Fresh bread. Homemade. Warm. Just out of the oven. One of the oldest foods and also one of the most simple and adaptable. In many languages is even used as synecdoche for food. Flavor, scent, presentation and texture are prized denotations of quality and freshness. The perfect crust and crumb. All these words describe the generality of bread making. And then, there are millions of possibilities. Savor or sweet. So many techniques.
This bread is leavened, punched, rolled, flattened and puffed. It transforms into wonderful thin round pockets, great for sauces and dips or to fill the pockets with delicious ingredients making countless sandwiches. Pita bread is indeed appetizing and, guess what, kid-friendly enough that you can let your toddler have fun with the rolling pin to flatten the dough. A nice way to spend a good and helpful playtime.
I used these pitas to serve with homemade olive spread. Eight pitas for five people who didn’t find any hard time going through all with pleasant appetite.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Preparation time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Cook time: 3-5 minutes
1 envelope active yeast (2 tsp)
1 1/2 cup warm water (100 F)
1 Tbsp raw honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a bowl mix the yeast, warm water and honey and let it rest about 10 to 15 minutes until frothy.
In another large bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Make a well in the center and pour the yeast mixture and olive oil. Attach the dough hook in the stand-mixer and knead about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic and forms a ball. Put the ball dough in a lightly oiled bowl, rolling it around so it gets oiled in all sides. Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and let it rise 90 minutes or until has doubled in size at warm room temperature.
When it has doubled in size, punch down dough to release some of the gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece to form a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 475 F. Place a pizza stone or an upside down baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven while is pre-heating.
On a work surface sprinkled with flour, place one ball, sprinkle just a little flour on top and flatten the dough with a rolling pin to form a round shape. Repeat for all the balls. Cover the flatten dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest more 10 minutes.
Place the pitas on the hot baking surface, 4 at a time, and bake until they puff, about 3 to 5 minutes.