Pita Bread with Houmous

27 Jun

Bread scares me!  It really does.  It’s one of those food stuffs where the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts.   To get to the whole however,  you have to put the parts though a series of steps that have become quasi-religious with superstitions and myths.  There are just so many factors to take into account and so many places where it can go wrong; The kneading, over proving, under proving, too much salt, the temperature of the water, the temperature of the oven, GAH!  It’s enough to make you rush out to your local bakery.

But this is one fear I want to conquer. I want to fill my house with the smell of baking bread.  I want great golden crusts to take centre place at my dinner table and I want to smile smugly when people asked me where I buy my bread.  Most of all though I want to eat that first hot, butter-melted slice of bread.   I’m going to start small with this pita bread recipe and its ubiquitous companion houmous , but watch this space. I WILL conquer bread!

For the Pita Bread:

  • 225 gm of white bread flour
  • 7 gms of instant yeast
  • 1 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 a tsp of salt
  • 160 ml of luke warm water

For the Houmous:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 Tbs of Tahini
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbs of lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs of olive oil
  • Cumin to taste (about 1 tsp)

Add the flour, olive oil, salt and yeast to a large bowl and mix well.  Slowly add the water a bit at a time and stir until it comes together in a sticky dough.  Place the dough onto a well floured surface and kneed the dough for ten minutes.  Time this!  It isn’t something you want to skimp on.

After ten minutes of kneading, the dough should be considerably smoother and it should spring back if lightly poked.  Place it in a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour.

After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size.  Punch it back down and then divide the dough into six to eight balls.  Cover the balls and leave them to rest for five minutes and then, on a floured surface, roll them out into flat circles.  The circles should be no more than five mm high. Cover the circles with a tea towel or cling film and leave to prove for a further thirty minutes.  At this stage, heat the oven to 230°C and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

This would be the perfect time to make the houmous.  I must apologise for not having any pictures on the houmous, but there really isn’t much to photograph.  Drain the chickpeas, but keep the liquid back in reserve.  Add all the ingredients for the houmous into a food processor or blender and turn it on.  Once it has combined, slowly add the reserved chickpea liquid a bit at a time until you get the desired texture.   Taste the oh-so-awesome,  creamy goodness and add more cumin or salt to taste.

After thirty minutes, place the dough rounds on the hot baking tray and put the tray back in the oven.  Bake the pitas for six minutes if you like a light soft crust and for ten if it’s a crispier brown crust you want.

The dough will poof up and make gorgeous pillowey pockets of dough.  Serve with houmous, or slice open the top and fill with your favourite filling for a great sandwich.

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20 Responses to “Pita Bread with Houmous”

  1. Stephanie Buss June 27, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Wow looks great, once you’ve got the feel of bread there is really nothing better. Add all sorts of bits and bobs, then it’s no longer just bread.

    • fudgingood June 27, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Thank you! Here’s hoping the next experiment goes well. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  2. sushicurious June 27, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Nice pitta. I sometimes speed up kneeding process by use the French kneeding technique. You slap it down then pull it over itself. The end result is also better than standard kneeding. The dough becomes very elastic.

    • fudgingood June 27, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks and thanks for the tip, I’ll definitely give it a try next time. Like I said watch this space.

  3. sophia June 28, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    The pitas look fantastic and I love that you made your own houmous – once I realised how simple (and tasty) it is to make your own houmous there is no going back to store-bought!

    As for exploring the world of bread-baking – I cannnot recommend the no knead bread recipes enough (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html) – so easy to work with, perfect to fit around a busy job and the bread tastes absolutely fantastic! ((I have just found a recipe for no knead brioche which I am playing with at the moment.) And, as a good introductory book, try Richard Bertinet’s book “Dough” – recipes for bread, pizza, pastries etc.

    Good luck!

    Sophia

    • fudgingood June 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Thank you so much for the tips and the kind words.

  4. B.L. June 29, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Oooh yummy! This post made me hungry!! I could eat hummus and pita all day long 🙂

  5. ohshineon July 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    This looks delicious… I’ve always wanted to try making pita bread!

    • fudgingood July 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks, it was seriously fun watching them poof up in the oven.

  6. Madie July 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Oh, I have got to try these!
    I am also keen to try baking my own bread – there is nothing like a warm slice of bread right out of your own oven.

  7. talkingaboutfoodagain July 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Hummus and pitta bread are always better home-made and worth the effort. Yours turned out beautifully.

  8. P. K. Newby July 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Thanks for visiting The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen & the like on my recent post. I appreciate it. This is lovely! Making fresh bread is so rewarding. I have a video blog for hummus in the works as well, so easy, right? Re. bread, you might consider at some point trying white whole wheat flour, which would increase the nutritional value of the pita and retains some of the finer texture of white flour. Just a thought! More on the link below. Cheers, PKN http://blog.pknewby.com/2011/10/06/the-whole-grain-truth/

  9. heatandcrust July 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Great post! You have no idea how much I can identify with this – not least of which because I just went through the incredibly lengthy process of making homemade hummus. It’d been on my culinary bucket list for a while. You didn’t happen to read Felicity Cloake’s piece on it in the Guardian, did you? It worked a treat for me 😀
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/aug/11/how-to-make-perfect-hummus

    • fudgingood July 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Thanks for the great link, I hadn’t read it, but I’m really glad you posted it here. Definitely a worthwhile read. Thanks again.

      • heatandcrust July 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        Don’t mention it 😀 She (Felicity Cloake) writes a series of these kind of exploratory recipes – they’re definitely worth a look. The only thing is, she’s annoyingly got dibs on my dream job!

      • fudgingood July 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

        😀

  10. Sìle December 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    I’m tempted, but on the two occasions I attempted to make my own houmous using canned chickpeas, it tasted revolting and I threw away the lot; an expensive experiment given the availabilty of cheap, ready-made, multi-flavour infused houmous.

    Still, yours looks very appetising.

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