Monday, March 10, 2014

Family & Friends Series: Sarah's Homemade Pita Bread

Hi guys!  I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friend's and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts!  

This recipe is by my friend Sarah, who is a professional photographer, crafter, writer, and one of the owners over at The Hinton Voice. She hosts some pretty amazing get togethers (food on a stick was her brainchild, as well as epic movie nights with her ridiculously awesome 3D projection screen).  She is a fellow foodie and posted a photo of her homemade pita bread last fall, so you can imagine how excited I was when she told me this was the recipe she would be sharing! I can't wait to try it!


I'm so excited for my first guest post on Cooking With Jax. 

Let me introduce myself. I'm Sarah (you can check out my Facebook page, Simply Made by Sarah, although it's all crochet, all the time right now). I am a married mother of grown, identical, twin boys who is just getting warmed up to this thing called empty nesting.

I first made pita bread as a challenge. I used to make home made buns all the time with my kids and one weekend I thought it would be great if the boys and I made pita instead.  I had no idea it was going to be so easy.

They mix and bake up so fast they can easily be made up along with dinner and the soft, tender texture of a home made pita cannot be compared.

I used this recipe but most are the same and as long as you remember a few simple tricks, you will become a pita master.

1. Do not overwork the dough. I used a fork to incorporate the shortening and flour only just until mixed then kneaded the rest of the flour in gently. 

2. It says let the dough rest for fifteen minutes, but if you forget about it because you're too busy chatting on Facebook with Jax and you don't get to it for an hour, it will be fine.

3. Rolling the super thin will get you a nice, crispy pita suitable for dipping that cooks in about 2.5 minutes.

4. Roll it to about a quarter inch for a puffy pocket bread that is sturdy enough for fillings and cook for the full four minutes.

5. Remove the upper rack from the oven and place a heavy baking sheet upside down on the bottom rack before preheating.

6. Watch them closely, do not wait for the timer. If it looks like they need to flip, go for it.

7. Flatten the ballooned pitas with the back of the spatula immediately after they come out of the oven. 

Keep the warm pitas under a towel so that the steam keeps them soft. I place mine in a sealed plastic container before they cool.

After cutting the pitas in half, and gently separating the layers, they can be eaten with any sandwich filling stuffed inside and are great for kids lunches. My mom used to send us with taco pitas for lunch. Imagine all of your taco fillings in a sandwich, they were delicious.

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