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Pocket-less Pitas

May 3, 2010

For the past few weeks, Sundays have been my baking days. I’ve tried hamburger buns and french loaf, both moderate successes that allowed me to indulge in gluten free heaven. I can’t explain what it is like to not have to eat a hamburger using two slices of toast or for a loaf of bread to not weigh 5 lbs. They may not be perfect, but they sure tasted good.

Despite my seemingly gallant attempts at baking (who really makes bread so often?) I would never call myself a baker. In fact, the laws of baking physics are so new to me that I never question a recipe. And forget about gluten free baking; when a recipe calls for 3 types of flours and starches, I turn to my handy dandy Bob’s Red Mill mix and leave it at that. Until I am more comfortable with a packet of yeast, I am afraid that baking a loaf using expensive tapioca flour could result in a failure of wallet-sized proportions.

For any new baker, I believe research is most important in getting a bread good perfectly risen and fluffy. And that is definitely what I lacked when making pita bread to accompany last night’s Greek salad. I was so excited about this, and saw a recipe on Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice that looked like perfection, that I didn’t even think to research a gluten free version. In my head, substituting some GF mix and adding a little xanthan gum, I would end up with the same pillowy pockets that accompanied her amazing poppyseed chicken salad.

Alas, I overestimated my abilities. The dough was supposed to puff up in the hot oven, creating the pocket inside. There was no puff. They were not soft, delicate flatbreads, but heartier and chewier. Once cut in half I could see where the pocket would have been, but it just didn’t take. Though my dreamy pita pockets they were not, I am proud that I made this pocket-less pita. Z claimed they still tasted good, and topped with Greek salad they were quite delicious.

Pita Bread

1 and 1/2 cups flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill mix)

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (leave out if using regular flour)

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon oil

Combine all ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes, or process for 5 minutes in the food processor.

Place dough in a Pam sprayed bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each one into a 6″ circle and place on a greased baking sheet. Let rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 500*. Put one oven rack at the bottom of the oven, the other in the middle.

Place the dough on the bottom rack and cook for 5 minutes. This is when the dough should puff up. If it has not puffed after 5 minutes let cook for a minute more. If it still doesn’t puff, the oven may not be hot enough.

After the dough has puffed, move to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 2 more minutes, or until the pitas are golden.

Remove pitas from the oven and wrap with a dish cloth to keep them soft. Store in an airtight container.

Even though these didn’t turn out 100% correct, they were still tasty and went perfectly with my Greek salad. Pocket-less pitas are still as great as the pocketed kind 🙂 For my GF friends, I would love to see if we can fix this problem! I feel there may need to be more gluten for the dough to be able to expand. And for those who live gluten-filled lives, still try this recipe. All the reviews I have read are amazing, and I hope you have better luck! Now time for some more salad, hummus, and falafel!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 6:38 am

    Baking bread is very intimidating to me. I tried it once and it didn’t rise. I’m not a very good baker. I’m better at cooking. Good luck finding a way to make it better.

  2. May 4, 2010 10:21 am

    “who really makes bread so often?”
    …I’d have to raise my hand sheepishly to that. I bake bread once or twice a week.

  3. May 4, 2010 11:25 am

    Your delicious looking bread posts really motivate me to get baking!

  4. peanutbutterfingers permalink
    May 4, 2010 1:25 pm

    i didn’t even know you could make your own pita bread… i guess i never thought about it though… 🙂 i figured you needed a special pita oven or something. 😉

  5. May 4, 2010 4:56 pm

    I have never made bread and that is why I am so amazed at your skills! It never occurred to me that I could make pita bread or any kind for that matter. Great job Sophie!

  6. May 5, 2010 9:48 am

    I am far from a bread baker so I have no advice, but I hope you can soon come up with a perfectly puffed pita that is gluten free too!

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