Thursday, July 8, 2010

Modern Baker: Pita Bread

The Modern Baker group has moved into breads. The first one I decided to try was the pita bread, but before I could get started, I wanted to make sure my active yeast was viable. For the BBA challenge I've been using instant yeast, but Malgieri uses active yeast in this chapter. Phyl posted a testing active dry yeast post. His yeast flopped. I tried mine and it also flopped. Luckily, Phyl also posted a yeast equivalents so I pulled out my instant yeast and got to work.
(On a side note, I had a nagging feeling I should try my active yeast again. On test #2 it worked! However, I'd already started my pita bread. I'll leave active yeast for another bread.)
The dough was simple to mix especially after my BBA breads where I'm still trying to feel the dough a lot and there are things like temperature, tackiness, suppleness, and windowpanes to watch for. This bread just involved a dough hook for a few minutes and some resting time.
I absentmindedly rolled the dough in balls and and didn't follow the instructions to roll the dough "under your palm to stretch a smooth even skin all around." I wonder if this effected my pita and inhibited by pockets from fully developing.
The pita is supposed balloon up in the oven and create a pocket inside. Mine created some bubble areas but I didn't get a smooth balloon across the entire pita. They sort of reminded me of elephant ears. Where's the butter, cinnamon and sugar?! The cornmeal stuck to the bottom and I really liked it on the baked pita. Note for next time: more cornmeal.
Even though I couldn't open my pita and use it like a sandwich, I still enjoyed it. I smeared some hummus and ate a piece warm from the oven. It was nice. I could taste the olive oil in the bread and it gave the bread a subtle flavor. The hummus I smeared on it was good, but I found myself wanting something with more saltiness (kalamata olives came to mind or did kosher salt sprinkled on top of the pita before baking).

2 comments:

  1. Mmmm elephant ears. =)
    These look great - even if you couldn't open them up. You make me excited to try this recipe!

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  2. They sure are cute...and you are right about elephant ears, or am I just thinking that as fair time approaches here in Indiana? I was just going to grab my MB book and see what I was going to make tomorrow...maybe it will need to be these to see if I can get a pocket or not. You have me wondering! It's always good if it gets eaten, right?

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