Readers: So sorry!! I forgot to add to this post the most important part about soaking grains and whole flours, adding an acid medium such as cultured whey, yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. A post is in the works about soaking grains!!
I’m so excited to share this recipe. A couple weeks ago, I made a Greek dinner for the fam! Homemade lamb gyro’s with homemade pita bread and homemade tzatziki sauce. It was so fun to have made everything at home including the greek yogurt for the sauce. The pita bread was especially fun to make. I found my original recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. It turned out just right and was so fun to watch it “puff” in the oven. After making this, I knew I wanted to try a soaked version using whole wheat spelt flour. It took a few tries to get the recipe to puff just right, as the dough tends to get moist in the soaking process. So after different trials and different variations in ingredients, I finally was able to get my pita’s to puff just right creating that pocket. They were warm, earthy and perfect for our BLT’s! Now that I’ve gotten them to puff I would like to add a bit more honey and maybe Vital Wheat Gluten to get these babies to rise a bit more. For the meantime, here is a recipe of what I’ve done and a video to show you how they puff like magic in the oven!
Soaked, Whole Wheat Spelt Pita Bread
Makes 7 Pitas
- 3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon acid medium such as whey, yogurt, or kefir and enough water to equal 3/4 cups.
- 2 tablespoons coconut or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tsp water, temperature 110-115F
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
The night before:
- In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, 3/4 cup water and oil. Let it sit overnight covered with a dish towel on your counter or in your oven.
This is what the flour looks like “soaked.”
- The next day, activate your yeast. In a small bowl add 1tsp of honey, 2tsp of 110 – 115F water, and the yeast. Let sit for 8 -10 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled.
- Add the yeast mixture and salt to the dough and incorporate by mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Once everything is mixed, turn your dough onto a floured work surface and begin to knead. Knead for 10 minutes adding a bit more flour as necessary. You want your dough to be elastic and not stick to your counter. However, the dough will be slightly stickier.
- Once you are done kneading the dough, place in a bowl that has been light coated with oil. Cover and set aside to rise for 90 minutes.
- When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down divide it into 7 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
- After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on parchment paper. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough, transfer to the parchment paper and use a rolling pin to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.
- Keep the discs on the parchment paper and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.
- Once the discs have risen for the last time, place a pita on the hot baking surface in the oven. They should be baked through and puff after 3 – 5 minutes.