Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pita Bread

This pita bread cut into small, chip sized triangles, is the perfect dipping mechanism to go with this spinach artichoke dip.  It would also make great sandwiches or snacks.

1 TBSP active dry yeast
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 C warm water
4 C flour
2 tsp salt
1 TBSP olive oil

Dissolve the yeast and sugar into 1/2 C warm water.  Cover with a towel and set it aside for 5 minutes.
Dissolve the salt into 1 C water.
Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer (if you want to do this by hand, just up the kneading time to 10 minutes) and make a well in the middle.
Add both the yeast mixutre and the salt mixture to the well and knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes.
Keep the mixer on low speed and drizzle in the the oil.  Keep mixing until the oil is completely absorbed.
Shape into a ball in the bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until doubled in size.
Punch down and knead by hand for 2-3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray baking sheet lightly with cooking oil.
Using pieces of dough slightly larger than an egg, roll out dough rounds on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thick and 6" in diameter.
Place on a baking sheet and prick the dough with a fork multiple times.
Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack for 2-3 minutes.  Then turn the pitas and bake them for another 2-3 minutes on the other side (they probably won't brown in color).
Remove from the oven and let them cool speparated from one another by paper towels.
After this stage, you can either freeze or refrigerate (after they are cooled) and then cook later, or cook immediately.
To cook the pitas, brush both sides with olive oil and brown in a frying pan on medium heat until they are lightly browned on both sides.
Serve whole as sandwiches or slice into smaller pieces to dip!

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