There’s a wonderful hole-in-the-wall-restaurant, near Paphos in Cyprus called Feta’s corner. If you ever happen to be there, make sure you go and try their meze for dinner. The cook there sure knows how to cook, she was no gourmet chef, but man, she could _REALLY_ cook! She even transformed a piece of liver into what tasted like a mouth-watering steak (and I dislike liver). The meze is a great way of trying almost sampling everything on the menu. As the small dishes came and went, the waitress kept our bread basket topped up with whole-wheat pita bread – mmmm!
This pita bread was delicious, whether it was homemade or not, is irrelevant. They were chewy, wheaty and soft. Dabbing torn off pieces of this pita bread in hummus, tahini and taramasolata was such a treat!
I’ve tried many pita breads, even the abomination that is a pancake-like-“pita”-with-no-pocket, they serve in a couple of Mediterranean places in Seattle, but none come close to those from Feta’s Corner.
In my frustration I decided to create my own recipe. This recipe took a little while to perfect, I’ve finally got the correct ratio of whole-wheat/white flour. The flavor is good and they are deliciously chewy. There was also a pocket – just like in REAL pita bread.
WHOLE-WHEAT PITA BREAD
- 7 g (½ T) dry active yeast
- 150 ml (½ c and 2 T) warm water*
- ½ T olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 125 g (¾ c and 2 T) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 125 g (¾ c and 2 T) whole-wheat flour
* You may need a little more water, depending on the age of your flours.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast and water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or until frothy. Then add the oil and salt and stir to mix.
2. Pour the flours into the stand mixer bowl. With the dough hook attachment, beat the mix until it forms a dough. Continue to knead at low-medium speed for 10 minutes.
3. Cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap), and pop into a warm spot for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you could do a cold-prove overnight in the refrigerator. If doing a cold rise, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before proceeding to the next step.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F with a pizza stone set on the floor of the oven (or on the lowest rack).
5. Punch the dough down and divide into 6-8 pieces. Allow the dough to rest under a damp tea-towel (kitchen towel) at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
6. Roll out the dough to the desired thickness and cover with a damp tea-towel (kitchen towel). Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
7. Place the shaped dough onto the pizza stone and allow the bread to puff up like a balloon, then immediately transfer onto a cooling rack. Place a tea towel (kitchen towel) directly over the pita bread and carefully squish out the air. Serve warm with Mediterranean dips or as an alternative to sliced bread. Enjoy!