Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Late night pita

This recipe is from The Easy Way to Artisan Breads & Pastries by Avner Laskin.

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
additional flour for assorted tasks

prep time: 20 minutes
resting time: 1 hour
rising time: 30 minutes
baking time: 5 minutes
makes: 10 pitas

1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer with the dough hook attached, mix the water, yeast, sugar, and flour at low speed for 5 minutes. With the machine running, add the salt, switch to medium speed, and continue kneading for 10 minutes.

2. Place the dough in a floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 1 hour. (My apartment is never warm enough for bread to rise, so put it in a sunny window or set the bowl your stove top when you are preheating your oven.)

3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and flatten it out with the palm of your hand to remove air pockets (punch down). Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Let rise on a floured surface for 30 minutes.

4. In the meantime, place a pizza stone in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. (I bought my pizza stone at Target and it was cheap. I recommend it! The bottom of the bread is crispy and the top is nice and soft if you use the stone.)

5. Using a floured rolling pin, roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch circle, 1/8 inch thick. Place the pitas on the pizza stone (you will have to bake in several batches) and bake for 5 minutes, or until puffed with light brown spots on top.

6. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

I made a double batch and froze half of the bread. It should keep for a couple of weeks. Just thaw at room temperature and warm the bread in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes.

Also, this bread definitely needs some homemade hummus!

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