Perfectly puffed Pita bread is a pretty sight to the eye!
Also makes for a beautiful sandwich base for goodies to be stuffed into rather than having to slice the bread to strips and dip into the Hummus (Find the recipe here)
Pita is a Middle-Eastern flatbread, very much like the Indian chapatti/roti and can be made with all purpose flour (maida), whole wheat flour (aata) or a mix of both. I keep playing with the proportions and quite like the 60-40 aata-maida ratio.
The recipe is simple and comprises of blooming the yeast, kneading the dough and a single prove.
The recipe below gives 20 medium sized Pitas
3 cups All purpose flour (Maida)
2 cups Whole wheat flour (Aata)
1 ½ tsp Instant yeast (Use 20% more if using active dry yeast)
1 tsp sugar
½ cup warm water (to bloom the yeast)
1 Tbsp Olive oil/any vegetable oil
1 ¼ tsp salt
Stir in the yeast and sugar into the half cup of warm water and leave covered in a warm place for 12-15 minutes till it froths well.
Mix the flours, salt and oil and add the frothed yeast mixture to this.
Knead the dough adding water gradually as required for about 5-7 minutes. We need medium firm dough almost like the chapatti dough.
Leave covered for 1 ½ hours till it doubles.
Preheat the oven on maximum with both the heating elements on for 10 minutes.
Roll out pita flatbreads little thicker than a chaptti.
To get perfect little puffs I watch out for a few things.
1. Make sure the oven is very hot. The maximum temperature on mine is 250C. I preheat and bake at the maximum temperature.
2. After the preheating, I switch to ‘Bake’ mode (i.e. the lower heating element only) on the OTG for about 5 minutes to ensure the bottom of the pita cooks and the top doesn’t burn. After 5 minutes, I switch the top element on too. This ensures puffed pitas and perfect cooking on both sides.
3. Roll the bread a little thicker than a regular chapatti.
4. These can be made on a hot griddle on stove top too.