Ok, so just because my last post was so – monumental? – doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you. We’ve still been cooking, and eating, and taking pictures of things… but surprisingly we’ve also been repeating things. Like that Darn Good Pasta Salad? Yea. Made it three times since I posted it. This gem of a red-lentil-soup? A few times more. And well, to be honest, sometimes I just want to sit down and eat something when we finish it, rather than spending time trying to take pretty pictures of a piece of fish that fell apart in the pan. Yes, that happens too.
Anyways, on to the food. Because that’s the reason we’re all here, right?
One good, new thing we made this week (well, mostly new) was this…. a twist on the typical gyros with homemade pita bread. For the gyro meat, we used Alton Brown’s gyro recipe that we had made before… but seeing as ground lamb is not easy to find (can you tell I just LOVE our grocery store?) we used ground turkey instead. Not too bad – different flavor for sure, but good.
But the best part was the homemade pita bread…. made out of necessity, because when was the last time you actually had a really good pita bread from the grocery store? Thought so. They must have finally realized it too because our grocery store even stopped carrying them – completely. That or they just moved them. Either way, I couldn’t find them, and didn’t really want to eat them if I had, so I decided to make it myself.
I will never buy store brand pita bread again. It wasn’t too hard to make it, and the results were beyond delicious. Plus, you get to watch them do this in the oven:
So I guess that explains where the pocket comes from… another food mystery has been solved!
Sometimes the pocket worked, sometimes it didn’t. Even the pocket-less pitas were good, so don’t toss them! Some of ours also got a bit too crispy. I pressed as much steam out of them as I could without cracking them – but the recipe isn’t kidding when it says put in a plastic bag right away. The steam builds up inside the bag, and softens the bread into the pita bread you’ll recognize. For the really crispy ones – I first covered the bread with a damp tea towel. That softened it enough to get the pocket flatter, at which point I put it in the bag.
Homemade Pita Bread
Makes about a dozen. Recipe from About.
1 package of yeast, or quick rising yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a small depression in the middle of lour and pur yeast water in depression. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic. Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. When the dough is no longer stick and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated. Allow to sit in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to preheat your baking sheet also.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes. Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking. Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags. Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.