Karen Martini's Pita Bread
This is a simple dough, a bit like pizza dough, but the results are quite impressive, producing light and airy pitas. They are at their best when freshly cooked, but also heat up well and are really versatile.
- 5g dried yeast (or 1 sachet, or 1 tsp)
- 10g caster sugar (or 2 tsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- 250g plain, unbleached flour
- 50g fine semolina
- 1/2tbsp olive oil
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 65ml of warm water and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes (the mix will expand, so use a medium-sized container). Dissolve the salt in 125ml of cold water.
Put the flour and semolina in a large bowl, and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture, the olive oil and the salted water. Work until a dough is formed.
Knead with your hands in the bowl or on a bench (or in a mixer with a dough hook if you have one) for about 10 minutes, dusting with more flour if the mixture is too sticky. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and place back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm area to rise (or over a bowl of hot water to speed the process up). The dough is ready when it has doubled in volume - about 40 minutes.
Punch down the risen dough and knead for one minute. Divide into pieces about the size of an egg and roll into little balls. Leave to rest for five minutes under a damp tea towel.
Once rested, roll the balls into discs on a floured surface to about 0.5 centimetre thickness. Prick the dough with a fork in several places.
Heat a frypan or the flat top of a barbecue. Add a dash of olive oil (add more oil for every second pita) and cook the dough over high heat for a couple minutes on each side until it bubbles and is lightly browned.
Once cooked, stack the pita breads two high on a clean tea towel, then cover with another tea towel and allow to cool a little.
Tip: This recipe can be multiplied, and any leftover cooked pita breads can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for a day or two (a minute each side in a hot dry pan refreshes them well) or frozen for later use.
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