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Recipe

7 Secrets Sami Mukundananda Radio Caravan
Pita Bread

By: Sarah
Region: American
Dish:Vegetarian - Breakfast/Tiffins/Snacks

Ingredients

15g fresh yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of sugar (not rapadura; rapadura blocks yeast somehow)
500g unbleached bakers flour
1 teaspoon salt (fine sea salt; put it through a salt grinder, or mill it in a TM)
Water (about 300g)

Directions

1) Put 100g of water and the yeast in TM bowl. Warm for 3 minutes, 37 degrees, speed 3.
2) Add other ingredients to TM bowl EXCEPT remaining water.
3) Set TM to knead for 5 minutes. While it is kneading, slowly pour water in. You will need to stop adding water and check the consistency of the dough occasionally. You can either stop the machine, open the lid and grab a bit of dough to have a feel, or you can get a bit of dough out with the spatula while it is still kneading. You want a soft dough, workable, not too sticky. If you accidentally add too much water and the dough is too sticky, no dramas! You will just need to add a bit more flour and keep kneading in the TM until your dough is workable. Amount of water required depends on various factors (temperature and humidity on that day, type of flour, etc etc).
4) Put the dough in a large oiled bowl and set it in a warm place (covered with a tea towel) to double – about 1-1.5 hours.
5) Tip the dough onto a thermomat/silpat mat/floured surface and knock down. Knead quickly and divide into 12 sections. Roll the sections gently into balls, place them spaced apart on the thermomat/floured surface and cover with the tea towel. Leave them to rise for half an hour.
6) Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. Put a baking tray in (don’t bother lining with baking paper) to get nice and hot.
7) Move all balls but one to the side, and work on one at a time. Put the ball in the centre of your work surface. Cover with a square of baking paper, and flatten with a breadboard (you will need to apply significant pressure… or sit your toddler on the breadboard!) This gets the ball squished into a nice circle so you don’t end up with varying shapes. You may still need to roll the round out a bit more (you want rounds of about 16cm across), but it’s easier to make pretty circles if you squish the ball down first.
8) Put the first two or three rounds (depending on how many fit on your baking tray) on the hot baking tray and put the tray in the oven (not on the top rack – middle is best). Bake for 6-7 minutes, flip them over, and bake for 2 more minutes. If you overcook them, they will be crunchy and you won’t be able to fold them for wraps or cut them open to get pockets; they will just crack (see picture below). While the first lot is in the oven, continue rolling the other balls.
9) If using immediately, wrap in a tea towel on a dinner plate to keep warm. If not, put them in a plastic bag as soon as they are room temp or close, tie a knot in the bag and put in the freezer.

Comments

Don’t overcook them! Compare this overcooked one to the picture at the top of the post… You want them nice and supple, but still airy inside, and only just golden. This one is too crunchy, too golden, too cooked.

You can reheat defrosted pita breads in the oven (much lower temp or they will burn!), but I don’t find this necessary; I normally just eat them room temp after they have defrosted. They’re equally delicious!

It does seem like a bit of effort, with a double rise and having to cook in batches… but once you have a stack of these in your freezer, you will be so thankful you did it! Enjoy!

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