Monday, February 06, 2012

Ross' Pita Bread

Okay, so I just want to remind you all that this is not a traditional preparation for pita, though it is quite good. He's got the hydration perfectly set to make pockets instead of the more dense styles of bread that don't puff as much. This recipe is written for use with a liquid type starter (though you could substitute water for the starter and add yeast). If y'all need a recipe for that, say so and I'll post my mother's. Hope you enjoy!

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup each: all-purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour (you may use different configurations of this, but I think he set it this way to off-set the protein content of the whole wheat with the AP)
1 tablespoon salt
4 ounces beer (Lonestar is what currently is in the house, I'm embarrassed to admit, but y'all use what kind of beer you keep on hand)

Mix together the starter, flours, and salt. It will be shaggy and dry-ish looking when it's all mixed. Then add in the beer and mix again. This time it will be shaggy but somewhat wet looking (slightly wetter than moist). Let rest 5-30 minutes, then knead until soft and supple. It should have minimal bounce back when you poke it, and there should be something of a subtle sheen to the dough. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let sit on the counter overnight. It will NOT rise very much. There is not enough yeast in this to combat the heaviness of the whole wheat flour, so please don't be surprised, discouraged, or think you did something wrong when you come back in the morning and the size of the dough is not dissimilar to how it looked the night before. Heat the oven as hot as it will go, for at least an hour. If you have a pizza stone, make sure that's in there too. If you don't, that's okay and don't worry about it (you can just put your loaves on a sheet pan). Cut the dough into nine pieces of roughly equivalent size. Pinch/pat each piece of dough into the shape of your choosing (he does different shapes sometimes). When the oven is heated, put all your loaves on the stone (or pan) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove immediately and let cool enough that your bread doesn't burn your mouth. Makes 9 loaves.


(this is not a picture of the loaves this recipe is for. He made them slightly differently this time, so we could settle an dispute about beer and whole wheat flour, so this picture is of experimental loaves that also taste quite good)

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