Category Archives: Baking

Empanada Dough Recipe

empanada 2This week was the first time I have made empanadas.  I was hoping that I could get Max to eat them because I thought empanadas would be the perfect little packages of food.  He liked the package aspect and the flavor of this dough.  He did not go for the filling.  But we did.  That recipe will follow.

I based my recipe on one I found in the cookbook “The Latin Road Home” by Jose Garces.  It’s got some of the flakiness of pie dough but is more sturdy.

Empanada Dough Recipe

24 small empanadas

Empanada Dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. Put the flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to blend.
  2. Cut the butter up into pieces and add to the flour. Pulse until the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas.
  3. Crack the egg into a small bowl and scramble it with a fork before pouring slowly into the processor while it's running.
  4. Add the ice water to the mixture by the tablespoon while the processor is running until the dough forms a ball. You may not need all of the water, depending on the humidity of your kitchen.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a smooth clean surface and knead just enough to bring the dough together smoothly.
  6. Shape it into a flat round disc and refrigerate for an hour or up to a day.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° when you're ready to make your empanadas.
  8. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thick. Using a round cookie cutter - cut out rounds and fill, crimping the edges shut with a fork. Continue to roll out scraps until you've used up all of the dough.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.

Notes

I used a 3" cookie cutter to make my empanadas. I got about 30 appetizer sized empanadas out of it but I made a few ugly ones from the scraps that were too hard to roll out and cut. Your yield will vary depending on the size you make yours.

Optional: whip up an egg with a little water to brush over the empanadas. I did this with mine so that the cajun seasoning I sprinkled on top would stick.

You can fry these too.

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Cinnamuffin Recipe

cinnamuffinI first made this muffin when Max was a toddler and he loved them until the great food rejection began.  I got the recipe from The Bed & Breakfast Cookbook by Martha W. Murphy.  It’s a great little muffin full of oats, low in fat and sugar, and has a maple glaze.  I decided to make it for Max to try again but I knew the whole oats would be texturally repugnant to him so I came up with a revised version of this muffin by pulverizing the oats in the food processor until they were as fine as I could get them and this worked well for Max.  The result went like this:

“This tastes just like a cinnabun*!  You should give this recipe to them to make and sell.  Seriously mom, it’s THAT good!”

*I don’t think it tastes like a cinnabun but I’m perfectly happy to have him think it does.

For Max’s sake I have been making the glaze into more of a frosting and I make it fresh each time and don’t measure at all.  I will provide instructions for making the glaze how the recipe was originally meant to be (thin) and I will tell you how I have perverted it to suit Max’s needs.

Cinnamuffin Recipe

8 -ish muffins

Cinnamuffin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, pulverized in food processor to a coarse flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • butter or oil for greasing the muffin tin
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Grease a muffin tin.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients, except for the sugar, in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Mix the sugar and all the wet ingredients together.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, avoid beating the crap out of it.
  6. Fill the muffin tins about half full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then cool for a few minutes before removing the muffins.
  8. Make the glaze by madly stirring the three ingredients until they become super smooth. If you want a thicker glaze (as shown in the image) add more powdered sugar until it reaches the thickness you want. If you make a thick glaze it will cover fewer muffins, so make MORE. Capisce?

Notes

About the yield: my square muffin tin yields between 8 and 9 muffins depending on how I've divvied up the batter. If using a standard sized round muffin tin you'll be more likely to get 12.

This recipe is adapted from The Bed & Breakfast Cookbook by Martha W. Murphy.

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Hundred Dollar Vanilla Cookie Recipe

The quest to make Max things he’ll like that have less sugar and more protein in them continues.  This cookie used to be a sugar cookie.  But then I halved the sugar in the recipe.  I added quite a bit of almond flour (Ca-Ching!) to it which lends this cookie a subtle almond flavor.  Alas, it did not meet with Max’s approval but the rest of us loved this cookie enough for me to offer the recipe up for you to try.  I don’t have a big sweet tooth.  I don’t really love cookies, in general.  But this one, well, it’s pretty much perfect.

Hundred Dollar Vanilla Cookie Recipe

Makes 12 cookies.

Hundred Dollar Vanilla Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 7 oz butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In another medium bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  4. Chill the dough while the oven preheats to 350°.
  5. Make balls of dough using a heaping tablespoon and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes (or until the bottoms are golden, the tops will remain very pale).
  7. Put 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and stir vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved, . If it gets too thin, add a little more sugar, if it’s too thick add small amount of milk to thin it.
  8. When the cookies have cooled, drizzle the glaze over them generously.

