Pita pockets are really fun to make, and you can put just about any filling into them that you want. Even the healthiest of breads may have ingredients you don't really care for, so making pita pockets is a great way to have bread on hand for 'sandwiches' during the week! :o)
I have based my recipe on the pita pocket recipe on about.com, though it is not the same, as I have made some yummy additions and healthier substitutions. For this recipe you will need:
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp honey or molasses
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 2-1/2 cups bread flour
- 1-2 tbsp dried thyme
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp crushed dried onions
- Your favorite herb- (Basil is another on of my favorites and a good addition.)
Then, place your flour into a bowl and stir in yeast water mixture. I use about 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour and 1 cup of whole what flour.
Next, add oil and the rest of your ingredients.
Stir as well as you can, then mix and knead with your hand. This is where the therapeutic part of bread making begins. :o)
Separate dough into 4 to 8 balls, depending on the size of pita pockets you want, and place on cutting board to rise for about 30 minutes. You may need to dust balls with flour while shaping. This is what you should have at this point:
Now, take this time to lightly grease a cookie sheet and preheat your oven to between 450 and 500 degrees. (An alternative method is to cook them at 350- they won't puff at this temperature but they will be softer and you can cut in your own pockets, or roll veggies inside.) You will only have to cook the pita pockets for about five minutes. The higher temperature will cause them to cook quicker and rise quickly resulting in the pocket. If you bread comes out without a pocket, don't worry. Once you cut your pita bread into, you can easily cut a slit in the center of the bread halves, creating your own pocket.
Once the dough has risen and you are ready to cook your pita pockets, flatten your dough balls out to roughly the size you want your pita pockets to be, being careful not to create ones that will be too thin to have a pocket. This is how mine looked at this point:
Place in the oven and cook for about five minutes, or until done. You don't want them really crusty, but not doughy either. A good way to tell if they are done is if they are lightly brown on the bottom.
Once they are cool, cut in two. Fill with something yummy like vegetables, hummus, almond butter, or salad. Enjoy!
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