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.