May 30, 2008

Easy, Healthy Family Meal #2- Pita Pockets

We loved this, even my picky two year old ate most of hers. To get her to eat one bit is a challenge so 4 bites means she loved it. My husband said this was the best Pita Bread he's ever had. I had to agree with him.
It took a few hours to make, rising and that, however you could put it in the bread maker. I am going to try that next time. You would put it on the dough setting and the ingredients in this order; water, sweetener, oil, salt, flour, yeast.
As quoted from the site I found the recipe on:
"Why make your own pita when it's readily available at supermarkets? One bite of these, fresh and warm from the oven, will tell you exactly why. The dough is simple to make, and because the dough rounds are thin, they bake in less than 5 minutes. But if you don't have time to make your own, store-bought pita can be warmed, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven."

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 3 hr

Servings: Makes 8 (6-inch) pita loaves.

1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/4 cups warm water (105–115°F)
3 cups whole wheat flour (can use a mixture of milled flax, bran)
3 Tb vital wheat Gluten
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Could add thyme, or sesame to dough
Cornmeal for sprinkling baking sheetStir together yeast, honey, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

While yeast mixture stands, stir together flours in another bowl. Whisk 1/2 cup flour mixture into yeast mixture until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Stir in oil, salt, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, and remaining 2 1/2 cups flour mixture until a dough forms.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to keep dough from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten 1 ball, then roll out into a 6 1/2- to 7-inch round on floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Transfer round to 1 of 2 baking sheets lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 7 more rounds in same manner, arranging them on baking sheets. Loosely cover pitas with 2 clean kitchen towels (not terry cloth) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Set oven rack in lower third of oven and remove other racks. Preheat oven to 500°F.

Transfer 4 pitas, 1 at a time, directly onto oven rack. Bake until just puffed and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over with tongs and bake 1 minute more. Cool pitas on a cooling rack 2 minutes, then stack and wrap loosely in a kitchen towel to keep pitas warm. Bake remaining 4 pitas in same manner. Serve warm.

FILLING: So Delicious!
2 1/2 cups, cubed, cooked chicken breast (about 1 lb)
1 c matchstick cut carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dill
1 8oz can crushed pineapple draine
8 romaine lettuce leaves

Cook chicken. Combine all ingredients, except lettuce. Fill a half Pita with mixture add lettuce and enjoy. So easy and we loved it.


Melissa said...

This is one of our favorite meals! If I don't want to warm up the oven, I cook pitas on our electric pancake griddle, it works great. They won't puff, but you can cut them open. For our chicken salad, I always use 1/2 chicken, and 1/2 cooked wheat berries. It gives the salad a nice chewy nutty texture. Really, really good!

Courtney said...

Good idea with the wheat berries! We will have to try it.

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Totally worth it to make your own. We make our own tortillas for the same reasons (simple, delicious).