Pita dough can be made from cake or white bread flour, but is more nutritious if part whole wheat flour is used. I used cake flour as per recipe and added about 150ml of wheat bran.
1 x 25 g cube fresh yeast OR 1 x 10 g sachet instant yeast
500 ml lukewarm water
50 ml sunflower or olive oil
15 ml sugar
420 g/750 ml cake, white bread or whole wheat flour
+-280 g/500 ml extra cake or white bread flour
Crumble the fresh yeast (or add the contents of sachet) into mixing bowl and add all the ingredients except the extra flour and mix well.
Add sufficient of the extra flour to form a soft dough that can be knead very well by hand on a floured surface for 6-8 minutes. Alternatively knead with dough hook on your electric mixing machine for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Flour the bowl and return the dough, cover and allow to rise for about an hour or until completely doubled in volume.
Knead down the dough and pinch off balls the size of a small apple for large pitas or the size of a large egg for smaller pitas. Sprinkle with flour, cover with a cloth and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
Roll out the balls on a well floured surface into either round or oval pitas 12-15 mm thick. Sprinkle generously with flour, cover with a cloth and allow to rise for a further 20 minutes.
In the meantime place ungreased, firm baking trays which will not warp, into the oven while preheating the oven to 200°C and place the pitas on the hot trays to ensure that they will puff up and become hollow during baking. Place the pitas in the hot oven and reduce the heat to 190°C and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until puffed and just discoloured, but not brown.
Yields: about 16-24 depending on size.
Storing: best if served soon after or within a day of baking or toast or fry in shallow oil.
Freezing: freeze in large containers to prevent breaking. Thaw and treat as above.
Fillings: pitas can be filled with a variety of meats like beef or chicken strips, mince (curried, spicy Cajun or savoury), pulled pork, lamb or chicken. Add salad ingredients as preferred. Cottage cheese, mayo or hummus (chick pea dip) and tzatziki (coarsely grated cucumber and yogurt) is ideal to spoon inside the pocket before adding the rest of fillings. Grilled veggies (especially brinjal) and falafel (chick pea croquettes) makes a great vegetarian option.
Photo and recipe posted by: Elsabie Templeton