These were fun to make! I’d never made pitta bread from scratch before and it was such joy watching them puff up in the oven in under three minutes.
I followed this recipe as described (I tend to follow baking recipes as accurately as I can the first time I make them). I used fresh yeast and closer to 300ml of water than 400ml. I don’t have time to write out the recipes so I’ve scanned the two pages from the book.
One of the things I appreciated about this recipe is the author’s warning after the instruction to add the oil “At first everything will become very slippery and it will seem as if it will never come together. But have faith; it will. And the final texture will be silky smooth.”
It really did seem as if it will never come together so had that warning not been there, I would have been worriedly checking if I had misread the ingredients or instructions and probably would have been googling to check other people’s experiences.
It did, as promised, come together and the dough was actually nice to work with though I wouldn’t want to make this by hand. My mixer was working much harder than I would have done. Perhaps do this recipe by hand if you’re looking for a giant stress ball to squeeze and pummel.
The other tricky part is putting the flattened discs into the oven as quickly as possible. Tom was my wonderful assistant and did a marvellous job of opening the door and pulling out the tray whilst I slapped down the discs (one in each hand).
It was a somewhat less-than-elegant manoeuvre and pretty far from the professional bread paddle in a clay oven that we see in middle eastern restaurants and bakeries. (I did try to buy a paving stone to act as a faux clay oven but our local B&Qs failed us twice).
But anyway, I thought the pittas were rather delicious, especially for a first go. Tom said “you wouldn’t know they were not real” (he thinks real food comes in packets, anything else is just magic).
I doubt this will feature regularly in my bread repertoire given the time element of baking them only a couple at a time but I definitely enjoyed making them. (Taking the photo was a challenge…I might make them again just so I can have another go at the photo-taking!)
Update: We just had them for breakfast and the pittas even puffed up when I heated them in the toaster! Exciting* stuff for a Sunday morning.
*If you’re thinking she doesn’t have exciting Sundays, you’re not wrong. So far I’ve spent most of today fighting with WordPress to bring you this website!