Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pita Bread - The Bread Bible

When I made pita bread in my first go-round of The Bread Bible, I wasn't even using photos.  I envisioned writing a paragraph or two about each bread, and it wasn't until the fourth or fifth week that I started using photography.  That is, I started Jim's career as a food photographer.  This time he took 59 photos, not counting the ones he discarded, for me to choose from.

This is about as basic as bread dough gets:  flour, water, salt, and yeast (with a bit of olive oil thrown in).

After 10 minutes in the KitchenAid, it's soft and shiny and lovely to stretch.  I added just a few grams of extra water to make it a bit stickier.

After being in the refrigerator for 24 hours, it's grown, even though it was brutally punched down for the first few hours of its stay.  Apparently pita bread dough has a masochistic streak.

This looks like I'm trying to make pita croissants, but I'm just cutting off bits of dough to make every piece about 100 grams.  (I made the six-inch size).

My favorite rolling pin has tapered edges, so Woody doesn't think I should use it for pie crust.  Neither does Jim.  They both claim that it will lead to uneven dough, but it's French, and they should know what they're doing, right?

One of my more evenly rounded attempts, and my oven test case.

This is how it looked after 3 minutes.  It looks a little doughy in the middle, but it was actually done.  I baked the rest of them for 4 or 5 minutes, though, and they puffed a little more.

Some of them puffed like crazy!

At 5 minutes, they definitely get some color, but I preferred them that way.

I used them as a base for a dinner sandwich:  cheddar cheese, thinly sliced apples, toasted walnuts, thyme, bacon, and Parmesan.  Delicious, especially the last bites of crispy crust.  When I ate that crust, I could really tell that this was a variation of Rose's pizza crust recipe, which we'll get to eventually.  At one bread a month, it's going to take us a long time to get through this cookbook, but I guess we're not in any hurry.


Kimberlie Robert said...

Pizza pitas...such an obviously good idea. I was thinking Mediterranean. Your pizza looks delicious!

Patricia Reitz said...

Your Pitas look perfect, Marie. I can't wait to try them tomorrow. As for Woody and Jim not thinking a tapered rolling pin is the right option for rolling pie crust, Christopher Kimball disagrees (Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen, and Cook's Country). I love the technique he shows in this video https://christopherkimball.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/344/

faithy bakes said...

I think I would prefer it as a pizza crust. Sounds better when crisp up with all the cheese on top!

Vicki said...

Yum! Good idea to bake some darker than others. Love your rolling pin. It's so pretty.

Marie Wolf said...

Thanks for the ammunition! I mean the information. That's good to know. It's the only one that feels comfortable in my hands.

Glori Berkel said...

I have the same rolling pin and thought the same thing. If it's French it must be the best. Your pita turned out great and puffy. Totally using the pizza idea after all it's kind of Rose's pizza dough recipe.

Jenn said...

Marie, you're definitely a bread baker pro. Your pita looks gorgeous. I love the pizza variation and the toppings you choose. When can I come over for snack? :)

Jim said...

I notice that Christopher Kimball doesn't use the tapered pin in a way that would lead to uneven thickness, which is my objection to simply rolling across the dough, but he holds the pin at an angle and pivots it around the center of the pin in making his quarter turns. Also, he makes efforts to ensure that the edges aren't too thick. I'm all for the tapered pin used this way.

phylliscaroline said...

Wow, your pitas look fantastic - you got great 'puff'. Jim really got some great shots...which probably makes up for his jibe about the right way to use a tapered rolling pin.