Country-Style Whole-Wheat Pita from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger is taking it’s turn in my kitchen’s hot seat this week.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with pita bread let me just say you are missing out. For those of you who are familiar with pita bread but only store bought pita bread I would also like to let you know you are missing you out. Warm pita bread beautifully puffed and fresh from the oven is so stinking delicious. Pita bread is a flat bread that puffs while cooking making a pocket in the center perfect for filling with anything you can imagine. Pita is also great for dipping, using like a tortilla and so much more.
We planned a dinner of Moroccan burgers to help test out this whole wheat pita recipe. The wheat flour in this bread gives this pita bread a slightly nutty flavor. Honestly I thought the flavor was lacking a little. This wasn’t the best pita I have had or made for that matter. The biggest problem was that about half the batch didn’t bake up well and I had to deviate from the directions and improvise to make sure that we would have pita’s for our planned meal. Of the 16 pita’s this recipe made about half ended up with pockets, the rest ended up as dense flat bread. The pita’s that did end up with pockets looked and tasted fine.
The recipe itself is well written, and easy to follow. Unlike a lot of bread recipes there is even additional information about this type of bread along with additional ingredient variations and ways to use your pitas. I love to open cook books and see more than a list of ingredients and a bunch of instructions. I think that is why I like sharing recipes on Evolving Mommy, I always love to read the story behind a recipe and the little changes that the author might make, or even just a little additional information about some of the ingredients. Even though I did not have complete success with this recipe I do think it meets the requirements to get all 5 points in the recipe category.
The Country- Style Whole-Wheat Pita recipe took about 65 minutes of hands on time and about 1 hour and 35 minutes for rising and rest time. Total this recipe took me about 2 hours and 40 minutes from start to finish. It would have taken slightly less on hands time if the suggested cooking method had been successful.
The pitas worked out well for the buns on our Moroccan burgers and we have made some pita chips to eat with hummus too. I think Pitas in general are a very versatile bread. Pita’s can be stuffed with just about anything; tuna, veggies, lunch meat, egg salad, not to mention yummy Moroccan burgers, the possibilities really are endless. Beyond filling a pita you can make pita chips of all kinds as well.Pita’s chips with cinnamon sugar to dip in vanilla yogurt? A yummy and healthily snack for you and your children. Plain or spiced pita chips for using in dips or homemade hummus? Sign me up! We have also used pitas in our house as a base for individual pizzas, my favorite was the breakfast pizza with salsa, egg, sausage and cheese. So to answer the question, yes pita bread = super versatile.
This is not the first pita recipe I have made so I can honestly say that I will make pita’s again, but I probably will not make this recipe. I was disappointed with the dense non-puffed up pita’s I got as a result of the directions for cooking from the recipe. I ended up switching from cooking the bread on a pan at the temperature, as the recipe suggested, to cooking them directly on the top oven rack at a very high temperature to get nicely puffed pita loaves.
Luke and Maddy both enjoyed eating the our successfully puffed pita’s but because of my disappointment with the bland flavor and the pile of of un-puffed pita’s this recipe is not getting my point.
Please don’t let my disappointment in this one recipe deter you from making pita’s in your kitchen. Pita’s are fun to make and kids love to watch them puff up in the oven. I have always had good results from other recipes, and we especially love the Whole Wheat Pita Bread recipe from Epicurious.
Hands on time: 1
Total time: 3
make it again: 2
Stepping up to the “batter’s” box for next week: Rye Bread