Pita Bread drizzled with Chilli Garlic olive oil
Pita bread is a middle eastern cuisine flat bread. Widely popular as paired with falafel and hummus( chick pea) dip. But to make a less elaborate and quick spread, I tried pairing it with a simple red bell pepper and walnut dip , also called as ‘Mhammara’ or ‘Muhammara’. The combination is simple, yet high on flavour and taste.
No sooner was the pitas polished and the red pepper dip licked off the containers, came a new set of demands from the religiously non vegeterian hubby and son that the pitas have to be urgently made again in a week to be tested along with chicken curry! And whose complaining by the way!
A very simple and healthy recipe, a sure shot winner for family gatherings or holiday lunches.
Recipe adapted from king arthur flour’s site.
- Whole wheat flour ( atta)- 1 ¾ cups
- All purpose flour ( maida)- 1 ½ cups
- Salt- 1 ½ teaspoon
- Instant yeast- 1 ½ teaspoon
- Sugar- 1 tablespoon
- Warm water- 1 to 1 ⅛ cups*
- Orange juice- 2 tablespoons**
- Olive oil- 2 tablespoons
*Water content may vary depending upon the type of flour, humidity of the place.
**Orange juice smooths out the flavour of whole wheat flour. You may substitute it with water.
Chilly-garlic flavoured olive oil:
- Olive oil/ vegetable oil- ½ cup
- Garlic- 2 to 3 cloves crushed
- Chilli flakes- 2 tablespoons ( more the chilli deeper will be the colour)
- In a deep pan, pour oil add chilli flakes and crushed garlic.
- simmer at low heat for few minutes before the garlic starts browning too much.
- Once done, remove from heat, bring into to room teperature, discard garlic cloves.
You can either strain to remove the chilli flakes, keep half of the flakes and remove half or store the oil with all the chilli in it. Use as a drizzle on dips, parathas, pizzas or breads!
Procedure to make Pita bread:
- Mix in flours, salt, sugar, instant yeast in a large container.
- Add olive oil and juice, add half the amount of water, gradually mixing in add the remaining water till the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough till it forms a smooth mass ( around 4-5 minutes in a food processor with plastic blades, or around 10-12 minutes with hand).
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or a measuring jar, allowing the dough to double. It took me roughly around 60 minutes, it may take longer if the weather is cold. If its too cold outside, pre heat the oven for few minutes, once its warm enough, switch off the oven, place the dough for rising. For any further read on handling of yeast or dough please refer here and here respectively.
- Once the dough rises and doubles, deflate the dough by punching and patting it gently.
- Pinch off golf ball sized dough , shape them into rounds. Cover the rounds with a wet cloth or greased aluminium foil, and allow them to rest for ten minutes. This will make them easier to roll. Meantime pre heat the oven to 230◦ C.
- Roll each ball thin with a rolling pin into 6” to 7” circle.
- Bake for 4 minutes, they will fluff up well if the temperature of the oven is really 230◦ C.
- Turn over the pitas and bake for another 60 seconds.
- Once done,store them in a container lined with soft towel.
Drizzle over some chilly-garlic flavoured olive oil and serve warm with this red pepper-walnut dip ( called ‘Muhammara’ or ‘Mhammara’) for a heavenly meal!!