pita playdate

Who says growing up means leaving playdates behind? I’m all for continuing to do fun stuff with friends regardless of age and in my case it’s often about working together in the kitchen. Foodforfun chronicled just such a playdate last January and has another to share today.

Past membership in a local Mom’s Club introduced me to other like-minded moms who manage to squeeze as much cooking and baking as possible into already busy lives. While I’m no longer officially in the club, I still keep in touch and enjoy the occasional cup of coffee or baking session with members. One of these members, Stephanie (a mom with three boys under six–yowza), had me over today to bake pita bread.

We had communicated earlier to select a recipe and because of the long rise time, each mixed up our batch of whole wheat pita bread dough the night prior to baking. The dough rose overnight (I had meant to refrigerate it, but forgot. No matter–punched it down and let it rise again.) and I brought it to Stephanie’s late morning. At this point, we only needed to divide, roll, bake, cool, and eat.

ready to roll

ready to roll

rolled out

rolled out

ready for high heat

ready for high heat

As always, I got a kick out of watching these flatbreads puff up in the oven as the steam builds in the dough.

love this part

love this part

The entire process took only an hour and between us we had sixteen amazingly yummy, soft rounds of pita bread. They cooled briefly on wooden cooling racks that had been made by Stephanie’s grandfather, then were shuttled into resealable plastic bags to keep them soft. The final step was sandwich making and enjoying the fruits of our labors.

awesome handmade cooling rack

awesome handmade cooling rack

puffed pitas cooling

puffed pitas cooling

Our recipe came from a baking book I was proud to have edited a few years back: At Home With Bread. It’s full of fun (and good-for-you) baking finds, including the sourdough English muffins mentioned here before. My take on this pita bread is the same as that for the English muffins–once you’ve tried them, you’ll never go back to purchasing. They’re too easy to make and taste far better than store-bought. If you like to bake, I encourage you to give homemade pita bread a go. Whether you make it a social event and call in friends or bake a batch solo, you’ll end up with fresh, warm, and amazing pita bread.

lunch!

lunch!

Arabian Pita Pockets

from Lisa Golden Schroeder’s At Home With Bread

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105ยฐF to 115ยฐF)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Yellow cornmeal

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in salt, oil and whole wheat flour; beat until smooth. Beat in as much of the all-purpose flour as needed to make a firm dough (about 1 3/4 cups).

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes or until very smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place in greased bowl; turn dough greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 450ยฐF; have oven rack at lowest position. Sprinkle large baking sheets or baking stone with cornmeal. Punch dough down; divide into 8 equal pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat each piece into 7- or 8-inch (1/8-inch-thick) round. Transfer to baking sheets. Bake on lowest rack 6 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Cool on wire rack 2 minutes covered with damp kitchen towel. Slide warm pitas into heavy plastic storage bags to soften. Makes 8 pitas.

22 thoughts on “pita playdate

    • The trick is rolling them no thinner than the 1/8 inch thick. I often do and they don’t puff and are too thin to split for fillings, but they’re still soft and yummy flatbreads. Let me know how it goes when you make them and don’t forget to watch for the “puff” ๐Ÿ™‚ Always fun to see you.

  1. I really but I mean it really love when people keep these little child in them – even when they are 30+. That makes someone’s character beautiful. And thanks for the recipe, one more to steal ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Glad you feel the same way, Irena ๐Ÿ™‚ Life is much more enjoyable when you play your way through. (Though I’m so far past 30 I can just barely see it from here ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Honored if you “steal” from foodforfun. Appreciate your visits!

  2. I’m with you Liz – I’d be staring at the oven while those puffed up with a huge grin on my face. I know it’s just basic chemistry that causes it to happen, but holy bananas does it ever look cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I haven’t attempted bread baking on my own (used to do it with my ex – have I mentioned he was a major foodie and amazing cook? ouch) but I think fresh, homemade pitas might be just what I need for a first try. Will let you know when I make the attempt! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Love that you picked up on how much I enjoyed watching the bread puff up. I tried to interest Steph’s boys in the sight, thinking they’d be impressed. They sort of were, but not as much as me. It really is one of the coolest things ever. Just a simple dough and then the steam makes it expand, creating a hollow space. Is it chemistry or is it magic? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Oh dear, hadn’t meant to bring back ouch memories. Your job is to replace all those food memories with new and positive and super-awesome food memories (like poutine!!!!). I’m here to help. Hope you can concentrate on your work today what with all your presentiment.

      • Definitely magic!! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Oh no worries, I’m ok! That was more like an, “ouch, I don’t come home to homemade pasta and bolognese sauce anymore” kind of ouch. But my quota of new and positive and super-awesome food memories is definitely going up, and you are SO helping with that!

        • OK, didn’t want food to be a tough topic with you as it’s all I talk about ๐Ÿ™‚ You can for sure live w/out coming home to fragrant Italian dinners–I do it all the time. haha.

  3. That pita looks perfect, and your mom playdate sounds very fun! I saw a recipe for homemade pita a couple months ago and immediately forgot about it. I do want to try making it myself and will try yours soon.

    • Kids love them especially (and your boys can totally help with rolling) as they’re just so darn soft. Will be watching Weary Chef facebook for pitas ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Isn’t that cooling rack gorgeous!! I had a serious case of cooling rack envy. Highly recommend baking playdates. Good to see you here, Sam. Thanks for coming by ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tracy! Puns definitely welcome here. Dave would be so proud ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pitas will be another food I’ll bring when we eventually meet up. They’d go well with sonic screwdrivers, I’d bet.

    • Thanks, Alanna. Hope you try the pitas. Love your blog–you have a beautiful family ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am so making those banana pancakes!

  4. Pingback: Mediterranean Pita Pizzas

  5. Pingback: Whole Wheat Pitas {Fixed Disaster} | Dinner of Herbs

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s