Bread Baking Babes: COUNTRY-STYLE WHOLE-WHEAT PITA
This month we were at loss with what to bake, very strange in this group of driven bread bakers, so I suggested that we would make pita bread and when everyone was positive about it I had to come up with a recipe for the event. Now I have never made pita bread in my life, I love eating it but I never really got the nerve nor time to bake it so I just picked the recipe that had actualized pita to me recently, Country-Style Whole-Wheat Pita from Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible. I have never had whole-wheat pita but as I firmly believe in the goodness of unrefined or should I say not over refined flour, I thought that it was a good idea to try this out. And it is in my opinion a good recipe, to be honest I prefer the traditional pita but this comes up as a close second best. It has a lot of texture, great flavour and it is really easy to make, I had no problems at all to do it even though I feel like a 2nd rate Bread Baking Babe because I still haven’t managed to get going to get a baking stone and I think that my pitas would have been even better using one. But in this way you can see that it is possible to make good ones even without a baking stone so I sacrifice myself for the sake of it. (See, it is always possible to find an excuse for your laziness!) So get baking, there are no excuses this time because this is easy!
Now me choosing the recipe means that I am the Kitchen hostess of this month and that those of you who would like to join us and be a Bread Baking Buddy should bake the pita, post about in on your blog and then send me the link to the blog post to luculliandelights AT gmail DOT com before midnight (your) on the 10th of September so that I can make a small roundup of our Bread Baking Buddies. And I will send you the badge too.
If you want to see what the others think, here’s the list of my fellow Bread Baking Babes: Notitie Van Lien (Lien), My Kitchen In Half-Cups (Tanna), Bake My Day (Karen), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn),I like To Cook (Sara) , A Fridge Full Of Food..And Nothing To Eat (Glenna), Grain Doe (Gorel), The Sour Dough (Mary aka Breadchick), Living On Bread and Water (Monique)
COUNTRY-STYLE WHOLE-WHEAT PITA
sixteen 6-inch round flatbreads
600 ml/ 2 1/2 cups warm water (40,5-46 degrees C/ 105 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast ( I used 12 g fresh yeast)
pinch of sugar
60 ml/ 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
700 ml/ 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (I had no idea how to get that here so I did what Lien suggested me, I ran it in a blender/mixer for a couple of minutes to make my normal whole-wheat flour finer and it worked well)
700-820 ml/ 3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1. Allow yeast to dissolve with sugar in half cup water with sugar if using active dry yeast. Mix with flour if using instant yeast.
2. With paddle attachment if using mixer or just a bowl if mixing by hand: combine remaining water (all water if using instant yeast), olive oil, salt and whole-wheat pastry flour. Mix until creamy.
Half a cup all purpose unbleached flour at a time, mix to a soft, shaggy dough is clearing the sides of a bowl.
3. Knead by mixer or hand forming soft, springy, moist and smooth dough. Add smaller and smaller amounts of flour for the last cup of flour to avoid adding too much flour.
Finally the dough will spring back when pressed.
4. Lightly oil surface of dough and place in lightly sprayed container. Let rise until doubled in size: anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
5. Oven pre-heated to 475 ° F with a baking stone set on the bottom rack. Pita may be baked on parchment paper on baking sheets or directly on hot baking stone.
Divide dough in half, return half to bowl and cover. Again divide dough into 8 equal pieces and form into ball. Cover, allowing to rest while forming the other half of dough.
Dust bench with whole-wheat pastry flour, roll each ball into a 6-inch circle (may need an additional 5 or 10 minutes to relax gluten if dough resists rolling). Let rest on peel or floured dish towel or parchment paper, covered until puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Baking time: 10 to 15 minutes (on parchment paper baking sheet will take longer than on stone).
Do not check and open oven door for the first 4 minutes!
Pita are done when fully puffed and light brown.
Stack puffed hot pita between clean dish towels.
Sprinkle with seeds or roll balls in seed and roll into dough before baking.
Do not use break flour as it makes pita tough.
Try substituting 1/3 cup different flours (soy, chestnut, barley, brown rice) for the same amount of w-w pastry flour.
Special thanks to Tanna who helped me out with the shortening of the recipe!