Here are a few ways you can make bread using your pots and pans. Welcome to my new series for ‘Flat Breads Around The World’. This recipe shows you how to make pita bread using your Meyer Frying Pan from the Spark Collection.
The word ‘pita’ comes from Greek, and it means ‘pie’. Pita is a thick, round flat bread usually found in Middle Eastern cuisine, and eaten with several dips like hummus, tzatziki and baba ganoush. It is normally made with yeast, flour and water. I’ve added some olive oil, sugar and salt to the recipe to enhance the gluten forming properties and flavour of this bread so it is frying pan worthy.
Frying pita over the stove-top is not the traditional method of how this is cooked because pita bread is usually baked in the oven.
When I was developing this recipe, I used 2 cups of whole-wheat flour. My pitas did not puff up the way I wanted it. I tried again using 1 cup of strong bread flour, and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and it turned out beautiful and puffy. The strong bread flour allows stronger gluten formation, with more carbon dioxide in the gluten structure. This helps the pita to puff.
The Resting Time
Please follow the instructions for the resting time in this recipe if you want your pitas to perfectly puff. The resting time is so important. Every time you roll out the dough, you release the carbon dioxide. This deflates the gluten network. When cooked, the dough will most likely go flat. In order for your dough to rise and expand when it is in contact with heat, you need to have carbon dioxide to increase the gluten network.
Your frying pan should be hot enough before you cook your pita. An easy way to check if it is hot enough is to sprinkle a few drops of water onto the pan and if it sizzles off the pan, it’s ready. Cooking the pita when the frying pan is not hot enough will decrease the chances of the pita from puffing up
The Third Flip
Below, I have written that it will take about 3 flips for you to see the puff appear. When you first place the pita in the pan, that is counted as the first flip. You can flip it over once you see small bubbles forming on the surface of the pita. This will most likely appear after 30 seconds (each flip, if your pan is hot enough). You may have to test it out with the first pita to get a hang of the technique here.
Once you make your own bread at home, you will never want to buy store-bought again. It’s a game changer (of course, if time permits).
Easy Frying Pan Pita Bread
- 2 Mixing bowls
- 1 Whisk
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp yeast
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup warm water
- Mix the water, yeast and sugar together in one bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the the 1 cup of strong bread flour, and leave this aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to 'activate'. You will notice some bubbles forming around the edges of the mixing bowl. That is when the yeast is 'active'. If you don't see this, that means your yeast is 'dead', and you need to buy new active yeast to incorporate into this recipe.
- Once the yeast is 'active', add the remaining 1 cup of whole-wheat flour, oil and salt.
- Gently knead this dough for about 3 minutes and then leave it for one hour to rest in the mixing bowl with a towel over the top (so the dough doesn't dry up)
- Once the dough as doubled in size, roll the dough into a long log shape and split it up into 8 equal parts.
- Let the dough 'balls' rest for another 5 minutes before rolling them out
- Roll each dough ball into 1/4 inch circles and let it rest for another 10 minutes. If you're wondering why there are so many steps for the dough to rest, please see the 'NOTES' section of this recipe. Trust me, it's important for the dough to 'rest'
- Once the perfect circles have rested for 10 minutes, you can now fry them in a frying pan (with no oil)
- Heat up the Meyer Frying Pan until it is hot enough. You will know it is hot enough when you spritz a few droplets of water and it sizzles off the pan.
- Fry the first side of the pita until you start seeing bubbles at the very top of the pita
- Flip it over until the other side starts to slightly bubble
- On the third flip, you should certainly see the whole pita puff up. If you see half of the pita puff, gently press your spatula down on the bubble part of the pita until the air transfers over to the other 'flat' side of the pita.
- Flip it over the fourth time, and fry for another 10 seconds before taking it off the heat
- Place your gorgeous pitas in a dry towel to ensure the moisture is locked in and the pitas don't dry up and harden.
- Serve with delicious red pepper hummus, tzatziki or baba ganoush or avocado hummus.