Pitta Bread

A bit of work, but much better and cheaper than store bought. Cut in half and open the pocket with a table knife.

These can be fiddly to get right, but even if they don’t make pockets, they are delicious flat breads and can be used as a wrap

(You can half or third this)
6 x 250ml cups of flour. Pour the flour into the cup, if you scoop it from the bag, it will compress and your ratio will be wrong.
1 Packet dry yeast
1 Teaspoon sugar
10ml salt
500ml warm – just warmer than your hand- water
1 glug of olive oil

At first, keep one hand clean and use the other to mix the dough.
Add the sugar and yeast to the water and mix. Leave to stand for a few minutes until it starts to foam. This will ensure the yeast is working.
Dump the flour on a flat, kneading surface.
Add the salt and mix through.
Make a well in the centre.
Slowly add the water, while mixing with your floury hand, fingers held as if holding a large, invisible door knob. As the water is absorbed, add more until it starts to form a ball. Add the oil. You may need more or less water, depending on the hydration of the flour.
Once you have a slightly sticky dough, use both hands to knead. Push out, pull over, rotate and repeat for about 10 minutes until you have a silky dough. When pushing out, it should make strands like baked bread.
Roll into a ball, tuck the bottom sides under the ball to form a smooth dome with no folds or cracks. The reason for this is to create a smooth skin on top so the dough can expand inside.
Place into a large bowl, gently rub with olive oil, cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size. Depending on the temperature, this should take about an hour.

Some say cover these with oiled plastic film. These work as is, and there is already too much plastic around.

Knock down dough and shape into a rectangle about 3cm thick. Divide into portions, about 3 per cup of flour.
Form the portions into balls, tuck in the dough underneath as before.
Leave to rise for around 30 – 40 minutes, temperature dependant.
Flour balls and roll into rounds or ovals, about 6 – 10mm thick.
Leave for 5 – 15 minutes. I make them all, then start baking them from the first ones made.

Heat a frying pan to medium high heat.

Drop a round of dough in the pan and wait until it starts to make bubbles.
Flip over and leave for a minute. Press down on one side, then the other and your pitta should start to inflate.  Flip over for about a minute and remove. Repeat until done.

Cut in halve and add filling, or use whole as a thick wrap.

You can store leftovers covered in a clean cloth overnight for lunchboxes.

Links: Meatballs, Tzatziki

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