The Fresh Loaf

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PR's Whole wheat Pita bread

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

PR's Whole wheat Pita bread

I have baked two breads this past weekend, Whole Wheat Pita, and David’s San Joaquin SD. The whole Wheat pitas, however, were the new favorites after I have finally had success with them.

The whole wheat Pita bread from Peter Reinhart’s (Whole grain breads), and pitas in general have had me intimidated for quite some time. Simply put, they never puffed well even on hot stone, rendering my efforts futile. Not anymore, I learned few tricks from youtube on how to bake pitas and have them puff on stove.

I have made my biga with a sourdough starter, and retarded the bulk dough in the refrigerator for 6 hours after adding 1 tsp of instant yeast - 4 grams (Thanks Karin, and Janet). The cold overproofed dough was divided into 8 pieces, rounded and allowed to rest for ½ an hour. The rounds were then flattened into discs and rolled into pita shapes. 15 minutes later, a flat pan was heated on medium range stovetop while a round wire mesh was placed on a larger range. This is a youtube video demonstrating the process.  (Mind the steps, they won’t puff properly if you overly cook either side). Although the video's title is roti/chapati (Indian breads), it works just as well for pita.

90% of the pitas puffed perfectly, something I have not achieved in the past. I was delighted!

Being from the middle east where Pita bread is staple ,my household were happy to have some authentic pitas at last ,after numerous failures. They were nutty, and soft with a hint of sourness from the biga. I will be making these again.

I also baked David's San Joaquin Sourdough. This is one fabulous bread, even without the full 18 hour retardation.

-Khalid

 

 

Comments

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It's good to hear that you have the pitas figured out, especially since that is such a "local" bread for you.  The SJSD is beautiful!

Paul

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Yeah... at long last. Cooking them on stove was a like a revelation to me.

Thanks, Paul!

-Khalid

bruneski's picture
bruneski

... pitas, Khalid!!! Congrats.

The loaf looks sensational too, both crust and crumb!

Have a great week!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, bruneski!

The pitas are all gone now. I'm enjoying the loaf though.

-Khalid

isand66's picture
isand66

Those both look great Khalid.  I've been meaning to try Pita's for the longest time and I like your version from PR so this one was bookmarked to try soon.  David's formula is a great one and you certainly did it justice as I would always expect from you.

Nice baking.

Regards,
Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Ian

I was skeptical of my ability to make good pitas reliably, but once i found that you don't need to preheat your stone for an hour to bake few pitas, and that it could be done on the stove i was encouraged.

David's formula makes an excellent bread for our grilled cheese sandwiches. Thanks for the kind words, Ian.

-Khalid

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

tortillas as well as any Mexican grandmother :-)  Odd how so many cultures have nearly the same bread and build pyramids too.

Your San Joaquin is perfect.  Very well done all the way around.

Happy baking

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I never really did well with rolling pins. This Chapati / pita puffing had me rolling doughs more often, i now feel comfortable with it more than ever.

I loved this last take on the SJSD too, even though it retarded for 6 hours only.

Thanks, DA!

-Khalid

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Congrats on your pita success! Never baked them myself but I may be tempted in the distant or near future. Your San Joaquin sourdough also looks wonderful.

Have a jolly baking,

Zita

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Pitas are easy! Very versatile too, Zita. Do give them a go.

Thanks!

-Khalid

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,

Love the breads; both types.

Stove top is the way to go for Pita at home, agreed.   Although Chapatis are unleavened of course.   Can you make pita without yeast too?   Just wondering.

If you have a gas stove, then I would recommend dropping the bread directly onto the naked flame for a second or two, either side to make it puff up once baked through on the skillet.   The Indians call the skillet a "Tava".   I love making chapatis, but we don't have gas here in Powburn, so have to cook electric.   Useful video link; many thanks for that.

Take good care

Andy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Yes, pitas will form pockets if exposed to skillet and naked heat, in principle.

My pitas shown above were baked on a gas stove, hence the charred edges. I need to find the proper wire mesh for a gas stove. 

Thanks, Andy!

-Khalid

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Khalid,

you don't need the mesh, you can drop them straight on the flame. Keep the heat low, and the grid which supports your cooking pots will do the same for your breads. They only need a few seconds each side on a low flame to puff up.

Best wishes

Andy