Pita Bread

Pita Bread
Pita Bread

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

16

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

16

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    teaspoon active dry yeast

  • 2 1/2

    cups tepid water (80 to 90 degrees)

  • 2 1/2

    cups whole wheat flour

  • 1

    tablespoon salt

  • 1

    tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 1/2

    cups unbleached all-purpose flour - (to 3 1/2 cups)

Directions

For the sponge, in a large bowl, combine the yeast and water, mix well. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1 cup of the wheat flour at a time. Stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. Sprinkle the sponge with the salt. Stir in the olive oil. Stir in 1 cup of the flour at a time and mix until the dough is too stiff to stir with the spoon. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set the dough in a draft-free area and allow to rise until double in size, about 2 to 3 hours. Line the bottom rack of the oven with baking stones. Leaving a 1-inch border free around the tiles so that the heat can circulate properly. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a couple of times and divide in half. Cover one half of the dough with plastic wrap while working with the other dough. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into 8 balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough into a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4-inch thick. Place each circle of dough next to each other on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat the above process with the remaining dough. Bake the circles of dough in batches, about 4 to 6 rounds at a time. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the breads look like blown-up balloons. Remove from the oven and cover with a kitchen towel until the remaining rounds are baked. To Store: Pita bread is best is used the day it is made, but it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for 1 month. Thaw and reheat on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees oven before serving. This recipe yields 16 pitas.

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