Easy PITA BREAD
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
 
This delicious Pita Bread is wonderful as any meal companion. It's easy and fun for children and adults alike. It takes time to rise, but only 8-10 minutes to bake. High oven heat causes the rounds to steam and puff up, producing a perfect pocket for filling or you can use the dough for flat-bread pizzas. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (I like ½ whole wheat flour & all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. I make this Pita Bread using my large KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook. In a large mixing bowl add 3 teaspoons yeast in 1½ cups lukewarm warm water. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until water is foamy. This is called "Proofing" the yeast. Then add salt, olive oil, 1 cup additional flour, and mix for 5 minutes using the dough hook. Then add remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 8-10 times. Coat large bowl with more olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, allow to rise in a warm place for about 2-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  2. Place dough on a well floured surface and shape into a long rope. Cut dough into small pieces about the size of a golf ball. Dust pieces with flour, cover with a towel, and allow them to rise 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500 degrees, and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Also, preheat your baking sheet. I use baking stones which always stay in my oven. I place my pita rounds on parchment paper to rise, then slid the parchment paper with pita rounds off baking sheet onto the preheated baking stones to bake.
  4. Dust each piece with flour again. Roll each piece on a well floured surface with a rolling pin into 6-8 inch circles, about ¼ inch thick. Place each circle on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with flour, and allow to rise another 10 minutes. Bake until they have began to puff up, about 4-5 minutes. Turn over and bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Stack the baked Pita Bread on a cooling rack on top of each other, and press the air out of the pocket. Continue to roll out each piece as before, and allow to rise 10 minutes covered with towel. Bake all the rounds. You might also want to try cooking your pita bread on the grill or stove top in a cast iron pan. Preheat your cast iron pan on medium high, add one flat pita round at a time, and grill 2-3 minutes, then flip over and cook 3 minutes until lightly brown and puffed up. If some don't puff as much as others, don't worry, they will still be delicious "flat bread" :-)
  5. Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a cool place, or up to a month in the freezer. Adapted from: mideastfood.about.com.pitabreadrecipe
Recipe by Lavender Lady - Hood River Lavender Farm at http://lavenderfarms.net/lavender-lady/2014/02/12/pita-bread-for-your-valentines-day/