Notes

This recipe started off as a sugar cookie that I adapted from America's Test Kitchen (Family Baking Book) but it now bears no resemblance to it at all. You can easily double the recipe, I don't like having lots of cookies sitting around so I made it a one cookie sheet recipe. I called these "hundred dollar vanilla cookies" because almond flour costs almost as much as gold teeth.

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Gingerbread Recipe

In my search to find things my son will eat that I can make from scratch I’ve tried all sorts of recipes for tea breads and quick breads.  He likes cornbread, which is great, but nothing else passed muster until I made the gingerbread cake from “The Family Baking Book” by America’s Test Kitchen.  This surprised me, actually, but pleased me.  I made changes to the recipe based on my own tastes such as omitting allspice which I don’t care for.  I reduced the sugar a bit and also used blackstrap molasses instead of light molasses because blackstrap is more nutrient dense.  I also played around with using whole wheat flour but the result was not good – it was slightly bitter, so I went back to using all purpose.  The original recipe calls for buttermilk but I never have that sitting around so I use regular milk.  I offer you my version of gingerbread, Max approved.

Gingerbread Recipe

Makes 2 Loaves

Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk (I usually use 2%)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Generously grease two small loaf pans.
  3. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  4. In either a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer (I use my stand mixer for this one) beat the molasses, sugar, and melted butter together. Beat in the egg until well incorporated. Add the milk and mix until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until well combined, don’t beat into a pulp. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and shake gently to distribute the batter evenly.
  6. Bake the bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Let it cool completely before removing from the pan.
  7. If you’d like to ice the gingerbread, as I have done in the picture above, put 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and stir vigorously until the sugar is completely dissolved, . If it gets too thin, add a little more sugar, if it’s too thick add small amount of milk to thin it.
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Bring on the Bread!

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but good quality bread* is getting more expensive every year.  Grain prices are going up so this isn’t surprising.  My own grocery budget is getting smaller so paying almost $4 a loaf and going through two loaves a week is $8 a week.  That’s $32 a month in bread.

We could, of course, give up bread.  There is a lot of noise out there from people evangelizing (or waxing rhapsodically at any rate) about the wonders of the Paleo diet.  Eschew all grains!  I’m all for everyone eating a diet that suits them, that makes them feel their best and if not eating grains makes you feel your best than I have no argument against it.  For you.  But I don’t view grains as evil or bad for my health.  So I continue to embrace them.

I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to bake my own bread.  My mom has decided that she wants to bake bread once a week to help us save money.  She used to bake bread in the hippie commune I was born into but that was over 36 years ago.  So she asked me to give her a refresher course.  I love the feel of bread dough, I love shaping it, punching it down, the smell of the yeast.  Then, at last, the smell of the bread in the oven is the most heavenly smell in the world.

If you haven’t baked bread before I suggest you get the book “Great Breads” by Martha Rose Shulman.  I learned to bake from that book and taught two friends to bake bread using that book.

I’m looking forward to more home baked bread!

 

*My definition of good quality means: whole grain, zero preservatives (big fat 0), made locally.  Or artisan bread for special occasions using white flour but zero preservatives and made locally.

Basic Pie and Tart Dough Recipe

I learned to make pie dough first from my mother using barley flour and for years used the one she published in her cookbook “Honey and Spice”.  The next pie dough influence was Deborah Madison‘s recipe in “Vegetarian for Everyone”.  Some of her tips proved useful in increasing my success with making a really good dough.  The last influence was Martha Stewart.  I find her instructions aren’t as good as my mom’s and Madison’s, but I like using her proportions of ingredients.

I make a really good pie dough.  This is one of my few baking talents.  Some people use slightly different butter to flour ratios for tart doughs but I use the same dough for both pies and tarts.  One way in which I disagree with almost everyone is that I don’t believe it matters whether you use salted or unsalted butter.  I dislike unsalted butter on my toast so I use what I keep on hand.  I still add salt to the flour.  Trust me, this dough is not too salty.

I also never add sugar to my crusts regardless of whether I’m making a savory or sweet pie.  Most recipes say you can add an optional teaspoon of sugar and I see no reason for it.  There are even sweeter versions of pie dough (pâte sucrée) but I never make this kind of crust because I don’t have a great sweet tooth and if my crust is full of something sugary I don’t need the crust itself to also be sugary.

