The Covid Cookalong

This Sunday we will have the tenth, free, live-by-zoom Covid Cookalong in which we spend one hour baking a new recipe together. This week, we will visit the middle east and Jane Mason will guide you through the process of preparing two different kinds of bread, both using whole wheat (although you can use white if you don’t have whole wheat.

The first bread we will make is pita bread. The recipe is below. There are recipes for sourdough pita and pita made on a griddle on the website. Type Pita into the search bar.

The second bread we will make is Khubza Bil Ashab, which originates in Libya and you can click here for the recipe. If you are interested in more kinds of bread from the middle east, type “banned buns” into the search bar and you will find them (and the explanation for the series).

Khubza Bil Ashab is a no knead dough that you do prepare the night before, regardless of where you live for the purposes of the call. For the pita bread, if you want to prepare the dough the night before and pop it in the fridge you can do that – just take it out of the fridge 2-3 hours before our call so it can warm up.

Simple recipe for wonderful pita pocket bread

Pita bread can be baked in the oven or pan fried and it's always delightful when it puffs up!
Keyword: flat bread, Middle Eastern bread
Author: Jane Mason

Ingredients

  • 600 g strong whole wheat flour
  • 3 g instant yeast OR 6 g dry yeast OR 12 g fresh yeast
  • 360 g water
  • 10 g salt

Instructions

  • Measure the water in a bowl and add the yeast. Let it rest for 10 minutes so the yeast can dissolve and then add the flour and the salt. Get it together in the bowl and then turn out on the counter to knead. Knead for 10 minutes. This is not an easy knead as the dough is quite dry. You can do it in a machine for ten minutes on the lowest speed. Cover the dough and let it rest for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.
  • Pull the dough out on an unfloured surface and divide it into 12 pieces. Shape each of these into a tight ball and let them rest under a tea towel for 5 minutes to soften up. One at a time, place the balls onto a floured surface. Lightly flour the tops and, using a rolling pin, roll them in to discs no more than 1/2 cm tall. One by one, place these on baking trays that you have lined with non stick parchment and cover them with a damp tea towel to rest for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 230 C and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are puffed and just golden.
  • Remove them from the oven and immediately cut them open with scissors or a knife carefully as the steam will burn you if you are not careful. This ensures they don't seal shut as they cool.
  • Stack them up and wrap them in a towel so they stay soft until you are ready to eat them.
  • Eat. Yum.
  • The alternative way to cook them is on the surface in a heavy frying pan (like English Muffins or tortillas). You can find out how to do that here. You can also make sourdough pitas (of course!) and the recipe for them is here.