When it comes to Hummus and Pita Bread it is hard to decide who is the star !!!
They both deliciously compliment each other and are a perfect company for any party.
Recently at a family get together the host had served Hummus with Pita bread amongst some other unstoppably mouth watering snacks; and since then, I’ve not been able to get this Middle Eastern dip and flat bread out of my mind. I knew my restlessness will only rest once I’ve made my own.
Another first for me….. The pangs of imperfection were at their best till the Pita Bread was safely out of my oven. Breads always do this to me….. we have a love-hate relationship. I’m always so so anxious till my breads come out of the oven.
The recipe is a complete winner, I must say !! We now say good buy to store bought Pita….
This duo was an instant hit with the family with bottles of homemade Hummus and batches of Pita Bread being rotated around. It also makes a lovely gift from your kitchen…
300 g Chickpeas
2 tbsp Tahini
4 cloves of Garlic
Salt to taste
4 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon (you could increase it or decrease it as per preference)
More Olive for garnishing
1. Soak Chickpeas over night. Boil and drain, saving a little water to add for blending.
2. In a food processor, add the boiled chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt and olive oil. Blend till all ingredients are well incorporated with each other and the result is a smooth paste.
3. Transfer in the serving dish, dribble with olive oil and garnish with paprika. Serve.
Humus though is commonly considered a Lebanese dish today, its origin is considered to be from Egypt. You can play around with the flavour….make it more lemony or garlicy or may be a more over powering flavour of tahini ….as your palette likes.
Recipe adapted from Chef in Disguise
1 package (about 2 ½ teaspoons) Dry Yeast
½ cup Warm Water
1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Honey
4 to 4 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoon Dry Milk
1 ½ cup Lukewarm Water
Preparing Pita bread dough
1. Proof the yeast by mixing it with the ½ cup of lukewarm water and sugar. Wait for the yeast to foam and bubble.
2. In a bowl add the flour, salt and powdered milk then drizzle the olive oil and honey.
Using your fingertips rub the oil and honey into the flour, mixing all the other ingredients in the process. Keep rubbing the flour until the oil and honey is completely taken up by the flour.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast water mix and gradually 1 cup of warm water.
4. Using a wooden spoon (if you are doing this by hand) or the hook attachment if doing this in a stand mixer, stir to form a dough.
5. Take the dough out of the bowl or mixer and place on a floured surface.
6. Add the rest of the water slowly and knead with your hands to get a better feeling of the dough.
7. Continue kneading until the dough becomes soft, smooth and elastic ( this takes about 5-7 min.)
A tip that will get you smoother dough is to left the dough and slam it on the table 7-10 times as you knead it.
8. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it, lightly coat it with oil and cover the bowl with a damp clean towel.
9. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size – usually an hour and a half (the time required depends on how hot it is where you are).
10. When the dough doubles in size, punch it down and then pinch out 10-12 small pieces, depending on the size you like your pita.
11. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered with a damp clean towel for 10- 15 minutes.
12. Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles, 3-4 mm in thickness
13. Place circles of dough on a flat board or a table, covered with dry cloth and then place a clean damp cloth over the dough discs and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
Baking Pita bread
1. In the meantime, Preheat oven to 270 C or to the highest temperature your oven will go.
2. Place the rack at the very bottom of oven or better yet take it out all together and place your baking sheet directly on the oven floor.
Preheating your baking sheet is an essential step to get your bread to puff up perfectly. If you have a pizza stone you can use that to make pita bread but again you need to get it good and hot before you start baking bread.
3. Gently place your dough discs on the preheated baking sheet, make sure that you place the dough flat on the baking sheet, any wrinkles will prevent the bread from puffing up and once you place the dough you will not be able to move it, it will stick to the baking sheet until the bottom is baked.
4. Bake each batch for 2-5 minutes till the bread puffs up, when they do flip the dough on the other side and bake for 1-2 more minutes.
Using a spatula remove the puffed pita bread from the baking sheet and out of the oven, serve hot or cover with a clean dry towel till the bread cools down.
If you leave the pita bread uncovered as it cools it will become dry and crusty
5. When the bread cools place it in your storage bags.
Storing Pita bread
Fresh pita bread will keep in a bag at room temperature for 2-5 days. In the freezer it will keep in good condition for up to a month. Just take the amount you need out of the freezer and warm on your stove top or in the oven for a minute or two.
Serve it with Hummus or any other choice of dip.
Make sandwiches of the pita pockets. (The open up beautifully)
Happy Baking !!