Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets via TR (8-6″ pita pockets)
  • 1 1/4 c. luke warm water
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. granulated sugar
  • 2 3/4 c. stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. gluten
  • 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast

– – –

  1. Preheat oven to 500F. Combine the warm water, oil, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add 1 c. of the whole wheat flour, gluten, and yeast to the water mixture to form a soft dough. Then, pinch in / knead the remaining flour. Not all of the flour will want to combine with the dough, but that’s alright…no additional flour will need to be added when rolling out the pitas later! Once the dough forms, tightly cover the bowl with saran wrap & cover the bowl with 2-3 kitchen towels.
  3. After about one hour, remove the towels and saran wrap. Gently punch the dough, and then evenly divide the dough into 8 pieces.
  4. Form the 8 pieces of dough into rounds. On a clean surface, roll the rounds into ~6″ circles. 
  5. Cover the rolled out dough with a few kitchen towels again, and let them sit for another 30 minutes to slightly puff.
  6. Bake the pitas one at a time on a clean cooling rack for exactly TWO minutes. DO NOT open the oven during that time!!! 
  7. Take the pita out of the oven– it will be puffed like a sphere. In between the layers of pitas place a damp paper towel to fully cover the pita, this is VERY important! With the paper towel covering the pita, gently press down on the pita to release internal air.
  8. Let the pitas cool completely with the damp paper towels before saran-wrapping them for storage :)

Bread Failure No. 1

I’ve never made yeasty bread loaves ever in my life, ever. I have used yeast in other spectra of baking, so I’m not afraid of the darn thing. It’s never failed me until today. I tried making some 100% stone ground whole wheat bread. Of course I didn’t take into account of how proteinaceous stone ground flour could be until a quarter of a way through the making. Basically, I didn’t realized until the dough was formed. I really don’t know all the rules of bread making, but my common baking senses sparked and told me that I probably needed more moisture, yeast, and/or gluten. I knew this stiff ball of dough was no way going to rise as much as I wanted it to. Whole wheat flour is heavy. Stone ground whole wheat flour is even more heavy. I knew that enough air would not be formed. Before the kneading begun, I knew the texture was off and that my dough wasn’t going to produce a nice and fluffy bread. I decided to just go along with it, and of course it yielded the densest bread I’ve ever had in my life, LOL. Fortunately for me, I LOVE BREAD. Well, it’s actually a very very unfortunate thing. I had several pieces of my “bread,” and it came out exactly as I predicted. I probably would never eat this thing if it came from else where, but it was “bread,”  made with my love, and it was warm out of the oven. I couldn’t help myself. After a couple minutes, I tossed it all in the garbage. It was sooo aromatic, but I’m embarrassed to keep it around. I should have know better…or should have listened because I knew it!

This…which is really confusing because flours with high protein content are supposedly better for yeast-bread baking. After all, bread flour is high in protein. For whatever scientific reason, my dough recipe wasn’t going to work & that’s all I knew. I’ll figure out the details shortly here. Better luck next time! JK, I’ll be more bread-knowledgeable next time I decide to make bread, which will be soon. Actually, I just need to clarify the differences between all the flours.