Homemade Pita Bread

I have the great honor everyday of being a home health Speech-Language Pathologist.  I get to meet some awesome patients and help them with their speech, language, and swallowing problems. Some of the patients I meet make such an impact that we become very close friends.  I really do love them dearly and am so sad when our time comes to part.  I had the great pleasure of working with a lovely Lebanese woman who had a stroke.  She wasn't able to cook any longer, but her sister made up for it. Her sister is definitely a character.  She is in her mid 90's and basically runs around the house  cooking, speaking Lebanese loudly, and telling all kinds of stories. I completely adored them both. Every single time I visited she would have something cooking--Kibbeh, Falafel, Kunafeh, and of course pita.  This is the recipe she shared with me.

I know that you aren't going to believe me, but this recipe is so easy.  There are only 5 ingredients and the taste is so, so, so much better than the store bought stuff.  

Homemade Pita Bread
(makes 12 pita)

1 cup warm water (not hot)
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon olive oil +2 tablespoons for coating bowl and pan to cook
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour

Place the warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl if doing by hand-the Lebanese way).  Mix with a wooden spoon.  Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast gets bubbly.

Add the oil, salt, and flour.  Mix with the spoon until incorporated.  Next, with your dough hook attachment, knead for about 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if kneading by hand) until the dough is soft and not sticking to the sides of the bowl.  

Coat a bowl with a small amount of olive oil and add the dough.  Place a towel over the dough and allow to rise for about 1 hour.  The dough should double in size. (If your kitchen is cool, preheat your oven to 170.  Turn off and place the bowl with the dough in it.  Place a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep open--works perfectly every time.)

After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface.  Cut the dough in half and then divide each half evenly into  pieces. Form the pieces into balls.  Let rest 5 minutes. Roll the dough into small rounds.

Heat a large cast iron pan or skillet to medium heat.  Lightly oil the pan and rub with a paper towel to distribute the oil evenly (you do not want it to pool anywhere in the pan).

Cook on for about 1 minute, or until you start to see bubbles or lumps appear.  Flip and cook for another minute. 

Remove from the heat and enjoy!!

(If you make the dough and want to cook it later, just refrigerate for up to 1 day.  Also, to reheat, place in foil and place in a warm oven for 5 minutes.)




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