Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Soft Pita Bread

This soft pita bread is really more like soft wrap bread, since you can't cut them open them up like pita bread. We were having falafels recently and I just couldn't bare to buy those awful, dry cardboard pitas from the grocery store. These were SOOO much better, and worth every ounce of extra effort.

They're DELICIOUS and so versatile....I can see them being used for sandwiches, cut into wedges and dipped in hummus, served as falafels, or just eaten as a side dish with butter and garlic salt! The process does involve several waiting periods, so be aware and start a few hours before you actually need them.


Soft Pita Bread
Adapted from: King Arthur Flour

*Makes 8 flatbreads

3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. boiling water

1/4 c. potato flour OR 1/2 c. potato flakes
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. INSTANT yeast

Place 2 cups of the flour into a large mixing bowl (or Kitchen Aid). Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. This process will cook out some of the starch, making the bread very soft and pliable.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes) and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several (5-7) minutes to form a soft dough. Add additional flour only if necessary-- The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat soft. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour. (Note: Since this is a flatbread, the dough will not rise very much due to the small amount of yeast-- But it should still rise noticeably.)

Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each around 3-4 oz.-- I use my kitchen scale for this), cover, and let rest on an oiled surface for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they’re flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Stack the cooked bread in between a soft, clean towel to keep them warm and soft. Serve immediately, or cool before storing in a plastic bag.

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