Pita bread

It is no surprise that this widely popular Middle Eastern bread has been around for over 4000 years. It started off being used as an edible utensil to eat food in, and in a way we still use it that way when we load up our salads and kebabs inside these pockets. They are surprisingly very easy to put together and don’t take very long to bake in the oven. Did you know, the method of using yeast for raising breads was first discovered with the pita breads?

Why should you make your own when you can buy them for under a dollar or a pound everywhere?

The taste of fresh homemade pita, beats them all. For me, the smell of freshly baked bread is amazing and this is no different. Besides, there’s something to be said about making food for your family that does not contain ingredients you cannot pronounce, is freshly cooked with no additives and preservatives. It is not possible to do that all the time, and it is hard to find the time to do that regularly, but every little bit counts, one step at a time. This recipe uses simple pantry ingredients and it doesn’t need anything special to put it together. Simple baking sheets, or cookie sheets and even pizza pans work for baking the breads and a towel to keep them warm and soft, until ready to serve and enjoy with the family.

3 cups All purpose flour / Plain flour
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
1.5 tsp Yeast
1 cup warm Water
1 large size Egg
7 tbsp Oil (I used grapeseed oil)

Preheat oven to 400F/200C.

Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water, and wait for it to bubble up. In the meantime, stir in the salt to the flour and rub in the oil. Then add in the yeast and the egg and knead into a dough. Add more water if you need to, to get the dough together.

As you can see, as I was putting things together I got interrupted and didn’t pick up and egg, but I didn’t realise that, until I reached this point.

I wasn’t going to waste the dough and decided to carry on. What’s the worst that could happen? Knead till it gets smooth and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest for about half an hour or so, in a warm place, before rolling them out. It should double in size, depending on the weather of course. The baking is done very fast, so roll out all the breads before you start baking them. I end up using all the trays and baking sheets that I have in the house, hence the pizza tray in this picture.

Roll them out, not too thin and not too thick. Spread them on a baking sheet, just a dry sheet works well or even a pizza tray as the one I am using in the picture above. Bake in oven for literaly 3-4 minutes, until very light golden in colour. Keep them wrapped in a very lightly dampt towel to help them soften.

If left too long, they will still be puffed up, but will dry up inside like a hollow shell. The picture below, is when they are done a little too much, but they were still good with a dollop of hummus!

Fill these hollow pita breads up with your choice of salads, meats and other stuffings and enjoy.



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