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Monday, June 14, 2010

Pita Bread

 I received a request for the Pita bread recipe I blogged about from Todd. Here you go Todd-

Pita Breads     From Baking with Julia  Written by Dorie Greenspan

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 Cups tepid water ( 80-90 F)
2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour   ( I used Spelt)
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

Mixing and Resting: Stir the yeast and water together in a large bowl.Using a wooden spoon and stirring in one direction,stir in the wholewheat flour about a cup at a time.Stir until mixture looks smooth and silky.This sponge needs to rest,covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes although best if it can rest for as long as 8 hours in a cool place,a rest gives a fuller flavor. ( I let mine rest for the 30 minutes because I was in a rush.)
  Mixing and Kneading: Sprinkle salt over sponge,then stir in olive oil mix well stirring in one direction.Add the AP flour one cup at a time until the dough is too stiff to stir with the spoon.Knead on a lightly floured work surface until smooth and elastic 8-10 minutes.The dough will be moderately firm and have a sheen.
 Rise: Wash the bowl and oil it.Place dough in bowl and cover.Let dough rise at room temp for 2-3 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  At this point the book gives directions for keeping the dough for up to a week in the fridge.If you want this bit email me or leave me a comment and I'll reply.

To bake the breads in the oven: if you have quarry tiles or baking stones (I used our pizza stone) use them to line the bottom rack of your oven,leaving a 1-inch border free around the tiles for air circulation.Or you can use two baking sheets for a similar effect.Preheat oven to 450.F
 Shaping the Dough: Knead dough briefly.Divide in half,cover the half you are not working with.Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and with lightly floured hands,form pieces into tight balls.On a well floured surface flatten each ball first with your finger tips and then with a rolling pin.They should be 8-9 inches in diameter and less than a 1/4 inch thick.( The ones that I got too thin did not puff up.) .Cover rolled out breads.
   Place as many breads as will fit onto your stones 4-6 at a time and bake 3-5 minutes,or until they resemble well blown up balloons. Some may not puff up if your stones were not hot enough.Don't worry they are still yummy.Continue to roll out breads and baking.Cover baked Pitas in with a towel.
  Now here is another baking option that I think would be fun if you have small kids in the house, they could watch the magic happen right before their eyes.

To bake the breads on the stove top: Preheat a 9-inch griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium - high heat and lightly oil.Bake one rolled out circle at a time,putting the topside down ( Personally I don't think there is a top or bottom to this bread.) cooking for 15-20 seconds,then turn over gently.Cook for another minute,or until bubbles appear.Turn again until it balloons fully.The breads should bake for no more than 3 minutes.Oil the pan after every 4 or 5 breads.

We had a lovely weekend,it was perfect, absolutely so.The radiant Sun returned and the whole city was jubilant,when you have been living under clouds and rain for a month straight it is hard not to want to dance in the streets once the Sun returns. Chance and I also celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary by hosting a party here.We had a nice crowd of family, friends and lots of kids running around.The party lasted late into the night no one was in  a hurry to leave the company sitting around the fire but finally we all turned into pumpkins and said good night. Yesterday we spent together as a family,had lunch out and went window shopping.It was a mighty fine weekend,mighty, mighty fine.

Broody Hen Report: So that is Mama in the corner there looking awful and flat while the other hens look on from their roost.I know when I was expecting I did not always look my best ,must be true of hens as well.Mama is doing fine,just hanging out,waiting and growling every time Zeph the rooster comes near her.
Mama's to be sure can be cranky.


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