Gotta pita pocket or two

pita bread

These have to be the best pita breads ever. They are light and fluffy unlike they commercially made ones that are dense and crumbly and fall apart when you try to fill them.

They puff up to perfection and are very easy to make, especially if you are lazy like me and have a bread machine to do all the kneading and rising for you.

They are a great addition to picnics and packed lunches and can be filled with anything that takes your fancy. My favourite filling is tuna mayo and spring onion.

 

PITA BREAD
Makes 8

INGREDIENTS:

360 g plain flour
2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
227 ml water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon baking powder

METHOD:

To make by hand combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a rough dough. Turn on to a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes, until you have a nice, smooth dough,

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough may not double in size but it should  be light and puffy and a little sticky at this point.

To use a bread machine, simply follow the instructions for the dough cycle or knead with an electric mixer fitted with dough hooks for 5 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back. Divide it into 8 pieces.

You will bake one batch at a time so only roll out as many pieces that will fit on to your baking sheet. Keep the remaining dough covered until ready to use.

Roll each ball into 6 in (15cm) circles about ⅛ in (3mm) thick.

Place the circles on a lightly greased baking sheet and allow  to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 250C/500F/Gas mk 10 (or as hot as the oven will go).

Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack in your oven, and bake the pitas for 5 minutes. The pitas should puff up nicely but if not try raising the heat for the next batch.

Transfer the baking sheet to the upper part of your oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes, or until the pitas have browned slightly.

Remove the pitas from the oven, wrap them in a clean tea towel (this keeps them soft), and repeat with the remaining dough.
Once cooled the pitas can be stored in an airtight container or frozen.

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