Accidental Pita Bread

I have tried to make pita bread a few times by following recipes. All attempts resulted in good flat bread, but no puffy pitas. 

When I was first learning how to work with various forms of bread dough, recipes were extremely helpful in understanding both the finesse and mechanics of how to execute a variety of different types of breads. 

Once I'd gotten in enough experience from following recipes, I abandoned using them. I just enjoy it so much more doing it by feel and instinct. I also get pretty good results most of the time.

But when I went to make a pizza type flat bread, I somehow accidentally wound up with pitas. Which is especially funny given that all my intentional attempts at pita were unsuccessful. 

My accidental pita, however, was awesome!

And now I know how to make it on purpose for the future. It's surprisingly simple. Don't let those complex internet recipes mislead you. 

For some reason I decided to crank the oven up to 475 F instead of the 450 that I usually use for flat breads and that is, no doubt, the main reason the dough puffed up so nicely. 

Now, it's my understanding that generally pizza is cooked at a high temp and is made from the same dough. Yet that stays flat. I had no idea it only stayed flat because of the toppings!

I baked my 'pizza' dough naked. I guess that's the other reason that I accidentally made pita. 

Other than that, I just made a standard yeast based pizza dough. Although, I do like to season my dough inside and also outside. I just like the look and the taste better. 

The dough is still really basic. 

4 cups ap flour
1 1/2 cups warm water (99-110 F)
1/2 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2  tbls olive oil
3 tbls nutritional yeast powder
1 tbl garlic powder
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
1 tbl salt

Bloom the yeast in the water and sugar for 5 minutes

Meanwhile, stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Glass bowls provide the easiest clean up afterward. 

Add the oil to the dry mix. Add the yeast mixture too. 

Stir to form a pretty firm dough. 

My flour measurement is approximate. I always just add more as needed until the dough is no longer sticky and is able to be kneaded without sticking to your hands or the kneading surface. 

Knead the dough until it becomes resistant. About 5 minutes. 

Set aside in the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1.5 hours. 

Dust surface and dough ball with flour. Punch down and form into a ball. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and then roll flat with a rolling pin. 1/4 inch thickness. 

Arrange on a baking tray. I line my baking trays with aluminum foil for easy clean up. I did not grease the foil. 

When oven has reached 475 F bake for 13-15 minutes or until nicely browned.

I did not open the oven at all during baking. I suspect that probably helped too. 

Brush with seasoned oil after removing from the oven. 

Seasoned Oil
2 1/2 tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 small garlic cloves
1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes

Microwave in a mug or ramekin for 30 seconds.


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