"I pita the fool," or, a report on camp baking and a gyro filling recipe
I'll begin with another thank-you to all those who responded to my previous/first post, my questions about baking while camping. Using all the help, I'm planning upon trying bread-steamed-in-a-can, or crumpets, or English muffins quite soon. Last night, however, I had success.(!)...
Browsing the Fresh Loaf I came upon the basic pita recipe, and reading somebody's comment on the possibility of outdoor grilling, as well as consulting 'The Bread Bible,' in which Beranbaum recommends the same. I wasn't sure, but the Fresh Loaf user EJM posted a photograph of how she herself grilled stovetop pitas (thank you!!!) and that was that: was gyro night at our house... I followed the forum's pita recipe exactly, except for the addition of 3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (as far as I am concerned, that stuff is magic). I was so surprised - the dough was like silk!
I planned upon grilling the pitas on a tava on our gas stove (the household parallel to the Coleman stove which shall be my only way to bake for 7 months living out of a VW bus!), but did have the oven on just in case. When I tried baking in the oven, however, after 3 minutes the "sample pita" was still essentially dough. Any ideas as to why? So I turned wholly to the stovetop, just like camping, and I was so impressed with the results!
I had read instructions dictating a 3 minute grilling with a flip midway. But I found after a few experiment pitas that the finest method for me seemed to be a 1 minute toast on one side, flipping it for another 1-minute grill, then flipping again for 1 minute, five times. I'm not sure why this seemed to be the only way to get a perfect puff without dough or burning (any ideas?), but it worked wonderfully! My husband claimed it was the best bread I'd ever made, though I disagree somewhat and think he was just really hungry.
But in gratitude (from both of us) to everybody who's been so kind in their posting, I wanted to offer up his recipe for a gyro filling for the pitas - I know this isn't exactly a baking recipe, but it sure goes well with the bread!
- Recipe: David's Yoghurt Gyros -
First, create your yoghurt sauce:
1. Dice 1-2 yellow onions, and brown in 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil under medium heat until very golden (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently to avoid burning.
2. Remove from heat and puree in food processor.
3. Add 1-2 cups nonfat plain yoghurt. Puree through. Done with sauce...
1. Cut 2 turkey or chicken breasts into medallions (usually about 6-7 pieces). Brown in 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil briefly over medium heat (1-3) minutes. Stir in previously made yoghurt sauce.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender (10 minutes) and can be easily pulled apart with a fork to ensure the medallion is cooked through.
3. Season with a basic gyro spice mix, typically available at most grocery stores or import markets, or, if none available, look online (haha!) or add in decreasing proportions, to taste: dried garlic, dried red onion, dried tomato, oregano, paprika, black pepper, ground caraway seeds, coriander, basil, ground bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sugar, and lemon juice. We cheated and used the spice mix!
4. Add lemon juice to taste, if desired.
5. Serve with tomatos, lettuce, or other vegetables, and of course, always, your pitas!
Again, thanks to everybody, and I hope you enjoy this and every other kitchen endeavor!