Recipe Review: Pita bread courtesy of thefreshloaf.com
This weekend I attempted my first homemade pita bread. While googling the internetz, I found a really great website called http://www.thefreshloaf.com and I followed their recipe for pita bread. I was extremely pleased with this recipe. Having never tasted pita bread fresh from the oven, I was in for a very delicious surprise. I have a feeling that I will be making these weekly. The instructions were incredibly helpful - explaining each ingredient and its role in the process - not to mention extremely helpful pictures.
I decided to knead the dough by hand instead of using a mixer. I haven't had much success getting the results I want by using a mixer. Plus, it is hard to tell when the dough is done kneading when you have to do it by sight rather than touch.
The best advice I've gotten about bread making through my research is to start the process in the mixer - just mixing until the ingredients start lumping together in a messy ball. Then start kneading by hand. The most interesting advice I've gotten is that the dough is ready for rising when it feels like a woman's breast.
Moving on. So after letting the dough rise for 90 minutes, I punched it down and formed into 8 balls. After a second rise, they looked like this:
Now they were ready to be rolled out into individual pitas. The first mistake I made was rolling them too thick. Though, delcious, the first one wasn't very pita like... more like a spongy bread circle.
I cooked them on a small pizza stone which had the benefit (and detriment) of only being able to cook them one at a time. By doing this, I was able to adjust the way I cooked them pita by pita until I got it right. The bad part is that it took a long time. But, at 3 minutes a pita, it wasn't too awful.
The only thing that wasn't perfect was the baking process. Though delicious, the pitas didn't poof up like they were supposed to. According to the recipe, the pita bread was supposed to look like this when done cooking (picture borrowed from http://www.thefreshloaf.com):
Mine looked like this:
I made my pitas much larger AND they didn't poof up. I was dissapointed. I will try smaller pitas next time to see if that helps.
All in all, I give this recipe an A+.
Steve liked them too.
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