Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pita bread recipe for Lib

Sorry Lib to take so long to get this posted. Things have been crazy the last couple of weeks.

Pita Bread/French Bread
1 quart (4 cups) warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
4 pounds of flour (this is usually white flour, but it should work just as well with whole wheat. Throw in 2 Tbs of vital gluten for good measure with the whole wheat and it will be more pliable.)

Place 3 lbs of flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix together. Add warm water. Add the other 1 lb of flour as needed to make a moderately stiff dough. Let rest about 10 mins.

Pita bread:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Pinch off pieces of dough and roll out into a circle. Make SURE you don't compress the edges of the dough - the pita can't rise if you do that.You decide on how big you want your final pita to be by how big a chunk of dough you use. Usually a ball somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball size. Roll or pat dough to about 3/8" thick - use two pencils on either side of the dough and use the rolling pin to roll over the pencils, with the dough between the pencils. When the rolling pen is no longer flattening the dough, it will be 3/8" thick. You want a circle of dough, so you're going to have to move the dough as you roll it out. Also the pencil trick will keep you from rolling over the edges.
Bake on bottom of gas oven - yes, that is the floor of the oven. Or for an electric oven, put a cookie sheet, upside down on the lowest shelf when you preheat the oven - or use a pizza tile on the bottom shelf. It will take a pizza tile about 1 hr to get hot enough. Tastes great, but uses a lot of energy for making one batch of anything.
Bake two or three pita at a time.
Bake for about 2 mins or until golden, then turn and bake on the other side for another minute or two. They should puff up. Use tongs to handle them.

Baguettes or French bread (same thing only one is smaller and thinner than the other)
Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into two cylindrical loaves for Baguettes or one loaf for French. Place on cookie sheet that you have sprinkled a little cornmeal onto, cover and proof 30-60 mins for the baguettes or 1-2 hrs for the French bread - until doubled. When proofed, slash the top(s). You can also dust with flour shaken through a sieve or oatmeal, then floured.
Place pan in oven, drop 1-2 tbs water onto oven floor and immediately close oven door. Bake 30 mins - until inside bread temp is 200-210 degrees.

Do we need a recipe for flour tortillas? I have several if anyone is interested.


Lib said...

Thank You so much for posting the recipe.I can't wait to make pita bread.I love it with sprouts and fresh veggies. Also Kraut and green peppers and onions and polish sausage.
I enjoy reading your blog so much, I always learn something from each post. thanks for taking so much time.:o)

Pecozbill said...

Great recipe Darlene... I had to laugh when I read your comment about tossing in the water (for baguettes). A hundred years ago (before Air Force) when I was cooking in a restaurant in Rochester NY, when we put the hard rolls in, we just threw a full cup of water into our big commercial oven and slammed the door shut. When I took over the cooking chores here when I fully retired, I found a great recipe for 'easy' french hard rolls, did the deal, but 'em in the oven and threw about a half cup of water in and slammed the door shut... LOL LOL
after a short management level discussion with the former cook, I now put a large flat baking pan in the bottom of the oven to preheat with the oven, and then throw my water into the pan.... and swiftly (but gently close the door) of her shiny ceramic topped range... ;-)