Some people are intimidated by pie crusts and I don’t understand why.  As long as you have a food processor it’s both fast and easy.

Basic Pie and Tart Dough Recipe

Basic Pie and Tart Dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks of cold butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour and salt into your food processor bowl and pulse a few times to mix. Cut the sticks of butter into cubes and arrange evenly around the flour as shown below:
  2. Pulse the butter until the butter pieces are well broken up (many say “the size of peas” but the pieces will be uneven so I don’t find this useful). The photo below shows about how your flour butter mixture should look right before adding water:
  3. With the processor running add the water one tablespoon at a time in a trickle. After about 3 tablespoonfuls check the moisture of the dough to see if it’s ready or if it needs a little more water.
  4. Check the dough by taking out a small handful like this:
  5. Then squeeze it in your hand. If it retains the shape you squeezed it into when you touch it, the dough is ready to be rolled out. If it breaks apart easily then it needs a little more water, only just a little at a time. See how it looks when it’s ready in the image below:
  6. Now dump the dough onto a pastry board or clean counter top. It will be very crumbly. As quickly as you can, gather it all in a heap and press it into a ball. Do not knead it.
  7. Now you can divide it in two and roll it out.
  8. I shape each half into a flat disk, put it between two layers of wax paper and roll it out until it’s large enough to fit a 9? pie pan, I lay it over the pan, gently press the dough into it and then flute the edges. Or, I may divide the dough into different sizes to use for individual pies or tarts, but I still make flat discs of them. If you aren’t going to use the dough immediately, store in the fridge between the wax paper in a plastic bag (the plastic bag will prevent the dough from drying out).
  9. Here are some tips I follow that I find very useful in making successful pie and tart crusts:
  10. I roll out my dough into their pans right after forming the dough, I don’t wait for it to chill in the fridge. When the dough is rolled out in the pie pan and the edges are crimped I put it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before filling and baking. I do this step even if I’m planning to pre-bake the shell. Freezing it first prevents shrinkage of the dough. I also find it helps prevent the bottom of the crusts from getting soggy if you don’t pre-bake.
  11. For pre-baking I usually use kidney beans as pie weights. I keep a jar of them for this purpose. Once you’ve used the beans for pre-baking I don’t think they’re good to cook, but you can use them over and over again.
  12. Many people like to trim their tart crusts level with the top of the pan. I don’t like to do this. I prefer to build the crust up a bit higher than the tart pan. This is a rustic approach. It also prevents shrinkage of the crust and a spilling of the contents over the top. I do sometimes trim the uneven or excess dough off with scissors to get a more consistent crust thickness.
  13. If you only need enough for one pie crust you can, of course, halve the recipe. But why do that? You can wrap the extra dough tightly (or vacuum seal it) and freeze it for later.
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Tomato, Pesto, Ricotta Tart Recipe

 

Almond Biscotti: A Classic Recipe

I have met many biscotti in my life that I didn’t get along with because they tasted like cardboard.  I don’t like them too sweet either, or covered in chocolate, or filled with dried fruit and citrus rind.  I’m not sure what made me try this recipe in the first place, considering how I felt about this famous cookie at the time, but I did and it transformed my opinion.  I got the original recipe from a favorite cookbook “The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook” by Jack Bishop which I highly recommend.  His recipe calls for eggs plus a couple of egg yolks to add richness to the cookies.  While I am a fan of eggs I am not a fan of a strong yolk flavor*.  So over time I adapted this recipe to better suit my own preference.  I am offering you my version of this classic dipping cookie.

Almond Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 cup whole almonds

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and lightly toast them (about 8 minutes).   Set them aside to cool but don’t turn off the oven.  Cut parchment paper to the size of a large baking sheet.

In the bowl of your stand mixer blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl beat 3 of the eggs with the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on med-low speed add the eggs to the flour in a steady stream and keep the mixer going until the flour and eggs have been completely incorporated.

Roughly chop the almonds (I like to chop them in half so the chunks are fairly big but you can chop them a little smaller if you like).

The dough is very sticky!  Remove it from the bowl of the mixer onto a floured pastry board or your counter – you will need a pastry scraper to help you knead the dough gently (just until it’s smooth).  You will need to add more flour as you go along and may even need to rinse your hands off once or twice.

Gently knead the almonds into the dough.

Cut the ball of dough into two pieces.  One at a time, transfer each one to the parchment paper covered baking sheet and roll them out until they’re about 12″ long and flatten out so that they’re about 3″ wide.

Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and add a small splash of water.  Brush the egg wash on the outside of the dough, including the sides.

Bake in the oven (on a middle rack) for 30 minutes.

Remove the cookie loaves from the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  Let the loaves cool for a few minutes (allowing the oven to reduce in temperature as well) and then cut them up on the diagonal in approximately 1″ wide pieces.

Turn them on their sides and return to the oven for ten more minutes.  If you live in a damp climate, as I do, I recommend turning your oven off after ten minutes but let the cookies completely cool down inside the oven.  The texture of these cookies is definitely hard and crisp enough to encourage dipping, but if your air is generally a little damp then the cookies may not achieve as satisfying a dryness as is desired.  When they’ve completely cooled store them in an air-tight container.


Recipe Notes: I think the egg wash is important here, but I hate that one recipe of these only uses about half of the beaten egg.  So if you want to be extra thrifty, I suggest doing a double batch at a time.  Each recipe makes about 24 biscotti (depending on how thickly you cut them) so if 48 biscotti sounds extreme- freeze half of them for later or share them with others!  If you’re out of vanilla extract (as I am right now!) you can scrape some vanilla bean seeds into the eggs and let them sit for ten or fifteen minutes.

*So unless I get one of my friends who are excellent cooks to do a hollandaise sauce recipe for Stitch and Boots, there won’t be one.  I can’t stand any sauce made up primarily of egg yolks.  Mrs. Carlton?  Mrs. Evich?  Mrs. Lagarde?  Any of you up for the challenge?

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Because I have an excessively picky eater to feed who doesn’t eat enough protein, I am always looking for ways to get more into him.  He has a huge sweet tooth and when it was established that he likes peanut butter cookies I went on a search for the recipe with the most peanut butter and the least amount of sugar.  Naturally I had to adapt what I found and this recipe is the one that has evolved and become our standard.

 

These cookies don’t spread so you have to push them down a little bit after making them into a ball.  It isn’t necessary to make the classic hash marks with a fork, but I enjoy doing it this way.

 

Each cookie is about an inch and a half in size when baked.

This is the color the bottom should be when you take them out- a nice deep golden without being too dark or too light.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

yield: approximately 60 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups light-brown sugar

1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 oz mini chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugars together in a big bowl until they are fluffy and light yellow.  Add the peanut butter and continue beating until it is completely blended with the butter.  Next beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla.

In a separate medium-size bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually stir the flour in with the wet ingredients until completely incorporated.  Add the chocolate chips and mix them into the dough thoroughly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  To form the cookies use about a table-spoon of dough and roll it in the palm of your hand to form a ball.  Place it on the cookie sheet and flatten it gently with either a fork or your hand.

When the sheet is full, bake for 10 minutes until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown.  Cool on a rack for a couple minutes before eating.

Recipe Notes: You can make this dough using a stand mixer, as I do, using the whisk attachment for mixing the wet ingredients and a paddle for adding the flour.  If you use a mixer to cream the eggs and sugar it will take about 5 minutes on high-speed to get it to the fluffy light consistency you want.  If you’re doing it by hand be sure to use a whisk and give it the full power of your arm muscles!  If you can get it, use organic peanut butter, but if not, be sure you’re using a natural peanut butter with no added sugars or preservatives.  We store this dough in the fridge and make batches of 12 cookies at a time.  We think they’re best fresh.  The yield you get will depend on the size of cookie you make.  You can make them larger than we do if you like a bigger cookie.

Muffins: Chelsea’s Master Recipe

Chelsea muffins 2

Muffins are not difficult to make once you understand a couple of basic principles:

1.  Always mix the wet and dry ingredients separately until the very end.

2.  Do not beat the batter to death.  Mix as quickly and gently as you can or the muffins will come out tough.

Behind every excellent muffin baker there is a master batter recipe to be found.  Mrs. C, the other headmistress of the Farmhouse Finishing School, is a superb baker and she has a sense for it that goes beyond precise measurements.  It was therefore a challenge to translate her master recipe- but I managed to do it and practiced using it and I confidently present it here for you.

I have made these muffins with little substitutions and alterations and had great success with them.  I have also made them exactly as written here.  I will share with you the master recipe and then I will tell you what alterations you can make without being disappointed in the results.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

2/3 cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)

1/3 cup oil

1 1/2 cup blueberries (or other small fruits or berries)

muffins 2

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425°.   Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.  In a slightly smaller bowl mix all the wet ingredients together.  If you are using berries or chocolate chips, stir them into the dry ingredients so that they are well covered in flour.  This is important.  Do not mix in after you’ve combined the wet and dry ingredients.  Coating them with the dry flour first will help keep them separate from each other in the batter.

