In my quest to eat a more worldly cuisine I fell back to one of my favorites Middle Eastern.
I was first introduced to Middle Eastern cuisine when I lived in Minneapolis and was only a couple of blocks from Abdul’s Afandy, and a few more blocks from the Jerusalem restaurant. One was Afghani and the other Israeli. Though both of these were Middle Eastern and their cuisines had some similarities I would learn the differences as well. There I learned to eat hummus before it was found in every grocery store and about Chai tea before it came ready-made.
My meal Sunday mixed up a few countries. I pulled out my recipe cards, and cookbooks with dog-eared pages and prepared a great meal with ingredients you can even get in Montana. I made a Tabouli Salad (Lebanese), Baba Ganoush (Turkish), Hummus (take your pick, almost all countries of the region have a version), Tzatziki (Greek), seasoned gyro meats, and pitas.
Up until Sunday I had always used store-bought pitas. But this evening would find me without any in my refrigerator. I quickly searched the internet and came up with a quick and easy-looking recipe. They took about 45 minutes from the time I measured the first ingredient, until we pulled the puffed up bread out of the oven. While I worked on the rest of the meal, John went to work to make our first try at home-made pitas. An hour later when we sat down to our wonderful meal it was made more wonderful with our fresh from the oven pitas. I highly recommend that you try your hand at making pitas the next time your meal calls for them.
Here is the recipe I used. It only makes 8 so you will not be overwhelmed with pitas or have to commit lots of ingredients to try it.
- 2-1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for sprinkling while kneading & rolling out dough (I use Wheat Montana with because it is a high protien flour and will do the trick)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
Combine 1 c flour with salt, sugar and yeast. Add oil and water. Beat with wooden spoon about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Turn out on to floured surface and knead 6 minutes. Divide into 8 eggs, dust with flour and let rest 30 minutes under damp towel. Flatten eggs with palm of hand on floured surface and roll out to about pita size.
Bake in 500 degree oven on tin fol about 5-8 minutes. Better than any store-bought pitas.