The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pitta help for a newbie

TheScruffyOne's picture
TheScruffyOne

pitta help for a newbie

Today is the second day that I have made he best pittas ever, from the recipe here, the only problem I have is that the recipe seems to make the dough really wet, I end up putting about an extra cup of flour in just to get it nice and sticky before rising. when I bake them, they puff up really well, but rather than have the airspace in the middle, it has a thick base (about 1/8") and a thin crispy crust on top. I made them again today, and one or two were almost there, but they are still thinner on top. Are home made ones always like this? or am I doing something wrong (not that I'm being all fussy, they taste amazing, just curious thats all)


 


Thanks

restever99's picture
restever99

Are you using a dry measuring cup for the water?  You might also want to consider just leaving it be and letting the water absorb 20 minutes before kneading(autolyse).  I've made this recipie several times and I usually let it sit a while before kneading.

TheScruffyOne's picture
TheScruffyOne

would that prevent the mix from being so wet? When I make them i put the dry goods and oil in my mixer, mix the yeast and water, when its frothy i add it and mix to a dough, I always do the actual kneading by hand though as I can judge when its ready easier.

restever99's picture
restever99

keep the oil out of the dry goods and mix it with the wet!  it's preventing the flour from absorbing the water.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I bake whole wheat pitas (from "Whole Grain Breads") and multigrain pitas (a variation) twice a week. It doesn't matter too much, whether the dough is drier or a bit more hydrated, it performs basically the same. I form first balls, too, and roll them out later, that procedure is the same.


But my oven is much hotter, I place the baking stones on the second upper rack and heat the oven to 550 F, switching even now and then to broil during the preheating time and in between reloading the oven to make the stones really piping hot. As far as I know this really high heat is used by pita bakers in Greece, Turkey and other places where they eat them.


The pitas take about 2 minutes to poof up, after 20 more seconds I take them out. I never bake more than 2 at a time, because they never rise at the exact same time and I don't want then to get too brown on the bottom.


Though the pitas look sometimes a bit funny, bulging out here more than there, the  thickness of the walls is usually even - and they taste great!


Karin



 


 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

They look great too!  I usually make sourdough 100% whole white wheat pita.  I have successfully made them in the oven, but I usually only make 3 at a time and find heating the oven is not worth it, so I make mine on an old cast iron griddle.


I also find I am able to get a more even "split" on top the stove.  It is not nearly so hard on my electric bill since I make them 2x/wk.


 


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Amazing that the griddle works, too - with no heat from above.


I always make a batch of 8 or more pitas. They are the last ones that go into the oven, when it's already heated to 550 F from the Pains a l'Ancienne I bake before (I always start with the breads that are baked at the lowest temperature and then successively put in the ones that need more heat). Therefore it's not such a problem with the electric bill.


Baking more than one pita is really worth it, you can freeze them really well, individually wrapped in plastic foil, in a ziploc bag. I always have some in the freezer for making quick sandwiches. They taste especially good with fried Halloumi cheese, tomato, and lettuce, like we had them in Cypress.


Karin