While I find making food from scratch very fulfilling, there are a few items that I currently don’t have much desire to attempt on my own. These include: cheese (maybe because we now live in an area with so many cheese houses), yogurt (Fage Greek yogurt is my favorite), and ketchup (sorry hipster restaurants; I just am not on board yet). It’s fun and empowering to learn methods to make nourishing meals without needing to rely on so many pre-packaged and processed components; but, for me, the choice to make something from scratch has to make sense for our family’s health, budget, time, and tastebuds. Artisan bread, hummus, jam, pizza, granola, hot fudge sauce, and now this wheat pita bread are recipes that I believe meet all four of the aforementioned categories.
I finally got around to making this bread a few weeks ago. The dough doesn’t require any extraordinary ingredients, just a little time to allow it to rise and rest, and the baking process goes very quickly with the use of a pizza stone. I was so pleasantly surprised with how lovely these precious little pitas turned out. They were soft and fluffy and were a fabulous accompaniment to our dinner of chicken shawarma that evening. Our little rump roast gladly gobbled some up as well. That boy loves to eat.
In our quest to embrace more of a “homestead living” lifestyle, I am happy to add this recipe to our list of foods we will gladly make at home.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Wheat Pita Bread
Yield: 8 whole pitas
- 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
- 1½ cups bread flour, divided
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- Cornmeal, for sprinkling
1. Combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir gently to combine. Whisk in ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm and dry area until doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes.
2. Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook. Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Allow dough to rise again until doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes. Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the middle position. Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat to 500˚ F. Lightly sprinkle 2 large baking sheets with cornmeal. Set aside.
3. Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle. Place the rounds on the baking sheets and loosely cover with clean kitchen towels. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. The dough should puff up slightly.
4. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the baking surface (you can place directly on oven rack if you don’t have a stone). Bake 2-3 minutes, until puffed and pale golden. Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining pitas. Store in an airtight container. Pitas should stay fresh for 2-3 days.