Pita Bread and Hummus

Pita Bread Rising

This Pita Bread is about 1000 times better than store bough pita, which I didn’t like before I tasted this.  We make it quite often around here and keep it in the freezer as it reheats beautifully.  This calls for bread flour but if you don’t have any available you could sure use all purpose.  I’m adding the Hummus recipe at the end cause, well, the two go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Sure, there are a plenty of store bought hummuses out there, but this is also better than store bought, cheaper and super easy to whiz up. If you don’t have tahini on hand, (sesame seed paste), you can also use peanut butter–it makes a great kid friendly version.  This hummus has toasted pine nuts and toasted cumin seeds on top, you can change up the nuts, leave them off, whatever.  I also, almost always, drizzle this with some good quality olive oil or our herb infused olive oil which I posted on the blog in late March.   https://www.juniperhillsfarm.com/herb-infused-olive-oil/

Pita Bread

Makes 8-10

 

2 cups warm water (80°)

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

3 3/4 cups bread flour

1/4 cup rye flour

1 tablespoon salt

 

1 1/2 cups bread flour

 

Combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil.  and let sit while mixing flour. In a separate  medium sized bowl, combine 3 3/4 cups bread flour, rye flour and salt. Using a rubber spatula, slowly pour in the yeast mixture, stirring to combine.  At this point you have 1 1/2 cups of bread flour remaining.  Pour this flour out onto a clean work surface. Turn dough out into the center of the pile of remaining and flour and beging to knead this flour into the dough.  Fold the dough in half towards you, and then push dough away from you with the heels of your hand.  Turn dough a quarter turn, and repeat kneading.  Knead till dough is smooth, and the flour has been incorporated into the dough, about 8 minutes.  Place dough in a clean floured bowl,  cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  

 

Remove dough from bowl and knead for about a minute.  Divide dough into 8 –10 equal portions.  Shape pieces into balls, but don’t overwork.   Place on a floured sheet pan, cover and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 500°Place a baking stone* in oven while oven preheats.  Using a rolling pin, roll dough balls into circles, about 8″ across and about 1/8” thick. Transfer the dough one or two at a time to the hot stone. Bake for about 3-5 minutes, watching carefully.  They will poof up and brown lightly. If you’d like these pitas not to have a “pocket”, dock the dough rounds before baking by poking lightly with a fork across the surface of the round. This will make the bread remain thicker and pocketless.  These dough rounds will keep in the freezer for about a month.  Let cool thoroughly and then place in a zip top bag.  I like to warm them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or you can warm on a sheet pan in the oven.

Hummus with Pine Nuts

Humus with Toasted Cumin Seeds and Pine Nuts

makes about 4 cups

two 19-ounce cans chick peas

 4-6 garlic cloves

 2/3 cup well stirred tahini

 2/3 cup water

 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

3 tablespoons pine nuts-optional

 1 teaspoon cumin seeds-optional

 In a colander rinse and drain chick peas. In the bowl of a food processor, purée with garlic until everything is well mixed and chick peas are smooth. Add tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, cayenne and olive oil.  Purée until smooth.  If needed, drizzle in a few additional tablespoons of water to smooth out hummus.

If using seeds and nuts on top, toast them in a small, dry skillet, over low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until nuts are golden and seeds are fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve hummus topped with seeds and nuts, if using and a drizzle of olive oil or infused herb oil.