There’s just something about making something completely from scratch that is indescribably satisfying for a home cook. While I've made my share of kitchen disasters, what keeps me cooking is the prideful moments of success like when I made homemade cannoli for the first time, or when a friend of mine and I created our own from-scratch Limoncello. Making your own bread is definitely, one of those moments in the kitchen when you really feel like you've accomplished something great. Pita Bread is the perfect start in homemade bread making, as it is an easier recipe making for a perfect cooking ego boost. After you make these pita pockets who knows, maybe you'll be making homemade challah or braided sweet rolls next!
We ate these pitas filled with warm lamb meat balls, and muhammara, a tasty walnut red pepper spread by Laziz Foods. Here are some more ideas of how to use pita bread—slice into wedges and dip into hummus or muhammara, make a sandwich with turkey or ham and veggies, fill with falafel or black bean burger patties, or re-warm in oven and cover with honey, cinnamon and sugar for dessert. Once you make them you’ll be finding all kinds of uses for them. Believe me, they won’t be left around the kitchen long.
The recipe is quite simple and only takes about an hour. There are 4 steps in the process of making pita bread—assembling the ingredients, forming and divide the dough, rolling out dough into flat circles and letting it rise, then baking the dough. Then, magically, the little flat pancake-like rounds puff morph into perfectly round pitas. The only hard part is deciding what tasty ingredients to fill them with. —Becky Rosenthal
Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer, watch for yeast to bubble up, showing it's active.
Add salt and half of the flour, beat with a dough hook to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pitas for medium sized pita bread.
Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.
Let rest on the floured surface 30 to 40 minutes until slightly puffed. Preheat oven to 425° F.
With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until light golden. Stick around to watch for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas!
I romanticize my grandmother’s era. Perhaps I’m a victim of Golden Age thinking, but I think she could teach our era how to host a party, warm up a room, welcome strangers, cook for them and strike up a meaningful conversation. We could better learn from her how to sit down, eat and enjoy each other.
The heart of Vintage Mixer is about a meal, a table and a conversation.