Bread Maker Pitta Breads
For years I bought Pitta Breads in the supermarket. Then I saw a photograph of homemade pitta breads and they looked so beautiful, I had to have a go. So I tried out a few Bread Maker Pitta Bread recipes and this is now the one I use every time.
Pita or Pitta Bread
Pita or pitta, is a yeast-leavened flatbread baked with flour. These are lovely sliced down one side and stuffed with delicious fillings, or sliced up and eaten with dips. Our favourite way to eat them is with spiced perfumed shoulder of lamb, homemade hummus dip with pomegranates and mint, and salad on the side. Yum.
Fresh Pitta Bread Compared to Supermarket Pitta
Freshly made Pitta is a different animal altogether from the ones you may be used to. They puff up beautifully, and they have a lovely bready taste. The ones I used to buy at the supermarket were flat, fairly leaden and didn't taste of very much.
Homemade Pittas are incredibly cheap to make too, it's pennies. Once you have made them, you really will never go back. And if you produce a big bowl of them at a bbq, prepare for the gasp as you arrive at the table. They are so simple, but look so impressive if you've never made them before!
Making Pitta in the Bread Machine
You can of course make this dough by hand rather than in a bread maker. However leaving the bread maker to do the work whilst you prepare the meal is the ultimate in multi tasking, I reckon.
The dough cycle I use for this on my Panasonic SD-2500 bread maker takes 45 minutes. You then quickly roll them out and bake them.
So whilst you may think you don't have time to do this, the reality is it takes almost no time at all, and you can be doing other things for most of that time anyway.
Varying the ingredient quantities and freezing
This recipe makes 4 decent sized pittas. If you need more you can double it. I have tried baking the pittas and freezing them, but it doesn't work very well. The flatbreads tend to break when they freeze.
However the pitta dough freezes really well. Just break them into pitta size sections (don't roll them out) and put them in the freezer well wrapped up so they don't get tainted by freezer burn.
Take them out of the freezer about 1-2 hours before you need them. After about half an hour they will be defrosted. Then you can roll them out and bake them as normal.
I like Doves Farm Quick Yeast but any dried bread yeast will work. Make sure it is the type with 'Fast Action', Easy Blend' , 'Quick Yeast' or 'Easy Bake' and check your yeast is in date before you start.
You can substitute some strong wholemeal flour rather than strong white, about 25% is a good mix. And sometimes I put seeds on the top before I bake them, which makes an interesting variation.
Bake just before you serve
As with a lot of freshly made flatbreads, Pittas will dry out like toast if left around for too long. So ideally you serve these fresh from the oven. If there's going to be a time delay between baking and serving, bake the pittas until they puff up but don't go brown. Then finish them in the oven for a minute or two, just before you serve.
Bread Maker Pitta Breads
Get ready to have pitta breads baked and ready to eat in no time flat. With very little work.
Place all the ingredients into your bread maker apart from the milk and seeds at the end, which will be going on top. If you have a 'dry ingredients first' bread maker, put them in the order above. Otherwise, reverse it.
Select the appropriate menu setting. One mine it is the same setting as for pizza dough, and takes around 45 minutes. Then leave your bread maker to it.
When the dough is finished, preheat your oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F/Gas mark 7.
Remove the dough from the bread maker, lay it on a floured surface. Divide it into 4 pieces (I use a dough cutter/scraper for this) and shape into 4 balls.
Roll out each ball into oval shapes, as thinly as possible. Cover lightly with a clean tea towel so they don't dry out.
When you're ready to bake, brush the pittas lightly with milk and sprinkle seeds on top, sticking them to the milk. Or if you don't want seeds, just dust with flour.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 8 minutes until golden brown and beautifully puffed up. I set my timer for 5 minutes and keep checking in case they catch, as my oven can run a bit hot.
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