Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hot Pita Balloon

The compost collective I mentioned earlier inspired me to take more steps to share resources with my friends and neighbors. I put the call out on Facebook to see who might be interested in trading some of the homemade goodies we like to make for things they like to make, or things they know how to do, or for money if all else fails. We're starting slow, but I'm hopeful that we may eventually build a neighborhood economy of sorts.

Today, I baked bread for those who were interested. I made regular whole wheat loaves, and also pita for a friend who is limiting carbs in his diet. (I'm not sure, but I think pita is better because there's less carbs per serving, since it's flat?)

I put the still warm pita on the stovetop in a plastic bag to keep it soft, and the hot air from the pita made a "hot pita balloon", as my friend Zevin called it. Pretty nifty.

And here's how I make pita, in case you want to try it:

makes 8 pitas

4 c. whole wheat flour
2.5 c. warm water
1 T yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 T oil (or thereabouts. didn't measure exactly)

Mix flour and salt. Suspend yeast in water until yeast falls to bottom. Add water/yeast mixture to dry ingredients, and add oil. Mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes, and then knead well. Let rise til doubled in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Fold bread 2-3 times, and cut into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten with a rolling pin until somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch in thickness. Bake in a 425 degree oven, on a baking stone. Each pita only takes 5 minutes or so to cook, and needs to be flipped halfway through. To keep soft, store in a plastic bag.

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