Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Pita Bread - The Art of the Puff

Pita Bread
Courtesy of The Knitty Baker
This month the Alpha Bakers tackled Pita Bread. It just amazes me how a few simple ingredients can turn into something as wonderful as pita bread. Rose's recipe is basically the same as her pizza dough except the flour. It seems the biggest challenge for most of the bakers was getting that "puff". Myself included.

There were a few that couldn't get the pita to puff at all like Vicki. She thought the flavor was amazing though and if she can master the puffing part, she'd have a pita party with a buffet of different toppings. I want to come to that! Patricia also struggled with the puff and used her antique cast-iron griddle. But she would not be deterred and instead turned her pitas into pizza. Brilliant! Fresh "mootz", basil and tomatoes. Can't go wrong with that.

What seemed to be a common thread among everybody was what to have with the pita. They are not just for sandwiches, oh no, pita is very versatile. Marie created a fantastic dinner sandwich using cheddar, thinly sliced apples, toasted walnuts, thyme, bacon and parmesan cheese. Okay, she used bacon, doesn't that make everything better?

Kristina referred to one of my favorite things, the "yeast" sock puppets on Alton Brown's show "Good Eats". I love those sock puppets and how they burp. Her pita puffed nicely and used them for tuna melts.

And then there's Elle. She amazes me with her Now Fully Armed & Operational Proofing box and the fact that she's 36 weeks pregnant and baking away. She also is wondering if Captain Hook was secretly a bread-making whiz. Her pita puffed nicely and made nut burgers.

Catherine went a little outside the box and used bread flour instead of the all purpose flour but they turned out beautifully. She had her pita for breakfast  - toasted and filled with ricotta and tomato. Stealing that idea :)

For some reason, I don't think of bread not being vegan. Maybe because I'm not vegan but Jenn's husband is so being the clever Alpha Baker that she is, Jenn omitted the oil. By looking at her pita, you couldn't tell at all. Just look at the great picture at the top of the post!

Pita with sambal egg, sotong and curry chicken can be from none other than Faithy. Her pita puffed up perfectly. Unfortunately it wasn't her favorite bread. She prefers Naan or Roti Prata/Roti Canai. She did think that the pita was better than store bought though.

Nancy had no problems making the pita after rolling them a bit thinner. She got a nice puff and filled them with sausage with pear and mustard greens. Wow, that sounds really healthy.

Michele loved them so much that she made a second batch only this time they were whole wheat and served them with hummus (my personal favorite). In fact, the pita's didn't sit around long at all. Good thing she made a second batch.

So that just leaves Kim. You have to go to her website to see the crazy beauty shot she did. Brilliant! She was hooked on watching the pita puff in the oven so much so that she wanted to drag people off the street to watch the process. Her and Captain Canada (her husband) had the pita with hummus while watching movies. Better than popcorn for sure!

So another month in the books. I'd say that the Pita Bread was a success on almost every count.