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Wholemeal Pita bread, in all of ten minutes!

by on January 8, 2010
 

You can hear the pride in my voice – ‘It happened at the gym’, I say as I hobble about in my sneaker-clad feet. That way, no one can curse me for having a fat behind and not doing anything about it.  IMG_7587 Well perhaps, except P, my esteemed colleague, who lets me know I look like Paddington bear! What a compliment; to which I respond, ‘Oh thanks, I’m fat’ and he says ‘No you’re not’. Paddington wasn’t fat; he was a bear who came from Peru, sent by Aunt Lucy!!!!!!!

Paddington Bear in a London phone box Paddington Bear in a London phone box

I say to him, ‘Have you seen a slim bear?’ He says ‘If someone calls me Paddington, I would feel honoured for the bear is more svelte than rotund, loveable and popular with the ladies’! Very reassuring for me. Actually, it was freezing in my office on this fortuitous day I’d forgotten to bring my red fleece to work and sat in my swivel chair, with my duffel coat on.

But then I cast my mind back to the photo of Paddington I’d taken in London so long ago and I remembered he had on a cool blue duffel coat….kind of like mine, save for the difference in colours! At that point I said to P, ”oh, I remember now that he does have a coat on ”Believe me, there will be no cookies and cakes for this fella in 2010, maybe macarons and other delights but….we’ll have to see how this progresses.

Paddington BearWhen in the Autumn, I got a bit tired of walking and took up gyming, I attacked it full on. Getting out of bed, getting dressed and heading straight for the treadmill was the best thing that could have happened to me, till I stopped because of a pain in my ankle that refused to go away and caused me problems. For weeks, I would sit down and once I stood up, for the first 30 – 60 seconds I would have problems walking. After a month or so, it stopped. Till Friday night, New year’s day and Bridget Jones diary.

IMG_7669Lounging in my husband’s orange recliner, I put my feet up with total and careless abandon while Bridget and Darcy traded nasty comments between themselves. During the ‘break’, I stood up to get my crying son out of bed, upstairs and found my right foot completely buggered, so much so that I had to crawl up the stairs – quite a funny sight.

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Anyhow, it turns out on Monday  morning that I have torn a ligament in my foot. So much so for my walking 3 times a week, hobbling is far more appropriate! So, if you ever need a banner raised up as to why it is a good idea to ditch the gym, look no further, you’ll see me raising my board up and being a serious fashion guru in sneakers…..at work!!!!! Hmmm, my New Balance walking shoes will finally get their money’s worth in the next few weeks for they’ll have no choice but to provide the ample support required to mend the torn ligament in my right foot!

Please don’t talk about inefficiency or ineptitude. I tried.IMG_8909On a great note, here is a great bread recipe that will cause no damage, especially as it is made with whole-grain flours, keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and requires little or no kneading!

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Adapted from Zoe and Jeff’s recipe and using tips from my King Arthur’s Wholegrain Baking book, p. 150.

I made half the quantity in this recipe and I used semolina flour ’cause I didn’t have any white flour at home!

For the pita breads:

First thing I did was place my pizza stone in the oven. My dear pizza stone, which I bought in Copenhagen, complete with peel for about 12 euros! I was ecstatic. If you’re like me :-) (and why you should be, I don’t know), you will have a mental list of things you’re looking for (…cheap!)

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To be honest, I’ve been looking for a pizza stone for ages. When we went to Rome, I searched and on return home to the Netherlands, I did the same, to no avail. My final plan, which never materialised was going to a DIY shop to get some unglazed terracotta tiles but I was a bit nervous about that.

So when I saw it in Copenhagen for peanuts, I snapped it up, without my usual dilly-dallying and hand-carried it home, giving the air steward strict instructions that nothing was to happen to it when he took it over to the front because it wouldn’t fit into the overhead lockers! Thankfully, it made it unscathed.

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So, put your pizza stone on an oven rack, placed at the bottom (the stains on the stone are signs of serious use….. great pizzas have been had!). If you don’t have a stone, use an oven tray! Preheat the oven to about 230 degrees Centigrade (about 450 degrees Fahrenheit).

IMG_7543Let that heat up for 10 minutes then start preparing the dough by flouring the top and snipping up a bit of dough.

IMG_6918To this dough, add a teaspoon of olive oil and knead it in.

IMG_6915Next, divide up the dough into as many portions as you would like. Each should be about the size of a small orange.

IMG_6920Then on a lightly floured surface, roll out the balls, and be minimalist with the flour, using only what is necessary (unlike me!).

