Tuesday, February 16, 2010
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of warm water
4 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Dissolve in the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes (or while you do the next steps). Dissolve salt in the remaining 1 cup of warm water.
In bowl of mixer*, add flour and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and salt water. Knead in mixer for 3-4 minutes. While mixer is on low speed, drizzle in olive oil and continue to knead until all oil is absorbed. Shape into a ball in the bowl, cover, and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in volume, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours (mine only took 1/2 hour this last time!). Punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes by hand.
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil baking sheets.
Take pieces of dough slightly larger than an egg and roll out on a floured surface to a thickness of 3/8 to 1/4 inch (about 6" in diameter). Prick the bread with a fork in several places.
Place on baking sheets and bake at 350°F on the lowest oven rack for 2-3 minutes, then turn the pitas over and bake for another 2-3 minutes (they probably won't brown at all. That's fine. Better to undercook than overcook). Remove from oven and place on a tray covered with a clean dishtowel, with another clean towel on top. When thoroughly cooled, pitas can be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or frozen.
Before using, brush pitas with olive oil and brown in a frying pan for a few minutes until lightly brown on both sides.
*You can do this by hand. Just knead it for 10 minutes instead of 3-4.