Whole Wheat Pita Bread

When television and radio ads do nothing but speak of dieting this time of year, you might find my January postings on breads a bit “challenging”.  It is quite possible to follow healthy eating patterns and still have bread.  One alternative to eating a 2 slice bread sandwich is to fill a Pita pocket with some healthy foods.  Pita Bread is made of basically the same ingredients as most other breads, however, the difference is in the baking.  When the oven is hot, you’ll throw the dough rounds directly on the rack in your oven or on a cast iron griddle.  The dough is rolled thin so it puffs up fast and is done within 4 minutes!  The kids will think its fun to watch them puff up.

In a small bowl mix together:
1-1/2 cups Bread Flour
1-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

In the mixer bowl combine Sponge ingredients:
1 cup of the above mixed Flours
1 tsp. Sugar
1 Tabl. Yeast
1-1/4 cup Warm Water (NOT HOT)

Whisk together and cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.

After the sponge has risen for 1 hour, add:
Remaining Flour from above
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Salt

Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.  Mix on medium speed for 10 minutes. (I place a dish towel under the mixer so it does not “walk” off the counter.)   Again, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm, draft-free place to rise again for 2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide into 6 pieces.  Press each piece into a circle, allow to relax on the counter for 15 minutes.  Roll/Pat out each circle of dough into a 7″ circle.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Place the oven rack on the lowest level in oven.  If you plan to use a cast iron griddle, place it in the oven now to heat. Pre-heat the oven at 450 degrees.

When dough has risen the last 15 minutes, place the dough directly on the oven rack (or dust the griddle with cornmeal and place the dough directly on).  Set the timer for 3 minutes.  (This is the fun part – watch it puff!) Using tongs, flip pita over and set the timer again for 1 minute.  After a total of 4 minutes, remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.  When cool, cut each in 1/2, use a knife if necessary to separate the “pocket”.


About bakingway

Baker/Pastry Chef for over 25 years.

Posted on January 12, 2011, in baKING Tips, Breads, Recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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