If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know by now that I have a thing for bread.
Of all the cuisines in the world it is bread that unites them.
Every culture has a different form of bread, one that reflects the types of food they eat in their country.
I’m pretty much in love with all of them.
Fresh bread is an extraordinary thing!
And I’m always willing to give bread a chance!
I was just in Tokyo, which incidentally is an awesome city and one of my very favorites, and the Japanese know how to make bread.
Even though bread is not part of traditional Japanese food, they have mastered the art of bread making.
Japanese grocery stores and bakeries, are full of very creative varieties of bread.
From the most traditional French loaves, to the most creative types of breads such as Melonpan, and curry bread to name just two.
I love walking around bakeries picking up all the various types of bread.
The way it works is that you pick up a tray and a pair of tongs as you walk through the door, and using the tongs to place your choices on the tray.
Once done, you had over the tray and tongs at the counter where the tongs are used to very often bag each baked piece separately and then they are all put in one big bag.
Such a fun experience.
Making pita bread is a wonderful and magical experience.
It puffs when baked, making the perfect pocket in the middle.
That is the magic part!
The reason it puff is because the moisture inside the dough, when placed in a super hot oven, turns to steam and creates a hollow middle that expands making a beautiful space for fillings.
The dough needs to be needed well to create a more elastic gluten which in turn allows the dough to spread.
It is also very important to make the loaves as round as possible as this helps the pockets to be made uniformly.
A very satisfying loaf to learn to make.
Many people might think that pita is pita is pita, but that would be completely wrong!
There is a whole variety of pitas, they are made differently in different bakeries and by different people.
Everyone has a preference to whether they like the bigger loaves, the thinner loaves, the thicker loaves, small, big, chewy, crunchy, and the list goes on.
My personal preference is the smaller thicker, chewier loaf.
But there is not a ‘right’ kind of loaf. Sort of like wine, if you like it, then it’s good!
It’s great to stand right by the oven as the baker bakes and grab the steaming hot pitas that come out cooked and smelling wonderful.
It is hard to resist eating a loaf (or two) on the way home.
There really is nothing that compares to fresh bread.
Homemade Pita Bread
- Make a small well in the mixture. Pour in the olive oil and half the water.
- Use your hands to combine the mixture into a dough. Add water a bit at a time and keep mixing until you have slightly wet, but not sticky dough.
- Cover and leave to rise until double in size.
- Once doubled in size, knead the dough gently for 15 seconds.
- Flour a surface. Take a fist sized chunk of dough and place it on the floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it has roughly a 20cm circumference.
- Place on baking paper on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 450°F (230°C) until brown.