WHEAT FLOUR PITA BREAD
Rustle up some home made wheat flour pita bread to mop up that creamy dreamy hummus or to serve as a pocket for falafel, sauteed veggies, salads or my favorite purple cabbage and paneer coleslaw or really any other filling of choice.
Pita Bread, the middle eastern flat bread, is typically made with flour, yeast, salt and oil. Here, I’ve replaced refined flour with wheat flour. The resulting flat bread is not as white or spongey as the original, but it’s a deliciously viable option. The bread itself puffs up beautifully and reveals deep pockets and releases a beautiful aroma when sliced open. It’s a delight to watch it open up each time.
If you’ve made rotis before, making pita bread is child’s play. The method is very similar with the addition of yeast. And yeast lends the dough elasticity, body and softness. Activate the yeast in warm water and sugar. Once it’s frothy, tip in the wheat flour, salt and olive oil. Knead. Add more water as needed to bring the dough together. Let rest, punch down and knead again and rest again. Divide the balls in to little balls of dough and roll them into discs. Cook on a cast iron pan by flipping over every few seconds and finally letting it balloon and puff. Slice, stuff and savor. Or just cut them into strips and mop up your favorite hummus with it.
- Wheat Flour – 1.5 cups
- Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
- Water – 1/2 cup +1/4 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Yoghurt – 1 tbsp (optional)
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Oil – 1 + 1 tsp
- Heat the water until it’s lukewarm. When you put a finger in it, you should feel a mild warmth and it shouldn’t scald you. If the water is too hot, it’ll not activate the yeast. Add the yeast, sugar and mix well. Let sit for 5 mins or until the yeast water looks frothy.
- Place the wheat flour, salt and 1/2 tsp oil and mix well. Pour the yeast water and knead into a soft pliable dough. I needed another 1/4 cup of water to bring it together. Smear it with the remaining 1/2 tsp oil.
- Let rest for at least 30 mins. The dough should rise up and double. Punch the dough down, knead and let rest for another 30 mins.
- Divide into 6 equal balls. Roll each ball into 4 inch discs, about 1/2 cm thick.
- Heat a tawa or a flat pan, cast iron preferably. Place the rolled bread on the hot bread. Flip over ever 15 seconds for a minute. Cook for a minute or so. Let the pita bread puff up. You could help by pressing a cloth on the sides of the bread and it’ll balloon on the other end. Alternatively, you could transfer the partly cooked bread to the flame directly and allow it to puff in the full heat.
- Slice the pita bread to find the pockets. Stuff with any filling of choice. I typically stuff it with a Purple Cabbage and Paneer Coleslaw or use it to mop up my Kala Chana Hummus or Zucchini Hummus.