IMG_7541I shaped mine into longish ‘flatbreads’, which were about 1/4 inch thick. When done, lightly flour peel and place bread shapes on, then slide onto stone.

IMG_7542After a few minutes, you should notice the pita breads start to balloon…though I haven’t quite accomplished the ‘Levant’ pillows but I will continue trying!

IMG_7545Let bake 3 minutes on either side and then remove from oven.

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Turn oven off and let stone cool down. Stack and wrap pita breads in a tea cloth so they stay soft. They may not look like a $1 million, but they taste wonderful!

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When ready, split open to fill;

IMG_7694Or use as bread sticks and enjoy with a tasty dip, like say, for instance Muhammara or Hummus!!!!!!!

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If not using immediately, keep in tea towel or freeze!

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I’m sending this on to yeast-spotting, a weekly showcase of yeasty and bready recipes!

What do you think? Will you at least try the bread dough….even if not this pitas? It is so easy…….come on, give it a go!!!!

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  • January 21, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Ahh treadmills! Those things gave me hamstring problems so much that I’ve banned them from my workout routines. I hope your foot is all better now.

    I might just try the dough. I used to make homemade bread before business travel beckoned. I just resumed for those rare weeks when I’m home, but I’ve relegated bread making to a machine. I just might go back to using my hands just to get homemade pita bread.

    P.S. Humus in the truth and your pictures are amazing.

    Reply

  • January 6, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Just wanted to let you know; our British version of the first book is released today by Random House/Ebury. It’s on Amazon UK at http://amzn.to/eLs1r1 Metric units & wts

    Reply

  • January 13, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Oh dear – sorry to hear about your foot! You can be the poster-girl for the anti-exercise movement :) Hope it’s feeling better…

    The pitas look amazing – all warm and pillowy. Yum!

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  • kiss my spatula
    January 12, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    oh no, i hope you’re feeling better and your torn ligament heals quickly. poor thing, hope you’re not in too much pain. i love a good pita, and especially one that’s good for you, too.

    Reply

  • January 10, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    Have given you a little award – check out my blog! 😀

    Reply

  • January 10, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Sarah, it is easy….truth be told! And the cast-iron pizza looks great too. Thanks.

    Celia,thanks dear. I’ll just stay away from the gym….how’s that?

    Mamatkamal, Thanks

    Ha, ha, ha Velva….sponsoring the gym! Nicely put. I’m so looking forward to ALL the cooking :-). LOL.

    Trissa, it is that simple. I am itching to clear out fridge space so I can make some more!

    Thanks Zurin, foot’s much better.

    Meg,sorry to hear of your sticky stone. I usually put the stone in the oven while it preheats, for about 15 minutes. Anyhow, hope you find your peel. This wasn’t at all yeasty, especially since it had proved for a while, but at a slow rate too.

    Reply

  • January 10, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Ohhh! Wonderful. Everything always sticks to my pizza stone. I think I need to get a peel like you. This recipe looks pretty great, I tried a wholemeal recipe once and it turned out very yeasty.

    Reply

  • January 10, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    That pitta looks as healthy as it can get! N I love paddington bear . i hope u get better soon. xoxo zurin

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  • January 10, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Is that it? Wow! SO simple to do – I’d love to be able to make my own pita at home at take it to work for lunch! Thank you for sharing this recipe and also – I love Paddington Bear! and lastly… get well soon!

    Reply

  • January 10, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Your post made me smile…I spent most of my year sponsoring the gym instead, of going. Since November, I decided I better get my money’s worth.
    I hope your ankle heals soon. You have lots of cooking to do! Love that whole wheat pita too. Very nice. Glad you finally found your pizza stone.
    Until later.

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Thank you for your kind comment. I love pita bread but never tried it before. With that post, you made it sound doable and easy to make. Thanks for step by step photos.
    Sorry you’ve hurt yourself.
    Cheers

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Oh, I’m so sorry you’ve hurt yourself! Relieved to hear that it’s on the mend though. I walk on the treadmill too, and my podiatrist gave me a big lecture about how powerwalking is unnatural and hard on your feet. He maintained that we should all walk more slowly and preferably outside, and that if you wanted to get your heart-rate up, you should do it by very gentle jogging on your toes. Of course, jogging made my knees pack it in, so that won’t work either! :)

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Another blog I read had a clever solution to the pizza stone problem that I might try since I can’t afford a stone. Use a cast iron skillet instead. How ingenious!

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Thanks for posting the video as well. The five minute bread is something I have been hearing about a lot lately. Ingenious! It looks so easy.

