March 27th, 2010

species

(no subject)






Pita Bread - March 26


You guys, I made pita bread. I am feeling very pleased with myself.

I made a third of a batch and got 6 6-inch pitas out of it (a whole batch is supposed to make 8 to 12) so your mileage may vary on the output (though I did add a whole teaspoon of yeast, instead of 2/3, because I wanted it to rise more quickly). This is also a much more forgiving recipe than it sounds. At the rest stage on step 1, my sister called while I was kneading. I finished kneading, covered the dough with a bowl, talked to her for 40 minutes, and then went back to it, and it turned out fine. For the rise, I stuck the dough in a greased tupperware container in the sun for an hour, and it doubled just fine. In step 4, I just covered the discs with a couple of upended pie tins (did Indian grandmothers have greased plastic wrap?)

I did the skillet cooking method, since it's more or less like making tortillas, and since I am not patient enough to keep opening and closing my oven like that. It is pure magic, watching the bread puff.

The key to this - and one thing that Smitten Kitchen doesn't mention - is that the bread cannot be too thin, or it will not ballon properly. She says just a touch under 1/4 inch thick, and that's just right. On pieces that were unevenly rolled, you could actually see them poof to the thin spot, then hit the thin spot and stop. If it doesn't balloon, it'll be still be very tasty flatbread, but if you want pocket bread, an even, relatively thick roll is key.