Monday, June 16, 2014

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

                      Pita pockets were something that I never thought to make myself. I always assumed they would be to hard and that I could never get them to puff up correctly. Well the truth is, they are easy but sometimes half my pitas won't puff up. It doesn't bother me because you can still fold the pita like a taco and eat your sandwich that way.

I've been making this recipe for awhile now and figured it was time to blog it while I had a bit of down time. We've had amazing weather so we've been out enjoying it and I've been busy dog sitting for our friends like we do every summer at various times. They come over and spend a few weeks with us and chase the chickens around a bit and play outside as much as possible. 

So about this recipe. It's straightforward and I highly suggest using a stand mixer for this one only because the dough starts off really sticky and then whips itself into shape within 3 minutes. If you do it by hand, and you totally can,try to not add any additional flour for the first 2-3 minutes. The whole grain flour needs a few minutes before it can start absorbing the liquid so you need to give it that time before you load it down with more flour. I think in total I have only ever added maybe one teaspoon of additional flour to the mix. I make sure to flour up my hands really good though when it comes to take the dough out of the bowl and shaping it into a ball.

The pitas are really delicious and 100 times better than anything you get in the store.

Whole Wheat Pitas

1-3/4 cups (7 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/2 cups ( 6-3/8 ounces) Bread Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1-1/2 tsp. Instant Yeast
1-1/4 cups ( 10 ounces) Warm Water
2 TBS (7/8 ounce) Olive Oil

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead them together-by hand-or mixer- until you have a soft,supple dough,about 8 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add flour only after kneading it for a few minutes and remember that whole wheat flour needs additional time to absorb the liquid so hold off as long as you can and then only add a small amounts as you go along. You want a soft dough that feels tacky to the touch.

Form dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk,about 1-1/2 hours.

Place a baking stone into the oven on the bottom rack and preheat oven to 450 or 220 celsius.

After the dough has risen,turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Divide one half of the dough into 4 equal parts and form each into a rough ball. Let the balls rest for 10 minutes,covered with a tea towel,while dividing the second half of the dough the same way. This rest will help when it comes to the dough being easier to roll out.

Using a rolling pin,roll out each ball to a circle about 6-7 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Use only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface. To much flour allow the dough to skid around. Remember to keep the remaining balls of dough covered as you work.

Gently pick up the pitas with your hand or if you have one,a baker's peel and place directly onto the hot baking stone. 

Bake each one 3-4 minutes..that's about how long it will take them to balloon. You can flip them over half way if you want the other side to get some color on it but when I did that,they totally deflated. So I wouldn't really worry about it.

Stack the warm pitas together in a kitchen towel to keep them from crisping as they cool.

Yield: 8 Large Pitas
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking