Monday, August 30, 2010

pita pita

Za'atar is a delicious Middle Eastern spice mixture made mostly of dried thyme and sesame seeds. Last week there was a giant bag of it sitting in my kitchen, but there was nothing to put it on. So I made some whole wheat pita. Problem solved.

Whole wheat pitas with za-atar

(adapted from smitten kitchen)

for the pita:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

for the za'atar:
1/4 cup dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp coarse salt
3 Tbsp olive oil

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the pita ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on the lowest speed until all the flour is moistened (about 20 seconds), then raise the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a large bowl, lightly greased and covered a damp towel.

Preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before baking, with a pizza stone, cast iron skillet or large baking sheet inside.

Cut the dough into 10 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with a damp towel and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before baking.

Just before baking, use a pastry brush to brush each pita with a thin layer of water. To bake, use a spatula to place one piece of dough directly on the stone/skillet/baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough, baking 3 or 4 pieces at a time.

To make the za'atar, mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl, then add the olive oil. More olive oil may be necessary for a spreadable consistency.

Spread za'atar on each pita. Pitas can be reheated on baking sheets in a warm oven.

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