So I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of baking bread. It is a somewhat intimidating task but given that I’m about to turn 30 (next June) it might be about time. When I was making tzatziki I decided it was time to woman up and not give in to the temptation of using pita chips and carrots (again). It was time to make homemade pita wedges for dipping. Time to put a notch in the belt of bread making.
Turns out pita bread is remarkably easy. And it’s lovely when you cook it on a cast iron skillet; you get lovely charring that looks so professional. I may have ruined myself as I don’t think I will want to eat pitas from the store again. Pita snob. I suppose being a food blogger, it’s important to have high standards but I just don’t want to be high maintenance and annoying. Hmmm….Try these out, you will love them! They are simple to make and delicious as wraps or with anything you could think to dip them in.
- 1 cup warm water (not hot or boiling)
- 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
- 2½ - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- cooking oil
- In a medium bowl, mix water and yeast together and let sit for about five minutes, until yeast is dissolved. Add 2½ cups flour, sea salt, and olive oil. Stir until loose, shaggy dough forms.
- On a clean surface, sprinkle the remaining ½ cup flour and turn out the dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. If dough sticks to hands or working surface, add a little flour but keep extra flour to a minimum.
- Film the surface of a large bowl with a little olive oil. Set the dough in and turn until lightly coated with olive oil as well. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled. At this point, you can refrigerate the pita dough until it is needed. You can also bake one or two pitas at a time, saving the rest of the dough in the fridge. The dough will keep refrigerated for about a week.
- Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and gently flatten each piece into a thick disk.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces into a circle 8-9 inches wide and about a quarter inch thick. Lift and turn the dough frequently as your oll to make sure the dough isn't sticking to your counter. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if its starting to stick. If the dough starts to spring back, set it aside to rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.
- Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until a few bead of water sizzle immediately on contact. Drizzle a little oil in the pan and wipe off the excess.
- Lay a rolled-out pita on the skillet and bake for 30 seconds, until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes to toast the other side. The pita should start to puff up during this time; if it doesn't or if only small pockets form, try pressing the surface of the pita gently with a clean towel. Between pitas, use a paper towel to wipe any burnt residue, lightly oil pan and remove excess oil between pitas.