I’ve gotten lots of good feedback lately on my little bloggy-blog, and the consensus seems to be clear: too many recipes that take way too long, have too many steps, and too many ingredients.
Listen. I hear you. If I were the kind of person who hated cooking and wanted to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, I’d be making very different meals. I also wouldn’t be writing a food blog in the first place. Which is kindof where the problem comes from, if you can dig.
But at the same time, everyone can benefit from some nice, simple, go-to recipes to have in their back pockets. I’m going to be seeking those recipes out a little more this fall, and I’m thinking of doing a little round-up of some of my favorite quickish/easyish recipes for weeknight meals, if there’s any interest (interested?). So look for that in the future.
But for right now, I kindof have the opposite for you — homemade pita bread. How’s that for a bait and switch?!?! This is something I’ve made a couple of times, and always to good results, but this last time, I forgot how it takes THREE rises to get this bread made, and even I was annoyed with me.
…and then I tasted the homemade pita bread and immediately forgave myself.
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT PITA BREAD (recipe from Annie’s Eats)
1 package instant yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp)
1 tbsp honey
1 and 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F), divided
1 and 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
cornmeal, for sprinkling
1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup of the warm water and stir gently to blend. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the bread flour and 1/4 cup of the whole wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
2. Remove plastic wrap and return bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook (if using). Add remaining 3/4 cup warm water, 1 and 1/4 cups bread flour, 1 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, olive oil, and salt. Knead on low speed (or by hand) until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in warm place, about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
3. Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 500 (I used a wire rack – the kind you cool cookies on – placed on top of a cookie sheet). Once dough has risen, transfer to lightly floured work surface, punch down, and divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, flatten one ball at a time into a disk, then stretch out into circle about 7 inches wide. Transfer rounds to baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Once all pitas have been shaped, loosely cover with clean kitchen towels and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
4. Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, onto the oven rack that has been preheating in the oven. Bake 2-3 minutes, until puffed and pale golden. Gently flip pitas over using tongs and bake 1-2 minute more. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining pitas. Makes 8 pitas.
Look. I’m not one to say I’ll never by storebought again! after trying something homemade, because that’s just crazy talk. These pitas take a decent amount of effort to make, so I’m sure I’ll buy storebought pita at some point again in the future. But – I have to say – I’ll do so begrudgingly, because these pitas put storebought to shame.