So, I’ve tried making pita before and they turned out great.No special recipe…just googled “pita bread recipe” and used a Bobby Flay recipe that I found. The first attempt was white pita…organic all around and it came out great. This time, I Googled “whole wheat pita recipe” and picked the very first recipe. I used all organic ingredients and enhanced the flour with 3 heaping tbsp each of oat bran and wheat germ. What resulted was the perfect quantity of dry ingredients to make a tender dough and enough left over for bench flour. Came out with 8 puffy pitas and I really like the results (there are 7 left…quality control, you know…)
Baking bread of any kind is therapeutic for me. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from blooming yeast, mixing just the right amount, kneading until.perfectly worked, proofing to a beautifully doubled dough, cutting, shaping, and then baking…it is like no other experience. I like to make sweets, and cooking is fun, but bread….well, that is so different.
Lots of people fear the yeast experience but not I. Yeast is my friend and while I have had “less than successful” bread experiences, my wins far outweigh my losses.
I post on instagram with the hash tag #nofearbaking and share my photos to both Facebook and Twitter. The reason I use #nofearbaking is because of just that. I enter into the realm of yeast bread with no fear. I take recipes from the wild and wooly Internet and tweak them to my liking. You may gasp and mutter, “baking is chemistry…you must be precise” but to that I reply, “Pshaw…” Well, not EXACTLY. I tweak intelligently most of the time.
How? Well, take the pita recipe. It indicates I will need additional flour (a.k.a. dry ingredients) for kneading and rolling out my dough. So, the 6 extra tablespoons of dry ingredients gave me jus about a teaspoon of left over flour. Enough for a good dough and bench flour. It worked.
Also, the recipe called for honey. While I have lots of honey in the house, it’s all raw honey that doesn’t pour so well. I wanted to make it easier on the yeast so I subbed organic agave for honey. Truth be told, I’d like to try the recipe with some nice fragrant wildflower honey next time to see if it might just give a hint more sweetness. Everythingstill tastes perfect, but I would like to try the honey.
The only drawback to pita is the 500 degree oven. I love how fast they bake, but yowza that’sa hot oven. Especially when it is 70 degrees outside.
My new bread passion is pita (followed by, in a close 2nd) pretzels a la Alton Brown. I go through phases. French bread was a passion for a bit. Anadama bread another one. I will never run out of passion for yeast bread baking.