How to Make Pita Bread
Pita bread is a Middle Eastern cuisine staple, but it goes great with lots of other foods as well. Making pita bread requires mixing and kneading the dough, and then cooking each piece of pita bread individually. However, the time and effort are well worth it for the taste of freshly baked pita bread!
EditIngredients of active dry yeast of warm water of all-purpose flour of salt of olive oil EditSteps EditMixing the Dough Combine the yeast, of flour, and water in a mixing bowl. Pour in of dry yeast, of water, and of flour. Use a hand or stand mixer set to medium speed to combine the ingredients. Keep mixing until a sponge-like dough forms.
If you have a stand mixer, add the ingredients to the stand mixer bowl. If not, use a large mixing bowl so you will be able to beat the ingredients together with a hand mixer Add the olive oil, salt, and remaining flour to the bowl. Measure out the of salt and of olive oil and pour these into the bowl. Then, add all of the remaining flour to the bowl as well.
Don't worry if the dough seems a little sticky. You can add more flour to get the dough to the right consistency. Knead the dough for about 6 minutes. Use the dough hook on a stand mixer set to medium speed, or knead the dough with your hands by squeezing it. Continue doing this for about 6 minutes. When the dough is ready, it will be soft, pliable, and slightly sticky.
If you are kneading the dough by hand, your hands may get tired. Take breaks as needed. Make sure your hands are clean before you start kneading the dough! Sprinkle in of flour if the dough is too sticky. If you notice that the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, your hands, or the dough hook, then sprinkle in a little more flour. Only add a small amount of flour or the dough may become too dry. Keep kneading the dough after you add the flour. Knead until the flour is completely mixed into the dough. of cinnamon into your dough as you knead it.
You may need to repeat this a few times to get the dough to the right consistency. EditShaping the Dough Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover it. Spray the bowl with some non-stick cooking spray, or pour a small amount of olive oil into the bowl and use a paper towel to coat the edges with the oil. Then, grease 1 side of the foil or plastic wrap in the same way. Place the dough ball into the bowl and cover it with the greased foil or plastic wrap.
Use a clean bowl or wash out the bowl you used to mix and knead the dough. Dry it with a clean, paper towel, and then grease the bowl. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours. Set the bowl with the covered dough ball in it in a warm place, such as on your kitchen counter. Set a timer for 2 hours and check the dough when the time is up. The dough will double in size over the course of 2 hours.
When the dough has doubled in size, it is done rising. You may notice that it reaches this point slightly before or after 2 hours depending on the potency of your yeast. Punch down the dough and place it on a floured surface. Once the dough is finished rising, use your fist to punch it down in the center and along the edges. Then, transfer the dough ball to a floured surface, such as a clean kitchen counter or cutting board with flour sprinkled over it.
Make sure the entire surface is covered with a thin layer of flour. This will help to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and roll them into balls. Use a butter knife to cut the dough in half. Then cut each of these halves in half again. Then, cut each of the quarters in half. This will leave you with 8 equal-sized pieces of dough. Use your hands to roll these pieces into balls.
If needed, sprinkle more flour onto your work surface and over the balls to prevent them from sticking. wide round pieces of pita bread is not your only option. You can also try…
Using cookie cutters to cut pita dough into shapes, such as stars, hearts, or cats! Roll out all of the pita dough into a large sheet and use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. Cook the same as round-shaped pitas, and remove them from the heat after they puff up completely.
Making mini-pitas that are about wide. Cut your ball of pita dough into 16 equally-sized pieces instead of 8 pieces. Cook the same way you would regular-sized pitas, but watch them as they might puff up faster than larger pieces.
Creating 2 extra-large pieces of pita bread for pizza toppings. Divide your pita dough in half and roll it out to thickness. Then, bake the piece of pita dough in a oven until it puffs up completely (about 7 to 9 minutes). Repeat for the other piece.
}} Let the dough balls rise for 30 minutes. Space out the dough balls on your work surface so they are about apart. Then, grease a piece of foil or plastic wrap as you did before. Place this sheet over your dough balls and set a timer for 30 minutes so the dough balls can rise.
