I am sure almost all of you must have succumbed to the lovely soft pita bread which is served with just about every meal in the Middle East. The different ways that its eaten is just amazing. Some just break it with the hand and dip it in hummus and hog. Another popular way to eat it is make sandwiches by stuffing meat in it’s pockets and some dip or sauce. Here is my recipe for Pita and Hummus.
Everyone has their own way of eating pita.
This dough takes time to rise but only 8-10 minutes to bake. High oven heat causes the rounds to steam and puff up, creating a perfect pocket for fillings. You can also use the dough for flat-bread pizzas.
Ingredients:* 7 cups all-purpose flour + additional for dusting
* 1 pkg active dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
* 32 oz warm water
* 1 tbsp sugar (or honey)
* 2 tsp salt
* 1 tbsp olive oil
1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour and make a well
2. Add yeast, ½ cup of the warm water, sugar, salt and oil
3. Mix with hands from the outside of the flour into the well, and continue to add water a little at a time, mixing until the dough comes together
4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment can be used, and kneading time will be less)
5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has doubled in size, 2½ – 3 hours
6. Cut dough into portions and roll out one portion at a time into an 8-10″ log. Cut into portions and shape into rounds. Dust rounds with flour, cover with a towel and let rise for 10 minutes
7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500º
8. Dust each dough ball with flour again. Roll each round into 8″ circles, about ¼” in thickness
9. Lay on baking sheets that have been lightly dusted with flour. Bake until they have began to puff up, and are lightly brown, 4-5 minutes (do not allow pitas to get golden brown). Turn over and bake an additional 3-4 minutes
Storing Pita BreadPita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.
I am sorry I never got a really good picture of the pita bread after I took them out because I served them hot with Kebabs and by the time I got my hands all free to take a picture. POOF!! All eaten by a group of hungry animals( school friends).
And now for the Hummus
Hummus is one of the more popular Middle Eastern dips. Served with fresh or toasted pita bread, hummus makes for a great snack or appetizer. Tahini is an important part of the hummus recipe and cannot be substituted. However, it can be omitted.
Now I really got worried about tahini because I could not find it easily, so I was freaking out. Since tahini is actually just a mixture of sesame seeds and olive oil. I decided to blend them together in the food processor. And voila!! My tahini was done. Easy Peasy.
It takes 10 minutes to make this simple yummy spread.
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the centre of the hummus.Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.
You can even make a spicy hummus by adding some cayenne pepper to it.
Storing hummus in the fridge can make it all tough and dry. It can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days. Just when you are about to serve it, Add olive oil to make it all smooth again and runny.