It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!
I made shakshouka, but this post isn’t about the shakshouka. In fact, it’s about the pita in the background, which I made.
Did you know how cheap it is to make your own pita? Had I known how cheap it was, I’d never have bought those commercial pita. Plus, home-made ones are so much fluffier! Seriously, the initial crunch and then the yield of the white, soft fluffy interior is so luxurious, I could sleep in it.
Let me break down the cost it takes to make pita:
- 1 lb all-purpose flour costs maybe $1 – 1.50. A 1lb bag yields about 7 cups of flour. The recipe I used to make the pita uses 3.5 cups of flour to make 12 pita, so 24 pitas for $1 – 1.50.
- 3 packets of active dry yeast for $1, and it’s 1 packet for 12 pita, so 60 cents for 24 pita.
- Salt, sugar, and olive oil, which are hard to calculate.
So it’s approximately $1.60 – $2.10 to make 24 pita, when most commercial pita sells for, I don’t know, $1 – 2 for 8? This makes it a cost of $3 – 6 for 24, nearly triple the price. Plus most commercial pita are quite tough and flat.
This is the recipe I used, from allrecipes.com.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup shortening
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a mixing bowl and allow to stand until the yeast forms a creamy foam, about 5 minutes. Mix in 2 cups of flour, salt, and shortening; beat for 2 minutes with a fork. Stir in as much of the remaining 1 1/2 cup flour as needed.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, kneading in more flour if dough is sticky. Form into a ball, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest in a warm area for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
- Divide dough into 12 equal portions; flour your hands and roll each piece into a ball. Cover dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Flatten the balls into rounds on a floured surface, cover with kitchen towel, and let rest 10 more minutes. Gently roll each dough ball into a circle about 6 inches in diameter on a floured surface. Place pita breads in a single layer on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven until the pita breads puff up, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip breads over with a spatula, return to oven, and bake 2 more minutes. Let cool on wire racks before cutting pita breads in half and gently separating tops and bottoms to form pockets for filling.
I didn’t have shortening, so I altered the recipe and used somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of olive oil instead. I ended up using all 3.5 cups of flour. The trick to fluffy pita is to really just give them time to rise. Total time taken is about 1 hour 20 – 30 minutes.
Of course I understand that not everybody has the luxury of time to splurge on making pita, when the convenience of just buying them from the store appeals so much more to the time-pressed. But I assure, that oh-so-soft fluffiness of home-made pita is worth it, the lack of preservatives in it makes it healthier too.
So I made a batch of 12, I’m not going to be able to finish all of it in one sitting. I figure it’ll keep fairly well in the fridge in a ziploc bag until when I need it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some fluffy pitas to roll around in.