Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pitas and Hummus a la Joanne

A few years back my mom did a food storage night for church Relief Society meeting.  She used whole wheat flour to make pitas.  While I do not keep whole wheat flour at hand, I have made these many times with regular flour.  The recipe is as follows.

                          Pita Bread
  • Mix 2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon of dry yeast.
  • Add 1 1/4 cup of warm water (120 F), and mix well.
  • Gradually add 2 cups of flour until the dough is moderately stiff.
  • Knead dough for 4 to 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Form dough into 10 ball - 5"-6" rounds by 1/4" thickness
  • Flour both sides, place on non-stick surface to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 500 degrees F
  • Flip over each round before placing into oven on bottom rack.
  • (To reheat place in 350 F oven)
The high heat and flipping over allows them to puff up and create a pocket.  If they don't create a pocket or get really large, don't despair!  It took me a couple tries to get it right, and sometimes I still get a flop batch, which is actually what happened to me this week.  They rose up very large and didn't pocket.  So I decided to make some hummus to go with them.  When I do this I tear my pitas up and bake them for a bit to get crispy, or top a pita with hummus and sliced tomatoes.
Hummus is really easy to make in your blender.  Puree a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), add two cloves of finely diced garlic, then slowly blend in olive oil and a bit of water until you find your desired consistency.  Many recipes, authentically, add tahini to this.  It is a paste made from hulled lightly roasted sesame seeds.  It is used to make a smoother hummus.  I like it made this way, but tahini can be pricey for how often I use it so I opt out.  Hummus is great because the beans are high fiber and protein, great for a vegetarian dish or light lunch. 

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