Pocket sized triumphs

There are days when I realize that the reason why I haven’t done something is simply because I was too unmotivated to get started.  Case in point: pitas.  For years, I’ve read blog posts about how simple it is to make your own and I just haven’t gotten around to it.  However, since doing the October Unprocessed and behaving myself so well, it just seemed silly to buy pitas for our falafels.  The most challenging thing about this recipe is that I was a nervous wreck about how hot the oven was with Liam running around.  I did have to employ the hubs to keep an eye on the kids while I was making the pitas, but it worked out.  And I made the pitas while the falafels were frying so everything was done about the same time!  Most amazing part of making pitas at home?  Getting to watch the pitas puff up as they cooked!  I did a dance during most of the cooking, I was so excited!
Unprocessed Pitas
  • 3 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 c. warm water
* I used my kitchenaid mixer to make this recipe, but you can do all the kneading by hand if you choose.*
Put the yeast and warm water in the bowl of your mixer and allow to bloom by leaving it alone for 2-5 minutes.  Then, add in the rest of the ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment.  Once the dough is mixed, stop the mixer and switch to the dough hook.  Put the mixer on the 3rd speed and lock the mixer so it doesn’t move.  Then, set your timer for 10 minutes and let the mixer knead the dough.  At the end of the 10 minutes, the dough should be soft and smooth.  Remove the dough hook and place the dough in a warm spot covered with a damp towel.  
Allow the dough to rise for at least an hour and after that if you are not using it right away, put it in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Keep it covered and check every hour for the first 4 to make sure it doesn’t continue to rise.  When you are ready to make your pitas, preheat your oven to 475 degrees and place a baking stone or a cast iron skillet in it so that as the oven heats up, so does the stone.  (I used my pizza stone for the pitas.  It’s been used for a number of meals, so it’s well seasoned.)  Divide the dough into 12 balls and cover them with a damp towel while you are working on the pitas.  Take each ball and roll it out until it’s at most 1/4 inch thick.  Keeping the dough moist is what helps them puff up in the oven while they cook.  

I can fit 3 rounds on my stone at a time.  Quickly open the oven and put the pitas on the stone (or skillet) and close the door.  It is helpful to turn on your oven light if you have one so you don’t have to keep opening the door to check the pitas.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they have puffed up delightfully.  When the pitas are done, remove them from the oven the keep them covered with a towel as you work on the others.  Cut the pitas in half to use as sandwiches or into wedges to serve as dippers!

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