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Pita Bread

Breads

  • Makes 16.
    SERVES

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 2-1/2 cups warm water (110° F)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bread bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add whole-wheat flour, one cup at a time, and then add 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir for one minute in the same direction to activate the gluten. Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes. Sprinkle salt and olive oil over the dough and mix well. Add remaining bread flour one cup at a time. When dough becomes too stiff to stir, begin kneading on a lightly floured board. You may not need all the flour. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Return dough to a lightly oiled bread bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in size, about 90 minutes. Punch down lightly.

Dough may be made ahead to this point and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If storing any of the dough, store in a large plastic bag secured at the opening to make room for expansion. Any smell of fermentation after a few days only improves the flavor of the bread. Dough should always be brought to room temperature before baking.

If baking all at once, divide dough into 16 portions and roll out dough into 8-inch circles. Preheat oven to 450°. Place cast-iron skillet, griddle, or quarry tiles on a rack in the bottom third of oven. Flatten each circle with lightly floured hands and place on baking surface. Bake 4 to 6 minutes until bread has “ballooned,” or until it turns slightly golden. If bread fails to balloon on the first try, don’t worry. This takes practice but tastes great and is worth the effort. Remove from oven, allow to cool about 5 minutes, and wrap in kitchen towels. Repeat process with remaining dough.

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