If the sheet of foil or plastic you used to cover the large dough ball is still intact, reuse this to cover your dough balls. Flatten the dough balls into thick discs. Use a rolling pin to help you flatten each of the dough balls. Measure to check the thickness and the width of the discs. Aim for discs that are about wide.
Thin pita discs are more likely to puff up and form a pocket when you cook them, so it is important to get the pita dough to this thickness! Use a rolling pin with interchangeable rings to get the thickness to exactly . These are available wherever you can purchase specialty baking supplies, such as in the cake baking section at a craft supply store or in the bakeware section of a large department store. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for up to 1 week. You may cook the dough into pita bread right away, or wait for up to 1 week to prepare it. Wrap each of the dough balls with a piece of oiled plastic or foil wrap. Then, place the wrapped balls into a sized resealable plastic bag. Place the dough balls in the refrigerator.
You may want to write the date on the bag to remind yourself of how long you have to use them. EditCooking the Pita Bread Heat of olive oil in a cast iron pan. Non-stick cooking spray also works well for preventing your pita bread from sticking to the pan. Coat the pan well with oil or non-stick cooking spray and turn the heat on medium high. Let the pan heat for a few minutes before putting the first piece of pita dough into the pan.
The pan needs to be very hot for the pita to puff up and cook properly. If it is not hot enough, the pita dough will not puff up, which is necessary for the pita to form a pocket in the center. Unpuffed pita bread is still useable, but you will not be able to stuff it. Place 1 of the dough discs into the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Watch the top of the dough disc for small bubbles to form. When you notice these, flip the disc over to the other side. This should only take about 30 seconds.
Make sure to use tongs or a spatula to flip the pita! Do not use a fork since this will poke holes in the pita and prevent it from puffing up properly. Flip the disc and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes on the other side. After you notice bubbles forming, flip the pita bread over and cook it on the other side for about 1 to 2 more minutes. Wait until the dough starts to puff up to flip it over again. This may only take 1 minute or it may take the full 2 minutes.
After you flip the pita again, the other side of the pita will have brown spots where the bubbles formed. If the pita bread does not inflate, the pan may not be hot enough. Turn up the heat before cooking the next pita Turn the disc over and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. The pita bread is done cooking when it completely inflates, which may take around 1 to 2 minutes. The disc will fill up with air like a balloon.
Remember to use tongs or a spatula to flip the pita bread! Remove the cooked pita bread from the heat and place it onto a plate. Press the air out with the back of your spatula or tongs before removing it from the griddle. Then, place the pita bread onto a plate. To keep the pita bread warm while the rest of the pita bread cooks, place a piece of foil or a pan lid over the plate. Repeat to cook the rest of the pita bread. Go through the same cooking process for each piece of pita bread. Since each piece takes about 5 minutes to cook, it will take about 40 minutes to cook all 8 pieces of the pita bread.
Speed up the cooking process by using 2 pans to cook 2 pieces of pita bread at once. Eat the pita bread immediately or store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Pita bread tastes best when you eat it fresh. However, you can store your pita bread in an air-tight container or bag for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or for up to 3 months in the freezer. Stack the pita bread and place wax paper between the pieces of pita bread to keep them from sticking together. Then, place the stack of pita bread into an air-tight plastic or glass container, or in a resealable bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator or freezer. Write the date on the container or bag to ensure that you use the pita bread in time. EditVideo EditTips You may also bake pita bread in the oven at . Place your pita bread discs onto a baking sheet. Bake them for about 3 minutes. When the pita bread has fully inflated with air, it is done! Try using whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour for a nuttier taste and more fiber! EditWarnings Be careful when removing the pita bread from the pan or oven. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands and use tools, such as a spatula and tongs to flip the pita bread. EditThings You’ll Need Mixing bowl Stand or hand mixer Cutting board or kitchen counter Rolling pin Non-stick cooking spray (optional) Tin foil or plastic wrap Plate with a lid EditReferences EditQuick Summary
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