Similar to other double-layered flat or pocket breads, pita is traditional in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It is prevalent from North Africa and the Middle East.
The Indian flatbread form of roti is sometimes referred to as "Indian pita".
We also have a brilliantly simple recipe that in a few moments turns normal pitta breads into buttery crispbread. You won't believe how good it is until you try it.
This recipe is simple and delicious and the results are far better than shop-bought pittas.
- ¾ a teaspoon of dried active yeast
- 250 g (8.5 oz) strong white flour
- or 200 g (7 oz) strong white flour and 50 g (1.5 oz) strong wholemeal flour for a light wholemeal pitta
- A pinch of ascorbic acid or 1 vitamin C tablet, crushed between 2 tablespoons - (300mg to 500 mg) - optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 145 ml water
- Mix a little of the water (which should be at body temperature/lukewarm, about 37°C) with the sugar and the yeast, whisk up and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to froth up
- Mix the yeast solution together with the remaining ingredients and knead for 10 minutes until you have a pliable dough
- Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise
- Tip all of the ingredients into your bread maker
- Set it to the short dough program (normally the pizza dough setting)
- Panasonic SD253 breadmaker, use pizza setting.
- Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker use menu option 22, pizza dough setting.
- 45 minutes later, proceed as below
Either method - continue from here
- Divide into 4 balls [about 100g each] and roll out into oval shapes, about the length of your arm.
- If you have the time, leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise a little
- Preheat the grill
- Place on a cornmeal dusted pizza stone or lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 5 to 6 minutes, keeping a watchful eye on them.
Don't allow these to get too browned, especially if you are likely to reheat them again before eating.
Although this recipe quantity ideally makes 4 pitta breads, you can make 6 mini pittas instead. They are smaller than pittas we find in the UK, but are great for little snack pockets if filled!
Arm's length roll out
After reading The Fabulous Baker Brothers cookbook [ISBN 0755363701, 9780755363704] and following their suggestion to roll the pittas the length of your forearm, that's what I now do. The pittas generally shrink when they puff up so you get lovely oval pittas. Thanks guys!
See the comments page page for variations to this recipe.
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