Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pita Bread

This is a wonderful recipe that you can use the bread machine for. Just make sure you use a dough setting instead of one of the loaf options. This pita bread is really soft and is so much better than regular store bought pita bread. It puffs up perfectly so that it's easy to cut slits in and it can hold a lot of filling!

Bread Machine Pita Bread

1-1/4 cup milk, warmed in microwave for 1 minute
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour**
1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast**

Add ingredients, in the order listed, to your bread machine pan. Set bread machine to dough cycle and wait for the dough to be done. Dough should be soft and almost spongy. Remove dough from machine, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes (this helps the dough shape easier).

On a lightly floured surface divide dough into 8-12 balls (depending on the size of pitas you want- more balls = smaller pitas) and roll each ball into a flat disk about 1/4" thick. Cover dough and let rise until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes.

Place 1/2 of pita rounds on a greased baking sheet (I used an upside down cookie sheet) and bake in the bottom of a 450 F oven for 4-5 minutes, or until bread is puffed (The dough doesn't really brown, so don't wait for browned pitas- they'll be burnt). Remove from oven and repeat with remaining dough. When cooled, cut a slit in the side of each pita, fill with your favorite filling (we like to use chicken salad) and enjoy!

** Note: Bread flour and rapid rise yeast are essential to making homemade bread, especially when you are using the bread machine for part of all of the process. These two ingredients help ensure a fluffier product than if you used regular all-purpose flour and a different type of yeast. You can use other flour and yeast, however, you're bread will turn out more dense.

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