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Five (5) Things I Now Know About Pita Bread

by on January 3, 2015
 

The best pita bread is pillowy, soft, sweet and served warm.

Pita bread so warm and fluffy and sweet.  Amazing.  I need me an oven pit... #breakfast  #vscocam #dubai #dbx #Lebanese #Lebanesecuisine #breads

Thank you Jedoudna, for all I’d ever known about pita bread has gone to pot.

A few days ago, we strolled down ‘The Walk’, seeking where we might feast. At Jedoudna – a Lebanese establishment, we were served basket after basket of the most delicious pita bread. 

Pita or pitta (/ˈpitə/, /ˈptə/ or/ˈpɪtə/)[1] is a soft, slightly leavened flatbread baked from wheat flour. It is used in many MediterraneanBalkan and Middle Eastern cuisines and resembles other slightly leavened flatbreads such as Iraniannan-e barbari, South Asian flatbreads and Central Asian naan, and pizza crust; Wikipedia

Here are a few things I didn’t know/ had forgotten about pita bread:

1. Didn’t Know/ Best Eaten Fresh

If you haven’t tried pita bread freshly baked, you haven’t lived should. Warm and puffed up like a pillow, the texture is soft and chewy. The taste? Wholesome with a hint of sweet. Amazing.

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Most pita are baked at high temperatures (450 °F or 232 °C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened to form a pocket. However, pita is sometimes baked without pockets and is called “pocket-less pita”; Wikipedia

2. Didn’t Know/ Pita Bread Blankets

I saw pita bread being used as ‘sponge & blanket’ – soaking up moisture and liquid from freshly grilled meats; and providing cover and insulation rather than aluminum foil alone.

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Meats lying on, and being covered with pita sheets

Fascinating. To me. How cooks discover these little tricks – each culture its own.

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3. Reminder/ Versatile

Now I think about it, I’m going to make the thought conscious – pita bread is versatile. From Wraps – sharwama, to blankets (see 2 above), to pizza, crisps – both sweet and savoury, and pockets.

4. Didn’t Know/ Makes a Fab Icecream Sandwich

Last night, we got some fresh pita bread – 20 pieces, just-baked for 10 dirhams at Jedoudna.

10 dirhams – the equivalent of Fifty Naira (₦ 50)/ twenty-seven US dollar cents ($ 0.27). That’s a give away, a dash. Unbelievable, but I guess it’s okay considering they are served like tap water – for free.

Then we walked to get icecream, and in the spirit of being in ‘Arabia’, I got Pistachio icecream. And somehow combined both. I loved the combo – icecream sandwich, Arabica.

This got me thinking of rosewater and cardamom and toasted pistachios or almonds. And thus….how this would make a great icecream cone…even for camel’s milk gelato.

Arabian icecream sandwich - pistachio icecream from Ice Factory in warm, freshly made pita bread from Jedoudna.  Delicious. Delicious. Delicious.  #vscocam #Lebanesecuisine #Arabiannights #wouldbelovelywithrosewaterandalmonds #dubai #foodcombos

Arabian icecream sandwich – pistachio icecream in warm pita

5. Reminder/ Pita Across Cuisines

Across most of the Levant and Mediterranean, flat breads exist, in slightly different forms. So far, I’ve tried Lebanese and Turkish versions. The Lebanese pitas trump.

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Sesame-sprinkled pita triangles at Kosebasi, a Turkish restaurant

The ‘pide’ – pita in Turkish is used for pizza.

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I prefer the Lebanese versions – soft, sweet and thicker than the Turkish.

Altogether lovely and I’m going to attempt to make some ‘regular’ ones when I get back home.

What is your favourite way to have pita bread? I need new recipes and tips. Thank you.