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Ankle update – It is much improved. Thanks for your care and concern. Feels good to get so much attention :-).

    Sarah, Thank you. I will check this out and probably have to tell the Dr :-). Making bread is great, isn’t it? I’ll have to try the Fougasse soon! Glad you like Paddington, I like him too!

    Thanks Sophia, hope it helps.

    Annemarie lieverd, it is going better. Kusje!!!

    Daily Spud, I so, so, so agree! 5 minute bread dough is amazing. I can’t believe it, after years of SLAVING with long kneading and rising, bliss at last.

    Angie, with cakes, we’ll always have white flour but let’s try when we can.

    Kate dear, gyms are dangerous, especially for people who don’t know how! You do need the vital wheat gluten if using wholewheat flour because it has the protein which wholegrains lack. This results in a much lighter loaf as opposed to the dense, brown loaves we’re used to with just wholewheat.

    I have a whole bag, which my sis got me from the States so I’ll put some in a little zippy, ok?

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Ouch! I always said that gyms were dangerous places. Umm hmm. I knew it. Take care of yourself, ok?

    Do you reallyreally need the wheat gluten? ’cause I haven’t seen any of that around here! I’m tempted to try it without it, because it looks like such an easy dough to make and to keep around.

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  • January 9, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I like 10-minute-pita….wholewheat is good. Have been eating too much white flour, time to start eating healthy.

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  • January 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Ouch – those gyms are dangerous places :) Hope your ankle improves soon! Meanwhile, I need to get back into the swing of making batches of 5-minute bread dough, the thought of almost instant homemade instant pitas is just so tempting…

    Reply

  • Annemarie
    January 9, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    LOL happened at the gym… well sweetie…. I didn’t make it to the gym this week… but went ice skating !!! hope all is going better… kusje Annemarie

    Reply

  • sophia
    January 9, 2010 at 5:00 AM

    Oh no! Hope your ankle heals asap! But on the bright side, maybe you can get some pampering! :-)

    I’ve been obsessed with pitas lately…this post is a gem!

    Reply

  • January 9, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Are you sure it’s torn ligament? What you are describing sounds like Plantar Fasciitis which I suffered from about 18 months ago. Extreme pain on getting up from sitting, even for just few minutes but subsides within a minute or so. I was told to always wear slippers indoors, never walk barefoot on cold floors and to stretch calf muscles in bed in mornings before getting up. It really helped and after suffering for months it went away.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantar_fasciitis

    They used to sell pizza stones in John Lewis years ago when Delia said we needed them but I haven’t seen one lately. I would like one too! I keep seeing this Zoe book mentioned, I need to look on Amazon and see if it’s here in the UK as it’s sounds great. I made my first “bread” before Christmas, the fougasse and I was bowled over by how great the pay back was for so little work. Oh yes and I love Paddington.

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Thanks for all your kind comments!

    Beth, I really should try yoga. Lets see how this month goes!

    Fantastic Rebecca, I love the book….

    Diva – Thanks. I am not always jolly :-), often teary and trying daily to be grateful, but needing just a bit more cash!!!!

    Beth dear, thanks. Check out yeast-spotting please!

    Krista, relaxing…hmmm, not quite. Still have to work, feed the family, cook, blog, sleep, shop. Isn’t life good? Thanks for your wishes.

    Kari, thanks. A tea towel is more a less a kitchen napkin, nothing at all special!!!!

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    I really do love pita…however I’ve never tried making it! I may have to. What is a tea towel? We don’t have those here…or at least they are called something else.

    I hope your foot heals quickly!

    Reply

  • Krista
    January 8, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Oh, I love these!! Can’t wait to try them — mmm, maybe this weekend. :-)

    So sorry your crippled up for a few weeks! Hope you heal soon and get some lovely relaxing done in the meantime. :-)

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    I hope you feel better soon! Sports injuries are no fun, but once your body heals you’ll be back at it! And thanks for the link to yeast spotting!

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    cool! i want a pizza stone too, and for 12 euros. score! :) Oh you crack me up. i love the way you write because you always seem so jolly. Beautiful pictures and fantastic recipe :) a real keeper.

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    oh wow cool I just got this book and my bread making supplies this post will help hope your foot feels better soon

    love ya

    Rebecca

    Reply

  • January 8, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    Oh I hope your ankle gets better soon babe! I’d really like to suggest yoga if you’ve not tried it before. It really helped me with my bad knee! I’ll have to try this recipe out soon. Your pics are great!

    Reply

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