Wheat Pitas

by Shawnda on March 11, 2009

in Bread

Whole Wheat Pita

If you’ve ever given me a gift bag, the chances are pretty good that your bag has doubled as my lunch box at one time or another. My office mates used to find it amusing when they’d open the fridge door in June and see a Frosty The Snowman gift bag sitting on the top shelf.

Origins bags say, “I’m brown and green and trendy… her face is soft and I’m full of last night’s lasagna.” Plastic HEB bags say, “I already have enough bags to fill my bathroom waste baskets for a year.” And pink-striped Victoria’s Secret bags say, “I probably should have thought more about bringing my sandwich to the office in a bag that I used to transport a bunch of cute, new panties home.” Pink and cute aside, I chose to voluntarily retire that one.

It was a sad day when I had to retire the Frosty bag due to a snapped handle that Scotch tape and staples couldn’t repair. If you’ve never had a chance to be entertained by me and my lunch bag selection, you’re out of luck because I finally threw $10 at an insulated lunch bag. It’s brown and blue and cute and says, “Yes, I probably am too old to carry this bag.” The colors are pretty, and just like the bike salesman at Sun & Ski learned a couple of weeks ago, sometimes that’s really all that matters to me.

While my lunch usually consists of last night’s leftovers, I whipped up some whole wheat pita bread this weekend to change things up a little bit. My cute new bag is transporting fresh pita, kalamata olive hummus topped with goat cheese, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and it will do so ’til I run out of pita and hummus. And then it will happily carry old-school PB&J and nuclear orange Doritos.

Stuff the pitas with with sandwich or salad fixins, tear it up and eat with hummus, or top it with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil before popping it under the broiler. The whole wheat pitas that I get from the store are usually dry and they often crack when I fill them. Not these – they puffed into perfect pockets and were soft and tender. They’re freezer friendly, too!

Whole Wheat Pitas

Once you have homemade pita bread, you'll never go back to store-bought again!

Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheets

Instructions

  1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.
  3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Set oven rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 500.
  5. Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with a clean kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  6. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining pitas in same manner. Serve warm.

Notes

Yields: 8 medium pita rounds

Adapted from Gourmet

Estimated time: 2 hours 30 minutes

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