Homemade Pita Bread
Makes 12-15 small pita
2 tsp dried yeast granules
1 tsp honey
1 cup warm water
3 cups high grade (or strong) flour
6 Tb olive oil
Make the dough: In a large bowl, pour warm water and dissolve honey, then sprinkle dried yeast over the top, swirling to mix. The water will be murky. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit until the yeast is frothy (about 5 minutes). This tells you it is alive and kicking!
Add add the flour and olive oil and mix with knife until it begins to form a ball, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead it. It should be quite sticky and soft, so desist from adding too much extra flour whilst kneading – just enough to not have it stick to the bench or your hands.
Knead for 8-10 until soft and springy. Lightly oil the bowl it came from and return dough, covering with plastic bag and them the cloth.
Rest it somewhere warm to double in size (30-60 minutes). A car on a hot day is ideal for dough rising!
Making the pita: Once risen, punch it back and divide it into 12-15 small balls, briefly kneading each as you pinch it off from the main dough.
Flatten each one with your palm and then allow them to relax for 5 minutes.
Now roll each disc to about 10 cm in diameter, 1/2 cm thick.
Dry fry each one in a heavy based fry pan, on a low to moderately heat. Don’t allow too much colour to develop before flipping them over when one side is cooked. Undercooking them at this stage is fine if you are going to re-heat or grill just before serving.
Stack them and keep them under a cloth until required.
Quick Filling Suggestion – Chicken, Lemon & Oregano:
3 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
2 Tb unsweetened plain yoghurt
1 Tb olive oil
3 Tb fresh oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced fine
Juice from one lemon
1 Tb olive oil
1 red capsicum – sliced thinly
In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, olive, oregano, garlic and lemon juice. Slice the chicken breasts into very thin strips and add this to the yoghurt mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the capsicum and cook until almost soft (about 5 minutes). Add the chicken strips and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the remaining yoghurt mixt to the pan, bring to a simmer/sizzle for 1 minute.
Serve with warm pita bread and a range of side dishes – tomatoes, olives, feta, hummus, tzatziki etc.