Monday, March 17, 2014

Pita Bread

We lived in Israel for two years and my husband worked in Lebanon with the U.N. Pita Bread is a staple in the Middle East and can be found on street corners and every shop. This recipe reminds me of the wonderful smells walking by the vendors.

Pita Bread
by Nancy
adapted from A Taste of Lebanon: Cooking Today the Lebanese Way by Mary Salloum

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups flour (white or whole wheat)

In a large bowl, add the water and sugar, stir. Add yeast and stir slightly. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Gradually mix in the salt and flour, starting with 3 cups and then adding the remaining flour. More or less water may be required. Use enough flour to prevent dough from clinging to the bowl. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead well for 5 minutes.

Clean the bowl and coat with a small amount of oil. Roll dough in the bowl so it is completely coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel and allow to rise 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Set oven to 500° F.

Punch dough to deflate and roll out onto a floured counter and divide dough into 8 balls. Roll out each ball into 1/4 inch in thickness. Let rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Place dough on greased baking sheets and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

May be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or may be frozen.

To warm pita, place the round on the rack in the oven at 300° for 1-2 minutes.

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