Coat the inside of the muffin tins with butter or oil (I recommend using the butter).

Make a little well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Quickly and gently stir the wet and dry together just until they are mixed- do not over stir.   Do not whip them together violently or you will end up with tough muffins.

Cook for about 17 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden.

 

floured berries 2

Here I have added the blueberries to the dry ingredients and stirred them in well.

mixing 2

In this picture I didn’t make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.  It isn’t necessary, but it’s recommended because it makes the incorporation of the wet and dry ingredients faster to bring together.

batter 2

Every muffin recipe I’ve ever made says to only fill the muffin tins 2/3 full.  This irritates me.  My muffins never seem satisfyingly top lofty.  I fill them mostly full.  To me they are perfect this way.  The yield may vary depending on what you add to the batter- you may get only 12 muffins or you may get 15.

blueberry muffins 2

Recipe Notes: I almost never have buttermilk on hand.  When I do buy it I always have left overs that proceed to go bad.  Mrs. C doesn’t have this problem.  She nearly always has buttermilk on hand.  Instead I use 2% milk and I can say that this substitution does not make an inferior muffin.  There is that pleasant tang when you use the buttermilk but other than a slight flavor difference, the quality of the batter can handle the substitution.
I like a lot of berries in my muffins.  So I used 2 cups of berries.  You can do this too if you like.  I think 1 1/2 might be the most ideal ratio of berries to batter but I always like going over the top.  Using frozen blueberries works exceptionally well, just be sure not to let them defrost before adding them to the batter.  You can also use blackberries, diced peaches, raspberries, or even chocolate chips.  If you use chocolate chips I recommend you only use 1 cup of them.
One last note- you may need to add a little bit more milk/buttermilk to your batter if it’s too stiff when mixed.  Things that can affect your batter are the humidity in the air and the size of your eggs.  If your batter seems too stiff, add 1/4 cup of buttermilk or milk and as gently and quickly as you can,  mix it in.

 

Pita Bread

pita2

This recipe is based on one I’ve been using from Deborah Madison’s cook book “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone” which is a book I can recommend that everyone have a copy of. It’s that good. This is an easy recipe for anyone to make, even if you’re not experienced making other breads. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven right now, before you forget. A baking stone is the best way to bake pitas, though you can use a regular baking sheet if you haven’t got one. The stone should heat up with your oven.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1 tsp honey

1 3/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for oiling the bowl for the dough)

1 1/2 cups multi-grain flour

2 cups bread flour (plus extra for kneading)

 pita1

Put two cups of water in a large mixing bowl, stir in the yeast and honey, and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile oil a bowl for the dough.
If your yeast never gets foamy it’s probably dead because you don’t bake often enough and you should use some fresher yeast.

Stir in the salt and olive oil, then beat in the multi-grain flour until smooth. Add the remaining flour in small increments until the dough is too heavy to stir. Turn it onto a counter and knead it, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is supple and and smooth. Form it into a ball and put it in the oiled bowl, turning it to be sure the top is oiled. Cover with towel and set aside until doubled in bulk which should take about an hour.

Punch the dough down and divide it into 8 pieces if you want large pitas, or 16 pieces if you want smaller pitas. I like the smaller ones better because they are the perfect size for a mini pizza for one. Roll each piece into a ball and set them all aside covered by a damp towel or do as I do and just leave them lying around the counter until it’s time to roll them out. At this point preheat the oven at 475 degrees. Let the dough rest while the oven preheats.

When the oven is ready I roll out as many pitas as I can fit on my baking stone, which is 4 if I’m making large ones, or 6 if I’m making the smaller ones. Place each one on the baking stone and let them cook for a bout 3 minutes each. Mine never completely puff up and I don’t know the reason why. Generally speaking each one will at least partially puff up and the occasional one will completely puff up. I check the bottoms of the pitas to see if they’re done- they should have only the slightest golden coloring on the bottom.

I roll out the next batch while I’m waiting for the current one to cook. If you happen to have an enormous kitchen you could roll them all out at once, but then you must not stack them on top of each other or they will stick together.

Let the hot pitas cool down on a cooling rack high enough up that my dog doesn’t eat them.