Sunday, February 05, 2006

Pita bread

February 4, 2006

Jim and I were in Chicago last weekend, visiting our daughter, Elizabeth, so I skipped my weekly bread. Restaurant recommendation in Chicago: The Green Zebra, a vegetarian restaurant. None of us is a vegetarian, but we all ate every morsel of food.

I plan to make falafel for dinner tonight and so I aim for the pita bread to be done just in time for dinner so we can have fresh pitas with the falafel.

This is so much fun to make! It's the easiest dough I've made so far, and it can be put in the refrigerator for hours for a slow rise. I roll the dough out into circles (more or less)--it's like the tags on clothes where they assure you that the little imperfections are not really flaws; they just show that the whatever was lovingly made by hand. They bake for only 3 to 4 minutes, and they puff up beautifully. They taste great, too. Sarah, our older daughter, came over for dinner, and she ate two pitas just as they came out of the oven--naked. (Sarah was clothed, the bread was naked). I feel for the first time that maybe I will be able to get this bread-baking down pat.

11 comments:

lizkimwolf said...

Wow sounds good! You should bake some bread and send it to me in Chicago!

breadbasketcase said...

Yes, I should.

suzanne Pancrazi said...

I agree that these pitas are wonderful - and quick and easy. I have cooked them on the stove and that really turns out well also.

breadbasketcase said...

Suzanne,
I've bought pitas several times after baking these, and they're very disappointing. After you've had the real thing, it's hard to go back to the mass-produced.

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Tammy said...

Hi Marie,

I'm making the Pita bread from the Bread Bible and I'm confused on why I need to mark where double the dough would be. The direction say to mix the dough, stick it in the refrigerator, check it every hour for the first four and push it down if it starts to rise. At which point does the dough need to double?

breadbasketcase said...

Tammy,
The pita dough wants a long, slow rise, so the pressing it down if it starts to rise too soon is just to keep it in check. After four hours, you can let it alone, and just keep it in the refrigerator without checking on it.
I don't bother to mark the bowl with a piece of tape--I just estimate when it's double. You can buy some plastic bread-rising containers that have various amounts marked on the side, and those are handy to have, but not at all necessary.
Good luck with the pita! I hope you like it.

Tammy said...

Thanks Marie,

Does the dough typically double by the next day? Does it need to doubled before shaping and baking? Am I making it more complicated then needed? ;-D
I know it's going to be delicious. I love Rose's recipes.

breadbasketcase said...

Tammy,
Yes, it more or less doubles overnight. Rose says it keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, but I used it the next day. Then, after you shape it, it doesn't get another rising, just a rest.
It's not complicated when you do it, but sometimes recipes sound more complicated than they really are.
Let me know how it comes out!

Tammy said...

Hi Marie,

I baked the pita bread today. I had a few issues... I rolled the pitas out on lightly floured granite and let it sit for 10 minutes. The pitas stuck to the granite & lost shape, etc by the time I pried them off the granite. Some of the pitas puffed completely, most just puffed up around the edges. Did you roll them out on parchment? They were tasty and I'll try them again soon. Thanks for all your help!
Tammy

breadbasketcase said...

Tammy,
I didn't have trouble with the pitas sticking to granite, but I've definitely had that problem with other breads. I've found that a dough scraper is the best way to rescue stuck dough without its completely losing its shape. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out. I may have had beginner's luck with mine, because they all ballooned up--fun to watch.