Here I made the comment that if you’d never made your own pita, that you were missing a real treat. I finally stopped trying to make store-bought pita palatable and made my own.
I was over at Dinner of Herbs blog today, ogling her Sweet Potato Pizza Crust recipe, found some pita talk, and remembered I needed to share my technique with you.
True, Pita and Chapati aren’t exactly the same thing, but I’m not talking about a pita pocket anyway, so I talk about them interchangeably. To me, the primary difference is the way they are handled. I roll my pita dough, but I work my chapatis in my hands to get them as thin as I can.
The recipe does not matter! So find a pita or chapati recipe online that you like. Once you put together the dough, it’s all about technique.
I’m going to give you two methods. (I’m going to cheat a little by giving you these instructions on rolling which would be the same as mine.) The first one comes from one of the bloggers on Another Chance Acres (who was commenting on Dinner of Herbs discussion of pita).
1. Heat a cast iron griddle on medium heat. Do NOT oil the pan. The dough does NOT have to rise before cooking, at all, though it can if you want. Make sure it’s rolled thin–like 1/8″–toss it on that pan. Do NOT cover. when there are bubbles all over, flip it (about a minute–MAYBE enough time to roll out the next one). Within one minute, you’ll usually have a balloon sitting on your pan. Flip it off & move on to the next, keeping the cooked ones wrapped in a towel to stay warm.
2. Bake on an inverted cookie sheet on the bottom of the oven at 450f for about 3 minutes. You should have bread balloons, and you can fit 2-3 of them on that sheet.
Here’s my method:
Instead of the cast iron pan, I use a pizza stone, with the oven as hot as it can go. I get all the pitas rolled and ready to go because the cooking goes fast, and at those temperatures, you don’t want to be fooling around. Since I was only making 8 large ones the last time, I did them one at a time. You toss them directly onto the heated pizza stone (in the 500° oven). They puff up in about 15 or 20 seconds, and it only took 5 to 7 seconds on the flip side. (Flip them with a metal spatula or a pizza peel.)
Not to do if you have little ones around, obviously, because you’re working with the oven door open.
I used these pitas for my homespun gyros, as mini-pizza crusts, or just for dipping with olive oil and/or tzatziki. I’ve even taken them when they were too stiff to fold anymore, cut them into wedges and reheated them in the oven until they became pita chips.)
I suggested to the Dinner of Herbs blogger that she could even make them with her Sweet Potato Pizza Crust. Yum!
Thanks to both DinnerofHerbsblog and AnotherChanceAcres for sharing their wonderful recipes and techniques with me!