I have become frustrated with the lack of quality and freshness of store bought pita. It was too hard, to dry, too old, too bland, etc. I was haunted by faint memories of being a child in Israel and the fresh pita that was available. So, I decided that it was time to take things into my own hands and made the bread myself. I know this may sound a little crazy (those of you who know me are not shocked by this I am sure) but it is really quite simple. In fact, when my daughter saw how simple it is she commmented "That's all?'
Once the children tasted the freshly baked bread there was no going back. They now know there is nothing better. My oldest even commented on Facebook that there is nothing better than homemade hummus and pita.
2 teaspoons regular dry yeast2.5 cups lukewarm water
5-6 cups all-purpose flour (See note)
1 tablespoon table salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large messuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water, and stir in one cup of flour and let sit for about 15-20 minutes. It will be grow and become bubbly. This is your sponge. Add olive oil gently.
Place remaining flour and salt in the Cuisinart (using the dough blade) and pulse about 20 times or run on the dough setting for about 20 seconds. With machine running pour in liquid ingredients and allow to mix and knead for about 90 seconds. Dough should cleanly pull away from the side of the bowl. It should be soft and elastic. Place dough in a clean and lightly oiled bowl, turn dough over so oiled side is up, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°. Heat pizza stone or baking sheet in oven.
Punch dough down, and divide into 12- 14 pieces, and roll into balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8″ thick, about depth of a thick flour tortilla.
Place 2 or 3 pieces of rolled out dough onto heated stone/sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until bread has fully ballooned. If your bread doesn’t balloon, That is okay, it will be just fine.
Directions to make by hand or in stand up mixer:In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and stir in one cup of flour and let sit for about 15-20 minutes. Add salt, olive oil, and flour in 1 cup increments to the sponge, stirring until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or knead in a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook for about 6 to 8 minutes. Place dough in a clean and lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. Proceed as directed above.
Note: Hummus recipe can be found HERE