Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pita Bread using a bread machine

The dough in this pita recipe is mixed by a bread machine. I own a Sunbeam bread machine , and the small investment ($60) was very much worth it . I find that my boys can make any yeast dough using a bread machine. If you don’t have a bread machine, you can prepare the dough by hand. See directions below.

1-1/4 cups whole milk. Warm it for about 30 seconds in the microwave.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour. Bread flour is a high-gluten flour. You can find it in most supermarkets next to the other flours. You can also try making these with all-purpose flour, but I always had the best results using bread flour.
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon Bread Machine Yeast. Just like bread flour, you can find Bread Machine Yeast next to the other baking supplies in most supermarkets. Check the date to make sure it’s fresh. The original recipe says it’s OK to use Active Dry Yeast, but as far as I know Instant Yeast is a better alternative to Bread Machine Yeast, since both don’t need to be activated with a warm liquid and are simply added to the other ingredients.

1. Add ingredients to a 1.5 or 2-pound bread machine according to manufacturer’s directions (usually liquids first, then dry ingredients and finally yeast). Select dough cycle. When cycle is complete (my machine takes 1.5 hours), remove dough from machine. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 10-12 portions.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 5-to-6-inch circle.

Cover dough and let rise about 30 minutes or until slightly puffed. It’s best to find a warm, draft-free spot for this.

3. On a greased baking sheet arrange 5-6 dough rounds. Bake in bottom of a 450 degree F (230 degree C) oven for 4 to 5 minutes (I find that 3 minutes is just perfect) or until bread is puffed.
Remove from oven.


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