I have always been fascinated with home bread making, but I have never really gotten into it. Why? Because yeast is so freakin’ scary, y’all. And so is wheat flour. The combination of those two things is too frightening for my frail constitution to handle.
But, you know what I can handle? Pita bread. It’s a good introduction to yeast and wheat flour, but it’s not as scary because it’s fried on a griddle instead of baked.
And I also have to say, that nothing feels better than my husband oohing and ahhing at me, telling me how talented I am and how much he loves me, while eating a soft, hot, freshly cooked pita. (Newlywed, much?)
Plus, these tasted better than any pita I’ve had at any Greek Restaurant. (Sorry Zorba! I am still loyal to you and your flaming saganaki!)
Give it a go, then. You’ll be so happy that you did.
-1 3/4 Cups Lukewarm Water
-2 1/4 Teaspoons Yeast
-1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
-1 Tablespoon Sugar
-1 1/2 Cups Flour
-2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour, plus more for sprinkling
*A note on flour: I like to use King Arthur flour. It’s worth the extra money, because it’s so fluffy and soft, and seems to really make a difference in bread recipes. As far as wheat goes, I like KAF White Whole Wheat — it’s still whole wheat, but it’s made from a different berry, resulting in a lighter, smoother flavor.
In a mixing bowl, combine the lukewarm water and yeast. Let it dissolve (about 2 minutes). Add salt and sugar, stir to combine. Let the mixture sit in a warm place about 5 minutes. (Laundry room with the dryer going, or on top of a barely warm burner). Add 1 cup flour, and whisk for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the rest of the flour, a cup at a time, and then sprinkling the extra, until the mixture forms a stiff dough. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes (This is where I could not live without my KitchenAid mixer dough hook). Form dough into a ball, remove from mixing bowl. Grease the mixing bowl and return the dough to it, cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Once dough has risen, form it into balls about the size of a golf ball. Roll the balls out into very thin rounds, and heat the round on a dry pan over medium heat. After 1-2 minutes, when the dough puffs up with a large bubble in it, and it’s lightly browned, flip over and heat until the other side has browned. Remove the bread to a plate, cover with a tea towel to keep it warm, and repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
I dipped mine in hummus, and Luke filled his with chicken. Either way– Yummy and oh so satisfying.