Sunday, 3 June 2012

Pita Breads and Variations

Over the last few months, probably the recipe I've used the most is this one for pita breads. There are a lot of reasons for this. Bread here is rubbish, this recipe can be made in a pan, and it's quick, easy and very adaptable. Just a few changes, and it becomes a pizza base, or a naan bread.

The basic recipe is from Just Hungry. I pretty much follow it exactly as written, although I usually don't use bread flour because it's expensive here. I rarely get pockets in mine, but they're still yummy, and they kind of fulfill that brown bread craving that I frequently get!

Pita bread, served with falafel, hummus, little fish (that I don't know the name of), calamari, olives and sundried tomatoes. Yum.

Variation 1: Pizza

Makes 4 small pizzas (serves 2)

100g/¾ cup wholewheat flour
100g/¾ cup plain flour
3g yeast
1tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
pizza sauce and toppings of your choice

Mix all of the above together. Mix in enough lukewarm water to form a dough.
Knead until it's "stretchy and pliable" or until you get bored
Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave somewhere warm to rise.
When it's about doubled in size, divide into 4 separate balls.
Heat up a pan (one that has a lid).
Using your hands, squash one ball into a disc as thin as you can sensibly get it without holes!
Put it down in the pan, add your sauce and toppings to it. Put the lid on and leave for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom is lightly browned.
Repeat with the other 3 bits of dough.


Variation 2: Naan Bread

I love naan breads, and since you can't buy them here, we've been making our own. And I like peshwari ones the very best, so that's kind of what these are. You could easily miss out the raisins and the butter if you want plain ones. Or substitute with garlic butter for garlic ones.

Makes 2 large-ish ones

125g/1 cup plain white flour
2g yeast
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
Small handful of raisins

1 large tsp butter mixed with 3tsp sugar

Mix everything except the butter/sugar mixture together. Add enough lukewarm water until it makes a slightly sticky dough.
Coat your hands and the table lightly with flour and then knead until it's soft.
Leave to rise in a warm place until about doubled in size.
Divide into 2. Knead a little more, then flour the table and squish (or roll) it out as thin as you can.
Spread half of the butter mixture on it, leaving a bit of a gap around the edge. Fold in half and squish.
Heat up a pan, and put in the dough. Cook until browned, flip and cook the other side.
Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Served with tomato-y vegetable curry, rice and palak paneer (made with tofu instead. I'll post a recipe sometime soon).

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