I read recipes the way I read science fiction: I get to the end and I think,
“Well that’s not gonna’ happen.” —unknown
I remember being out of college and wanting to make my first loaf of bread. I chose Joy Of Cooking, and started reading: “…behold one of the great dramas of the kitchen…Yeast is the prima donna. Her volatile temperament is capable of exploitation only within given limits of heat–and does she resent a drafty dressing room!…Wheat flour is the hero…”
I put down the book, feeling defeated before I had begun. Later that evening, my old room-mate dropped by with a beautiful just-out-of-the-oven homemade loaf of bread! I was incredulous, asking “How did you do it?”
“Betty Crocker!” she said happily.
And the next day I made my first loaf of bread. Thanks to Betty. Since then I’ve ventured into making many breads, often using my Zojirushi Bread Machine on the “DOUGH” setting to mix and knead the dough. Then I shape-and-then-bake the breads in my oven. Here is a great recipe for whole wheat pitas. Give it a try. Practice makes better!
If some of the pitas don’t “balloon”, you can eat them anyway. Tom loves the mistakes. And my daughter says, “That’s how we learn.”
Whole Wheat Pita Breads (variation from WW Favorite Recipes)
- 1 packet fast-rising active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp., or 1/4 oz.)
- 1 1/4 C. lukewarm water (see yeast package directions for exact temperature–85-90 degrees))
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
- 1 TBS. vegetable oil (I used Earth Balance)
- 1 tsp. salt
Put ingredients in bread machine, putting liquid in first, and yeast last (on top, not touching liquid). Put machine on DOUGH setting.
When dough is complete, remove dough from machine. Cut into 16 equal pieces and shape each into a ball.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Using rolling pin, roll balls into circles on floured surface, each about 5 inches in diameter. Set on nonstick baking sheet, leaving 2″ between each. (Let sit on pans, covered with bread towel, if you need to wait til oven is hot.) Bake 5-7 minutes (if breads become brown they will be *crunchy* instead of flexible). Remove breads to wire rack; let cool at least 5 minutes.
Or: by hand, without a bread machine:
Spray large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In another large bowl sprinkle yeast over water; add sugar and stir. Let stand until mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes; add 1 cup flour, the oil, and salt. Using electric mixer at low speed, beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in all but 2 TBS. flour, mixing well. Using remaining 2 TBS. flour, flour work surface; knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form into ball and place in sprayed bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 45-60 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and punch down. [Now begin recipe above, starting with “Cut into 16 equal pieces and shape each into a ball.”]