Pitta Bread

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

You need a really hot oven to make these and it’s best to cook them in shifts so that there is only a single tray in your oven at any one time. It is a good idea to make a few extra — they freeze well and come in handy when you feel like souvlaki or hummus in pitta.

Ingredients

  • 10 g (¼ oz) fresh yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 500 g (4 cups) bread flour or plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Method

Crumble the yeast into a bowl and add the olive oil, sugar and 100 ml ( fl oz) of tepid water. Mix through and leave for 10–15 minutes until it starts activating and looks frothy.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Gradually mix the flour into the yeast mixture, adding sufficient extra water to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is really soft and pliable.

Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel, then a heavier towel on top. Leave in a warm, draught-free place for 1–1½ hours until it has risen up. Knock the dough down by punching it to knock out all the air and bring it back to its original size. Knead it quickly and divide into 12 portions. Roll them a little and sit them a fair distance apart on a floured surface. Dust lightly with flour, then cover with another cloth. Leave for another 30 minutes or so and they will swell up again.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Put two baking trays in the hot oven for 20 minutes to get the trays really hot.

One by one, roll out each ball with a floured rolling pin to make a slightly elongated round of about 16 cm ( inches). Carefully put them onto the hot baking trays, sprinkle lightly with water and put in the hot oven, not too close to the top. Cook for about 8 minutes or until the breads puff up in the middle and are very lightly golden. Turn over and bake them for another 2 minutes. It will probably be necessary to bake in batches.

Keep the pittas in a basket wrapped with a clean tea towel. If you won’t be eating them immediately store them in a plastic bag to stop them hardening. Reheat them for a minute or so in a hot oven or on a barbecue.