Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pita Bread Chips

Pita is a leavened bread that is widely consumed in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and is now widely consumed across the world. Pita is used to make wraps, pocket sandwiches and chips. Today, I bring you Pita bread chips that can be served with various dips like hummus and / or babaganouj. It is very easy to make Pita at home, especially for Indians who make various breads like chapatis, theplas, naans and bhaturas - a mix of leavened and unleavened breads. So, let's go on to making Pita and then pita chips which is just a baby step from there. I referred to the recipe by Floyd Mann given here.
Ingredients (makes 8 Pitas)
for Pita Bread
All Purpose Flour - 3 cups (I used half wheat and half flour)
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Yeast - 2 tsp (dry yeast)
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Warm the water and keep aside. In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, sugar then add the oil and water little by little to make a dough. You can mix with a fork or spatula or in a food processor and then once it comes together take it out. Then knead till the dough comes together and becomes springy it will take about 10 minutes. When done, oil the insides of a bowl and put the ball of dough in it and roll the dough around in the bowl so that the ball of dough is lightly coated with the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and keep it in a warm place for the dough to rise. Keep for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours or till the ball rises to double its size. If you have time overnight keep it overnight. Once the dough has doubled, gently punch it down to release the air and divide the dough into 8 to 10 balls. Again, cover with a damp towel and keep in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes. At this time, switch on the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, if using an oven. It can also be cooked on an iron griddle on stove top.
After 20 minutes, take out one ball of dough at a time and roll each one with a roller pin. Use a little dry flour to help roll each ball into circles of 1/8th inch thickness. Again, keep this for about 5 to 10 minutes for the dough to relax. Insert a cookie tray (or baking stone, if you have one) into the oven and place as many pitas as possible with a little space in between each one. In about 3 to 5 minutes the pitas should puff up into balloons. If it does not puff up the dough may not have had enough time to relax, in that case let the balance pitas rest for about 10 minutes before baking.
If baking on a stove top, heat an iron griddle on medium to high heat and place one pita on it. The pita will rise in small bubbles, at this time flip it over and then it should rise completely. If it does not rise let it cook and take it off the heat. Do not let it burn. These pitas are good to eat as a wrap or crisp it and then have it plain, sprinkled with salt.
A tip to get the pitas to puff is to - Spritz very little water on each rolled out pita and let them rest for a couple of minutes and bake after that. If using an oven, Spray a little water on the cookie tray and close the oven for a few minutes and after that add the pitas in.
Ingredients for seasoned pita chips
Pita bread
Salt as per taste
Seasoning like - Oregano or Cayenne pepper or garlic powder or onion powder or dry mint pwd
Olive oil
Since I wanted to make chips, it did not matter if the Pitas puffed or not. Now, to make pita chips - preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix the seasoning of choice, salt and olive oil, then rub or brush this on each pita. Cut each pita into 8 triangles and spread them on a cookie sheet and slide the tray into the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes or till crisp. It will bown lightly but do not let it burn.
Serve the Pita chips in a bowl with a dip of choice.


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