Sunday, May 06, 2007

My Heart Goes Pita Pat

Once I get started with baking, it's sometimes hard to stop.

Take this weekend, for example. After making blue-berry biscuits in the morning and some yummy trail mix-type granola in the afternoon, I decided today to make a more neutral kind of bread: pita.

Again, browsing in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook gave me plenty of good ideas to try, but the one that jumped out at me today was for the Spelt Pita. I haven't tried to make pita bread in years, but since I've learned to make and enjoy naan and lavash, how hard could another flatbread be?

And the answer, Dear Readers, is: not hard. Not hard at all, in fact.

Each step went quickly. First, I made the sponge with whole wheat flour, yeast, and water, and I set it aside to rise while I enjoyed breakfast. Then I finished mixing the dough by adding good local spelt flour, salt, and olive oil. After a little kneading -- which went very quickly since the ball of dough was small enough for me to work one-handed -- I set the dough aside, worked on my sewing for an hour, and came back to heat the baking stone and shape the rounds.

Once I had all the rounds rolled out, I started a quick production line of baking, turning, and removing four baby pita rounds at a time, whipping through all the dough in less than half an hour. And what did I get for my labor?

That's right, stacks of little (3"-4") whole grain pitas, nicely puffed and airy, begging to be nibbled.

What can I say? I love bread, so I couldn't resist the lure. I noshed on half of one and realized I was already hungry for lunch, and wouldn't a pita sandwich hit the spot?

I quickly mixed up some steamed broccoli, walnuts, the last of the feta cheese, and a light balsamic vinaigrette before spooning the mixture into two halves of a still-warm homemade pita:

In fact, I'll probably enjoy more pita with dinner tonight if I get around to making some kind of curry.

After all, you can't beat a pita!


At 5/08/2007 4:36 PM, Blogger Alice said...

Lovely reading this afternoon. I've finally added your blog to my bookmarks, so I'll check in more often. (It's quite a lovely place here, like you, btw) Dad loves to make pitas, but gets frustrated when the top layer is thinner than the bottom, which makes stuffing an issue. Talk to you soon! Maybe this weekend?

me. Alice.

At 5/09/2007 6:02 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

So glad you enjoyed, dear friend, though I'm sorry I made you so hungry!

Does your dad flip the pita over halfway through the baking? Mine were pretty evenly layered, though I'm not sure if that's from turning them, baking them on a stone, or what.

Love you back! me


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