you can see the action shot taking place as husband begins to lay the damp kitchen towel over the dough rounds for a 20 minute rest. In the meantime, I heated the oven up and put my pizza stone in the middle to get nice and hot. I had the pizza stone because I like cooking gadgets, but I've never actually done my own dough on it. Once the pizza dough has rested, all that's left to do is roll them into rounds-ishes. This is the fun part as things are actually looking more pita-ish. I do take the extra step of the spray bottle as mentioned in the recipe (I'm paranoid and don't want to chance anything). Mostly, I think I scared the dogs. I do think I could have stood to have rolled everything a bit thinner... Otherwise, I'm incredibly proud of my result - and the pocket that appeared! Of course it was rather late, so the hummus had to wait. This was the beginning of my bread-making adventure. I hope to get more of my stories up here soon!

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Very nice....I did some once in my wood-fired oven and they like a very hot stone bottom....to puff!

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I posted my note that I'd just made pita bread about a minute before you did (but no pix).  My recipe was from a book, and yours, apparently from TFL. I used the same ingredients as you, but different versions (like fresh-ground whole wheat to your - bread? ap? flour).


But we both had the same experience of first-time pita puffs, maybe at the same time even.  There's something a little ... exciting? eerie? special? ... about that.


Rosalie

Stephmo's picture
Stephmo

I did use AP flour - and it was magical. These were from a while ago, but this is what got me started. I have a few posts like this queued up, but I didn't want to overwhelm (and only the successes shall go)!

ivy b's picture
ivy b

Beautiful job on the pitas! I have made pitas from almost any dough... wheat, challah, white, whatever......  a standard in this house, if you will (along with my challah).


In addition to making a lot of falafels over the years, we also have used pita breads for pizzas, and for packing sandwiches for kayaking, hiking, etc.  I hope you both continue to make this bread and - especially in the summer, when you don't want the oven on for 45 minutes.... you will appreciate this bread...


 


my goal this year is to try baking it outside in the grill.  I"m sure it can be done..anyone else ever try this?


 


Ivy B


ny


 

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...You can absolutely make them on a grill.


I've made them on rocks, over fire, before...delicious.
(I'm not the only one. Pita style bread is a camping fav.)

It's helpful to use one of those burger griddles on the grill, gives you more surface.
The bread can even get overly toasty and people still love them, awesome taste.


I was raised with Pita, my family had a Lebanese restaurant in Detroit.
Something I'd suggest, concerning the recipe here is a higher heat at 5 minutes.
Experiment with both the heat and time but 3 minutes at 400 degrees is much too mushy for me. ;-)


 

Stephmo's picture
Stephmo

Ah - I do want to say I went longer than 3 minutes on these because they didn't look "done" to me.  :)


 


I have been experimenting with pizza dough (I'll likely post on that later) and I've noticed most of those recipes call for 550 (heating the stone for an hour beforehand at that temp) and husband & I were remarking that it might be a good idea to do the same for future batches of pita!  Glad to hear we were on the right track.

ivy b's picture
ivy b

Hi Wisecarver,


 


A Lebanese restaurant? Wow, that sounds awesome! :-D  And, yes the higher heat is what I do too (450).  I kinda figured that it would be a bread that would adapt to the outdoors well. 


 


Ivy B.


ny

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Keep on experimenting, that will keep it fun. :-)


If you want an old time recipe I've got a very old book with traditional recipes.
The Art of Syrian Cookery by Helen Corey.

Excellent book.

Stephmo's picture
Stephmo

But the book appears to be out of print.  :(


My library doesn't seem to have a copy either - do you have another recommendation, or a quick recipe to try?  :)

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...New version is on Amazon, just checked:
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Syrian-Cookery-Culinary-History-Syria/dp/0962637629


I'll try and post an old Lebanese recipe later today.


EDIT:Just remembered there is a very good Lebanese Pita recipe on-line, the same way I make them, basically.


http://www.hayar.net/lebanese-recipes/#PITA


I use paper on a wooden peel and slide the loafs onto a large pre-heated stone in the oven. It's rather wasteful but I don't reuse the paper, it gets too crunchy. ;-)


 Shalom,
   Mark

cake's picture
cake

i just made my first pita last week. i usually don't like store bought pita, and we were having people over for hummus, baba gahnoush, etc., so i just decided to make some. it was so easy and fun, i made it the next day too! i did not use honey (or any sweetner), and i let my dough rise for 2 hrs, but i doubt it really needed that long. i also didn't let the rounds rest for a full 20 min. i love how fast they bake (i did mine at 500 F) and i love the idea of making them on a campfire!


oh, and for my second batch, i used a small amount of whole wheat flour for extra flavor and texture. it worked beautifully.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Now that I've succeeded with homemade pita and seen how easy it is, and now that I've seen (what did I expect?) how much better it is than storebought, I'll never again buy from the store.  That's what happened with regular breads for me, too, but I was afraid to try pita.  What a pita-ey!  (get it?)


Rosalie