Pitta Bread

Smell you should have in your life: Freshly baking bread. Nothing quite beats it or makes a home feel so cosy.

Given I mentioned making pittas to go with tonight’s ‘Welcome Home James’ feast I thought I would share the recipe I use so that everyone can experience the joy of your kitchen smelling like freshly baked bread. Pittas are really easy to make and fairly quick in bread terms. The key is having a hot oven, but as long as your oven goes up to 220°C you will be fine. It helps to have a pizza stone but isn’t essential at all.

pittaI used Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his ‘Bread’ book and hopefully he won’t mind me sharing it with you here.

Ingredients: (Makes 4-6, I made 6 and they were fairly large)

  • 250g of strong white bread flour (I used half and half with white spelt flour due to a white bread flour shortage, I have also used half wholemeal in the past which works well also)
  • 5g of salt
  • 7g of fast action dried yeast
  • 20g of nigella or black onion seeds (I didn’t use these)
  • 160ml of cool water
  • 2 tsp of olive oil

Method:

  1. Put the flour, yeast, salt (making sure the yeast and salt are on separate sides of the bowl), seeds, olive oil and 120ml of the water in a bowl.
  2. With your hands mix the ingredients and add the remaining water little by little until you have a smooth dough and have collected the flour from around the sides of the bowl. You may not need to use all the water.
  3. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes (you may need to oil your work surface) and then place in a well oiled bowl and cover.
  4. Leave the dough to rise for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size and then preheat the oven to 220°C (or higher if your oven is capable). If using pizza stones, make sure these are in the oven preheating, the same goes for baking trays.
  5. Tip the dough out onto your work surface and knock back with your finger tips. Split the dough into six (or four) , roll out into ovals and flour well.
  6. Careful not to burn yourself on hot trays, put the pittas onto baking trays or pizza stones and bake for 5-10 minutes until they begin to turn golden, they will hopefully puff up into lovely pockets of air.
  7. Once removed from the oven wrap the pittas in a cloth to keep the steam in and leave them to cool. These freeze well so if you aren’t eating them on the day then I’d recommend freezing them so they are nice and fresh when you eat them.
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