Monday, September 21, 2015

Pita Bread (with or without pokets)

If you think pita bread is difficult to bake, you are... sorta correct. It's easy to bake the pita bread without pockets. It's tricky to bake them with pockets. Every time I aim to bake pita bread with pockets, it's been hits and misses.

Here's the tricky part. Pita bread with pockets is a puffy bread. So if the dough doesn't puff up during baking, it will just be... pita bread.

My tricks to baking pita bread are three things:

1. Never press the dough with your fingers. Have you ever bake focaccia? It's basically a large rectangular pizza but has finger impressions all over the dough. The dough won't rise (or puff) up during baking. For the pita with pockets, stretch the dough, using a lightly press rolling pin.

2. Let the dough rise at least 30 minutes. Because the dough is kneaded and rolled out, baking them right away will not allow the dough to puff up. It will become just a regular pita bread. Let the dough relaxes before baking helps the dough to puff up during baking.

3. Bake the bread in a high oven temperature. Since I use a baking pan instead of a baking stone, I can only heat the oven up to 400F degree. For baking stone, the oven can be as high as 500F degree. Remember to preheat the baking pan for at least 5 minutes before placing the pita bread dough on top of it. For baking stone, preheat it at least 20 minutes. I prefer the baking pan method as it is faster and safe money on utility bill.

Now that's discuss the high heat. Think about how the dough rises slowly at the room temperature. In the summer, the dough doubles in size rather quickly because well, the temperature is quite warm in my kitchen. Same idea with high heat oven temperature. The dough will rise super fast when it sits in high heat. Remember that everything needs to be HOT.

For a lightly brown color, use the baking soda water wash. This is optional but of course, we eat with our eyes. Lightly brown color pita bread will look tastier than dull beige color. Don't you agree?

Pita Bread
makes as many as you want

1 recipe of my pizza dough
all-purpose flour for dusting
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Make the pizza dough according to my recipe directions.
  2. When ready to bake the pita bread, place a nonstick matt or parchment paper over the baking pan. divide the dough into baseball size dough ball, about 3-4 ounces.
  3. Roll the dough ball out into a pie shape, about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Place them on prepared pan.
  5. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes or more. TIP: Touch the dough lightly with your finger to feel if the dough is soft to touch.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F degree. Place the baking tray in the oven right away.
  7. After the oven is preheated, set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes to allow the baking pan to heat up even more.
  8. When ready, mix together the hot water and baking soda.
  9. Brush the soda water over the dough.
  10. Pick up the nonstick matt or parchment paper and place it on the preheated baking pan.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven until the pita bread puffs up, about 10 minutes.
  12. Allow the pita bread to cool completely before cutting it in half. Enjoy them with your favorite sandwich fillings.
STORING: Keep the pita bread in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days.

Allergy Info: These pita bread is free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.

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