February 22, 2013

Pita - ful Day

1
Easy Pita Bread with Feta Cucumbers and Basil

I had a crummy day. The oven door broke, I found a brown spot on my face the size of a dime (hiding where my sideburns would be if I were Peter Fonda circa 1970) and the dog threw up in her cone (the plastic thing she wears around her neck when she's got a hot spot so she won't lick). I cleaned up the yuck (on the floor and on the cone), rubbed some retinol cream on the brown spot and called the appliance company, (Yes! This time I did buy the extended warranty). Then I drove to a happy place called Bill's.

Bill's Imported Foods is a greek market on a busy street with limited parking and unlimited charm. I love the greek mother who runs the place. I love the pictures of the grandkids behind the counter that she updates so I get to see them grow, and I love their food. Especially the french feta cheese.

This cheese is so good that it needs little more than pita bread and olive oil for accompaniments. But I can't find good pita bread (even the mama at Bill's admits their prepackaged stuff isn't great). And this cheese is so good it deserves good bread. Hey, I'm so good I deserve good bread, especially today.

The dough for this pita is similar to the dough for pizza and you can cook it in much the same way - in a very hot oven, on a heavy stove top griddle or on the grill.

So good - it was the perfect blanket for feta, cucumbers and basil and made for a sweet spot in my gritty day.

Bubbles tell you the yeast is working. 



Brown spots - great on pita, not great on my face.  
Pita dog
And doesn't the top one look like a sad dog
(like my pup, sans cone)

Pita Bread

from theKitchn

Makes 8 pieces

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4 ounce packet)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 teaspoons olive oil


1. Put yeast, sugar and warm water in large bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes until dissolved. Add flour, salt and olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until it looks shaggy.

2. Dump onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Don't skimp on this step. I know it's a lot of kneading, but your dough needs it. If you have a stand mixer, your dough hook can do this work for you (lucky). Add a little water or flour if the dough seems too dry or wet.

3. Put into clean bowl with a little olive oil rubbed on the bottom. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.

4. Punch risen dough down gently and cut into 8 pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into an 8 inch round.

5. Heat cast-iron type skillet over medium-high heat until very hot (this is key if you want your bread to puff...and you do). Wipe the pan with an olive oil dampened paper towel. Put pita dough in pan and flip when you see bubbles appear on the surface (less than a minute). Let fry for 2 minutes (it should puff at this point) then flip again and fry for another minute (so you get light brown spots on both sides). Remove to towel lined plate.

Best served immediately, but can be cooled and stored in an airtight container for a few days. Rewarm on the stovetop, toaster or in the oven.



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