Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wheat Pita Recipe- Vegan

I love bread! I don't know that I could ever give it up. I tried going grain free for almost an entire week and was able to lose several pounds, but I don't know that I could do it forever. Especially since I have given up dairy, meat, and sugar. And everything white! A girl has to have something to look forward to on her plate right! I love pitas. I think they can make even the most boring filling taste good. I love them with chopped onions, carrots, tomatoes, cilantro, avocados and black beans. They are much better eaten fresh out of the oven. Isn't everything? I tend to let mine cook a little longer than they should because I get busy with other things, but I am finding that with them, and with wheat tortillas, if I put them in a plastic bag straight off of the heat they are still very soft and pliable. This recipe is very easy to make and takes very little time. And the best thing is that even though they are vegan they taste great!

Wheat Pitas
1 1/4 cup very warm water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. honey
2 3/4- 3 C. wheat flour
1/4 cup gluten
2 tsp. yeast

Proof the yeast in the warm water in a stand mixer bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and honey. Add 1 cup of the flour and the gluten. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining flour half a cup at a time mixing well after each addition. (If 2 3/4 cups of flour yields a really sticky dough gradually add the rest of the flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough has a nice consistency). Once all the ingredients are well incorporated let the mixer knead for 2-3 minutes. Put into an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Let rise until doubled in size. About 30-40 minutes. Remove from bowl and cut into 8 pieces. Form balls and roll each one out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into 6 inch circles. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a towel and let rest for 30-40 minutes. Cook in a preheated 500 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Put baked pitas in a bread bag or wrap them up in a clean flour sack towel and let them rest for about 5 minutes. Cut in half and stuff with your favorite filling. Some of my pitas puff up nicely and some end up a little flatter. If your batch yields some that don't puff up simply take a steak knife and cut down the center of the halved pita to create a pocket.

Note: No two ovens are alike. Some cook hotter than others. Mine was recently calibrated and my pitas that are closer to the rear still puff up better than the ones in the front, leading me to believe that it is hotter in the back. Watch your pitas closely when you use this recipe for the first time to get a good sense of actual baking time for your oven. You can also try using less yeast and more gluten if you are not getting a good rise from your dough. I live at a high altitude so if you are trying this recipe from sea level you are going to get different results than me.

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