Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pita bread and late summer greek dinner on the deck

Monday evening was the last vestiges of the labour day weekend the traditional end of summer.  The weather was sunny and warm, but there is a feel of fall in the air and we were trying to squeeze one more summer evening meal outside. As I had some fresh local lamb in the fridge (oh happy day) we picked Greek as a theme.  I have never made pita bread before so decided to give a go.

This was a bit of an experiment for me, but actually they turned out rather well I thought. I used a recipe I found on the internet on middle eastern food

1 package of yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of luke warm 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 flour and pour yeast water in depression. 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 sticky and is smooth and elastic, it is ready.

Coat large bowl with olive 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 1 hour, 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 also preheat your baking sheet or even better pizza stone.

Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles, or pat out with your hands. 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. Using the spatula gently push down puff. Immediately wrap in a clean dry tea towel.

We had these with some home made tzatziki,  kefta  and rack of lamb from the barbecue.

We also had some lemon rice and greek salad and fried haloumi cheese.

A great Greek style dinner with fresh homemade pita bread.

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