Arabic pita bread Learn
My soul and hands belong in the kitchen. It’s my happy place, and best of all is that it allows me to gift happiness to others.
In 2019, I created a virtual gourmet group called “Kaust, what have you cooked today?”, which now counts 510 members. During lockdown the group really blossomed as I was also sharing inspirational posts/recipes.
As for the themed cooking challenges, they really made a difference when the lockdown first started. The challenges were very well received because everyone was at home, cooking more than usual, since the restaurants were closed.
Both have kept our spirits up in time of isolation.
Arabic pita bread
Arabic Pita bread
Cook and prep time: 2 hours
One of the most rewarding recipes ever, worth every minute you spend making them. Every time I make them, I end up sitting on the kitchen’s floor with my nose stuck to the oven door watching them rising.
Pure magic! They are soft and delicious, perfect to be cut in half to form pockets you can fill whatever your heart desires.
As a suggestion, bellow you can see in the picture I’ve chosen to stuff them with: roasted vegetable medley (butternut squash, red onion, baby zucchini, green beans, red bell pepper, mushrooms, cauliflower), chilli, thyme, lemon and garlic lentils, baked crispy kale and tzatziki sauce (cucumber, Greek yogurt, lemon and garlic).
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 35 grams whole-wheat flour (1/4 cup)
- 310 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Put 1 cup lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add the whole-wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and whisk together. Put the bowl in a warm (not hot) place, uncovered, until mixture is frothy and bubbling, about 15 minutes. If using instant yeast just go straight to the next step and mix all the ingredients together.
- Add salt, olive oil and nearly all remaining all-purpose flour (reserve 1/2 cup). With a wooden spoon or a pair of chopsticks, stir until mixture forms a shaggy mass. Dust with a little reserved flour, then knead in a bowl for 1 minute, incorporating any stray bits of dry dough.
- Turn dough onto a work surface. Knead lightly for 2 minutes, until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes, then knead again for 2 minutes. Try not to add too much reserved flour; the dough should be soft and a bit moist. (At this point, dough may be refrigerated in a large zippered plastic bag for several hours or overnight. Bring dough back to room temperature, knead into a ball and proceed with recipe.)
- Clean the mixing bowl and put dough back in it. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then cover with a towel. Put the bowl in a warm (not hot) place. Leave until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 475 degrees. On the bottom shelf of the oven, place a heavy-duty baking sheet, large cast-iron pan or ceramic baking tile. Punch down dough and divide into 8 pieces of equal size. Form each piece into a little ball. Place dough balls on the work surface, cover with a damp towel and leave for 10 minutes.
- Remove 1 ball (keeping others covered) and press into a flat disk with a rolling pin. Roll to a 6-inch circle, then to an 8-inch diameter, about 1/8-inch-thick, dusting with flour if necessary. (The dough will shrink a bit while baking.)
- Carefully lift the dough circle and place quickly on a hot baking sheet.
- After 2 minutes the dough should be nicely puffed. Turn over with tongs or spatula and bake 1 minute more. The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles. Transfer warm pita to a napkin-lined basket and cover so bread stays soft. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.