whole wheat pita bread

whole wheat pitas

I feel like I am finally getting more comfortable working with yeasted breads! The last few things I’ve tried, including English muffins and homemade hamburger buns, have been really successful.  Not only have they risen and, you know, looked like what they were supposed to, they’ve actually tasted better than store-bought.  Major success!  Pita bread was something I was really excited to try, because we eat a lot of hummus around here so being able to make quality pita at home would be a huge asset.  Pita is one of those things that seems to be good at restaurants and terrible from the grocery store.  I love hummus platters at restaurants – the pita bread tends to be much thicker and fluffier – but the stuff I’ve found at the grocery store is at best just a boring vehicle for hummus or chicken salad and at worst tastes more or less like cardboard.  This pita actually tasted good on its own, and was relatively healthy what with the addition of whole wheat flour.  I was also able to make it in an afternoon after work, which is pretty good for a yeast bread!  In addition to hummus, we ate this pita with a yummy Greek chicken salad – recipe for that coming up soon!

Ingredients

  • 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup warm water (100°-110° F), divided
  • 1½ cups (6 3/8 oz.) bread flour, divided
  • 1½ cups (6 3/8 oz.) whole wheat flour, divided
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together yeast, honey, and ½ cup warm water.  Allow to sit 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.  If the mixture doesn’t foam up, your yeast isn’t active – start over with a new packet. (You can make this with instant yeast too – just no need to let it proof for 5-10 minutes).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup bread flour and ¼ cup whole wheat flour.  Whisk in the yeast mixture until incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place (aim for around 70°F) until bubbly and doubled in bulk, around 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  Add in the remaining ½ cup warm water, 1 ¼ cups bread flour, 1 ¼ cups wheat flour, olive oil and salt.  Knead the dough on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.  If the dough is not coming together/won’t clear the sides of the bowl, add extra flour a little bit at a time until it has formed a cohesive ball of dough.  Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a baking stone in the oven (if you have one) and preheat the oven to 500°F.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces.  Form each piece into a ball.  Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then roll out into a 6 ½- to 7-inch round with a floured rolling pin.  Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Once all the discs have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Transfer a few pitas (however many will fit; I did 3 at a time) onto the baking surface (I think using the pizza stone helped here, but if you don’t have one you should be able to bake them right on the oven rack).  Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining pitas.

Yield:  8 pita rounds

Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride; originally from Gourmet, May 2003

 

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  2. […] great use for that homemade pita bread!  In addition to hummus, we used ours for this Greek chicken salad.  For this recipe, you can go […]

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