Monday, August 26, 2013

Perfect Pita

I made this pita bread about 5 years ago. I used US ingredients to do it and I remember thinking that it was easier just to buy the already made pita bread in the store. This weekend, I tried again, but used Swiss ingredients. It was much easier than I remembered, and the taste, with the hummus that I previously posted, was fantastic. I also made chicken skewers that I stuck inside with the hummus. I`ll post that recipe later this week.
One of the best things about this recipe is that after you make it and it rises, you can stick it in a bag and put it in the fridge. Just tear off as little or as much as you want and you can have fresh pita for every meal. How fantastic is that??

What you need:

3 cups of flour, plus extra for rolling and kneading (maybe a cup)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast, 7 g
1 tsp sugar
1-2 Tbls olive oil

Now, the reason why I thought this was so easy, is that the back of my package of yeast says I can just mix it in with the flour, so there was none of the waiting like with other yeasts. If yours doesn`t say that, you may want to check the original recipe which states you need to mix the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Mix the yeast, sugar and 1 cup of warm - not hot- water together. Add the flour and salt.

Mix until well combined. 

Take the dough out of the bowl and then add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to coat the inside of the bowl and prevent sticking. 

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 3 hours. After the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour on a hard, clean surface and then knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.

If you are going to cook the pita now, then tear off into small balls. I got 13 out of this. Do fewer if you would like larger pitas though. Let the balls sit for 10 minutes. 

At this point, I decided I wanted to make them fresh the next day, so I put them in a zipping bag and stuck them in the fridge. 

If you would like to continue on to cooking, set the oven to 230 C.

Put some flour on a hard surface and roll the dough out into a rough (or perfect if you can manage it) circle.

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven. I think this next part was the hardest. You have to let it cook for 3 minutes, then flip it over and cook for another 3. I forgot with the first batch, so they got a bit browner than I was expecting.

Then, just remove from the oven, stack up and serve. Nothing better than warm pita and homemade hummus for an appetizer, or lunch, or dinner, or snack...


You can see the bottom ones were the ones that got extra love in the oven :-)


Ok, technically, this one isn`t from me. My husband made it. It is the most fantastic hummus. When he doesn`t have time, I buy it from the store - along with store bought pita - and it`s fine. It`s not great, but I`ll eat it. Yesterday, my husband made the hummus, and I made pita from scratch. I don`t know if it was the combination or what, but it was fantastic. I really don`t want to go back to store bought now.

Normally, he uses smoked garlic, but I couldn`t find any this time, so we used the regular garlic. Experiment to see which you like best!

What you need:

1 can of chickpeas (remove 3 or 4 for garnishing if desired)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Tahini (I get mine at Sihlcity)
1/4 cup greek yogurt
4 large (5-6 small) cloves garlic (try smoked if you can find it)
5-6 fresh mint leaves
3 sprigs parsley

Make sure you stir the tahini very well as it tends to separate into  oil on top and paste on the bottom. This may take a few minutes.

Use a garlic press for your garlic.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor (we just have a little one so make one batch at a time). Blend well.

If your mixture is too thick, then add additional lemon juice to your mixture. Do not add above 1/4 cup of extra lemon juice, instead switch to water if you find it necessary. The hummus should be thick - you just don`t want it to be solid :-) It needs to be able to stick to pita or veggies.

The blending will take about 6-8 minutes to reach a smooth consistency. Stop occasionally to check the consistency and mix with a spoon to insure that all the parts are well incorporated.

Once fully blended, pour into a serving bowl, add a few tablespoons of olive oil over the top (don`t mix in), add your extra chickpeas and maybe a sprig of mint or parsley.

Watch it all disappear quickly!