Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pita Loaf

My previous attempt at finding our bread of choice resulted in a decent loaf of bread, and was initially accepted by the girls. However, the firstborn began to tell me she didn't like the bread and I assumed it was because the result was more dense than storebought, so I kept my eyes peeled for something light & fluffy (while still using at least half whole-wheat flour). We liked the Pita Bread so much that I decided to see if it would work as a loaf bread. And, IT DID! I am extremely happy with the results. It produced a nice crust, a soft, light, and fluffy crumb, and has a hint of sweetness. Another bonus is that there are only a handful of ingredients and almost everyone has them in their pantry already.

Pita Loaf (adapted from Pita Bread)
3 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups unbleached white all purpose flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 Tablespoon sugar or honey ( I used local honey)

1 packet yeast (or, if from bulk, 2 teaspoons yeast)

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature

2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening (When I made the pitas, I used light olive oil because I didn't want it to have an overwhelming olive oil taste. This time I wasn't paying attention and used extra virgin olive oil. I was a little concerned that we would be able to taste the difference, but I didn't notice a difference at all. So, feel free to use either oil.)

Mix together all dry ingredients, then mix in wet ingredients using a wooden spoon until a ball forms. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.
Once a ball has formed, place dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes ( I don't think I kneaded quite that long because the dough was pretty sticky and I stopped kneading when the dough stopped cooperating).
After kneading, place dough in a bowl that has been lighly coated with oil. Roll dough around until it has been coated with the oil on all sides. Cover with a damp towel and set aside until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
After the dough has risen, place the dough in a buttered loaf pan. At this point, I broke the cardinal rule of bread making....I immediately popped the pan into the oven....without letting it rest! It still turned out great, but I think if I had let it rest it might have risen a little more and been a taller loaf. Next time I will let it rest in the pan for about 40 minutes.
Bake in a 350*F oven for approximately 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to try this one - it looks great!