Friday, August 19, 2011

Artisan Bread in 5: Pita Bread

My husband and I love gyros.  Actually, I didn't love gyros until I met my husband and fell in love with him.  When we lived in a little apartment in a bigger city, he used to buy sliced gyro meat, cucumber sauce and pitas from the deli in our favorite grocery store.  But when we moved to a small town, the nearest grocery store didn't carry the gyro fixings. So we were left reminiscing about one of our favorite foods.

Then a few months ago, I discovered that a grocery store on my way home from work offers gyro meat, sauce and pitas, just like we used to buy.  However, the pita bread isn't nearly as good.  I've searched several area grocery stores for good pita bread, but the pitas I have found (if I find them at all) are stale or really tiny, I suppose for making little sandwiches.

I remembered that my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook carried a pita bread recipe.  And I'm always looking for a reason to use my pizza stone (which I still love, by the way. Our best kitchen investment since the Oxo salad spinner.) But I was a little hesitant to try making my own pitas.  They look too time consuming, and I didn't want to spend my weekend cleaning up flour dust from my kitchen.

Well, I finally decided to take a chance, man up, and give the pita recipe a try.  And guess what?  It was so easy!  The hardest part was waiting for the bread to rise in the fridge overnight.  Rolling out the dough wasn't difficult at all.  I thought the dough would be sticky, but it wasn't.  In fact, I didn't have to use much flour at all, so there wasn't a lot of mess to clean up.  And it was so cool to see the finished product -- a bread that puffed up in the oven, then flattened as cooled.  The pitas were hollow inside, making them perfect for cutting in half and filling with gyro fixings.  So glad that we can now enjoy gyros with fresh pita bread again!

You can find a copy of the pita bread recipe in the cookbook Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. (I first discovered it at my local library.) Or you can google "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes pita recipe" and find versions of the recipe online. Give it a try if you're feeling adventurous.

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