Further to the earlier posts about great pita bread at the Lebanese place Arbanus in Mercado Roma I decided to griddle rather than bake pita bread. I suspected the pita at Arbanus was griddled both because of the size and shape and because the surface was mottled – something you don’t normally get when you bake bread.
The result was brilliant! Better than we dreamed. Soft, doughy, fluffy, with a slightly charred taste that is just lovely.
Simple, delicious, griddled pita pocket bread
- 600 g white wheat or spelt flour you can use plain or strong flour here
- 360 g water
- big pinch yeast of any kind
- 10 g salt
- extra flour for dusting
- Measure the water into the bowl and add the yeast. Wait for 10 minutes to dissolve the yeast and add the flour and the water.
- Get the dough together in the bowl and then turn out on the counter and knead for 10 minutes. You can do this in a mixer for 10 minutes on the lowest speed.
- Put it back in the bowl and cover it. Let it rest for 1 hour. Stretch and fold the dough. At this point you can put the dough in the fridge if you want and carry on the next day.
- Repeat the cycle of stretch / fold / rest three more times, ending by letting the dough rest for one hour before you shape it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl on to a non floury surface and divide it into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball.
- Let the tight balls rest for 5 minutes. One by one, place the balls on a lightly floured surface, flour the top and roll them to 1/2 cm with a rolling pin. Place each disk onto a well floured surface, and cover them with a damp tea towel. Let them rest for 1 hour.
- Heat a frying pan or a griddle to a very hot temperature and then turn the heat down to medium. Grease the surface with the tiniest bit of oil. Use a paper towel to do this so you don't put in too much oil. You don't want the pitas to be greasy.
- Put as many pitas into the pan as will fit. They wont spread out, they will just sit there and begin to rise. Leave them for 3-4 minutes and then flip them again and leave them for 3-4 minutes. They will begin to puff up and then you know they are done. If they don't puff up – worry not – the pan is not hot enough but it will get there with your subsequent pitas.
- Immediately cut the pitas open with a knife or scissors being careful to angle them away from you so you don't get burned by the steam. Stack them and wrap them in a towel to keep them soft until you want to eat them.
- Stuff it with falafel balls or tuna salad or anything you want, really.
- Eat! Yum!
- If you would like more recipes like this one, All You Knead Is Bread is available on Amazon with it's new title, Making Bread At Home.
- Want to learn more? Click here to take a bread class and develop your bread making skills.