Saturday, February 12, 2011

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Is instant yeast the same thing as rapid rise??? I couldn't find instant so I bought and used rapid rise and my pita did not rise!!! I am upset. I worked so hard on these and they're just not perfect like I wanted them to be. Also, I don't have a kitchen aid stand mixer so I kneaded the dough by hand, but not for very long. Could that be a reason as well why my pita isn't plump and fluffy. Please help! This was my first attempt at homemade pita bread and will not be the last!

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

In the bowl, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water.  Stir gently to blend.  Whisk 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 until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 1 hour.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  ** (if you don't have a stand mixer, knead by hand.) Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt.  Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. 

Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.

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.  With a rolling pin, flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into a 6½-7 inch circle.  **(If you have trouble with the dough shrinking back, give it 10-15 minutes or so to relax before trying again.) Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.

Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500˚ F. (If you don't have a pizza stone, you can just flip a baking sheet over and preheat it with the oven to have it function in a similar way to a pizza stone (a preheated surface), so they start to cook immediately when in contact with the baking sheet.) 

Transfer the pitas onto the baking surface. Bake 3 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 2-3 minute smore.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

Repeat with the remaining pitas.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Source:  adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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  1. i love egyptian pita bread and ive noticed that when i make it, it comes out try so i figured its from the whole wheat flour so try using half white flour and half wheat flour, also the less you handle dough th better and the more you leave it to rise the smoother the texture will be. I leave mine to rise overnight in the fridge.

  2. Thank you so much for the advise. I haven't tried to make pita bread since this time. I think I will try again soon. That is a good idea to leave it to rise overnight. Also, I found instant yeast at King Arthur flour company. Yay!