I’ve been thinking a lot about time, and how it generally seems that we are working AGAINST time in our lives. It’s a race, or we lament the lack of it, or we wish we had more of it.
So when I find something that uses time to work its magic, it makes me slow down in general. Bread making is like that – there’s not much one can do to speed up the bread process. Sure, you can add more yeast, or throw in baking powder – but those “fixes” affect the taste and frankly the pleasure of eating it.
Nope, time is the magic in bread making. Learn to embrace that time magic with this recipe for Homemade Pita Bread, featured on this week’s Tasty Thursday.
And maybe it’s time to figure out what else in our lives is made magic by time?
- ½ c warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 scant TBS yeast (1 packet )
- 2 c bread flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- ¾ c warm water
- ¼ c olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine ½ c water, yeast, and honey in a medium sized bowl (you’ll use this for the whole recipe, so plan accordingly) and let sit 5 minutes, until bubbly (if it doesn’t get bubbly, toss it out and start again – there is an issue with your yeast. Maybe the water was too hot.)
- Whisk flours together.
- Whisk ½ c flour mixture into the bubbly yeast mix and let sit, covered, for 45 minutes.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients – rest of flours, more water, oil, salt. Knead for 10 minutes, or until really silky smooth (can also do this in a stand mixer or food processor – reduce kneading time.) You may have to add more flour to prevent sticking.
- Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, turning it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and put it in a warm place to rise until about doubled, about an hour.
- Turn dough out onto a floured board. Cut into 8 pieces and form into balls.
- Squish the pieces and roll them out into rounds about 6.5-7 inches in diameter. If you are shy on counter space, put them on cornmeal-sprinkled cookie sheets and let them sit on top of your stove.
- Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put bottom rack of oven at about the bottom third level. Remove any stray pizza stones that happen to live there.
- Preheat oven to 500.
- When the oven is hot and the pita is puffy, put 4 pita breads onto the rack (directly onto the rack!) and close the oven door as fast as you can. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip them over (I find a Teflon spatula and a wooden spoon to be better tools than tongs, which can pierce the pitas.) Cook for another minute.
- Remove and let sit for 2 minutes, then cover (wrap) in a clean dish towel and let cool in a kind of steamy environment.
- Repeat with the other 4 pitas.
- Do not blame me if your family refuses to eat store-bought pitas ever again.