I’ve found in the last few months since I started making my own bread that I’m not a huge fan of the shop made. Don’t get me wrong I completely understand the convenience of it but knowing I’ve made the time to make it myself and that it’s not full of added extras is much more appealing. We actually don’t really eat a lot of bread (personally I find it bloats me) usually just at the weekend and in the week we’ve been having wholemeal wraps instead. I did read though that these can be just as bad for you and it mentioned wholemeal pitta bread instead so I thought I’d give it a whirl!
I had a look at the recipes online and came across one on another blog called The Little Loaf which was definitely the most tempting in my opinion!
- 175g strong wholemeal bread flour
- 75g strong white bread flour
- 5g salt
- 7g instant yeast
- 140 – 165ml cool water
- 2 tsp olive oil
First you need to combine both flours in a large mixing bowl, adding the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. I never add as much salt as the recipe says as they always seem to be a bit excessive but its personal preference. Add 140ml of the water and all the olive oil and turn the mixture round using your hands. The aim is to get a soft dough but not too wet – I found I needed all the water but this recipe did state that if you’re using all white flour you may not need all the water. I went with the wholemeal though so it was a little drier. I took advantage again of my stand mixer and the dough hook to mix it up which to me is preferable to using my hands!
Tip the dough onto the work surface and knead for 5 – 10 minutes until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin. The recipe suggested putting a little oil on the work surface to prevent it sticking and I would definitely recommend this! When the dough is smooth, shape it into a round and put it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with a tea towel or oiled cling film and leave it to rise for 1 – 2 hours, preferably in a warm place. I just left mine on the side in the kitchen and it rose really well, and quickly!
When the dough is almost ready, put a baking stone or tray in the oven and heat it to 220C. Sprinkle some wholemeal flour on the work surface and tip the dough onto the it then fold it inwards on itself until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. The recipe says to divide the dough into eight equal sized pieces but I went for 6 – it depends what size you want them and what for, if just a snack then smaller ones probably work better but mine were for lunches to fill.
With a rolling-pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval about 3mm thick, keeping it generously dusted with flour. I can never keep anything I roll out in the precise shape so some of mine may have been a little odd shaped…As they were rolled out I put them onto a couple of plates and covered them with a tea towel so they didn’t dry out.
When you are ready to bake the pittas, scatter the hot baking stone or tray with flour then lay as many pitta breads as will fit without touching onto it. Bake them for 5 – 10 minutes and take them out when they show signs of colouring. You should keep them under a tea towel while they cool so they stay soft and don’t dry out.
We used these for lunches and stuffed them with carrot, home-made houmous (recipe coming soon) and salad. They were lovely and soft and had risen well so there was plenty of room to fill! We also tried them warm and dipped in houmous – delicious!