Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meat-less pies revisited, and a pita recipe

Do you remember those Lebanese meatless pies I made back in March? Well I finally got around to making a batch with the pita crust, and it was very yum yum. I left out the soy sour cream from the filling, and didn't miss it at all. I also added a little more paprika and cinnamon, and a little extra mint since it's still really thriving in my garden.
One advantage of making a pita crust is that if you have leftover dough, you can make pita bread! They get nice and puffy in the oven. I was too hungry to take pictures, sorry!

Pita dough
Combine 1 packet of yeast with 2 1/2 cups warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
Combine 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour with 2 tsp. salt. Add to the yeast mixture and whisk until smooth.
Knead in 3 1/2-5 cups white flour, until a soft but not sticky consistency is reached. Knead until stretchy. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise again. (That step isn't really necessary, but the extra time gives the pita more flavor.)

If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to use it. Place the stone near the bottom of your COLD oven and preheat to 450 F.
If you don't have a pizza stone, you can preheat a cookie sheet and bake the breads on that.

To Make Pies:
Divide your dough into 12-16 equal pieces. Roll them out to 1/4 inch thickness and spoon some of the "lamb" mixture into the center. (Don't worry if they're not perfectly round, just do your best.) Bring up 3 sides of the circle and pinch together in the middle. Pinch the seams closed to form a triangular pie. Brush the tops with olive oil. Bake them 2 or 3 at a time on the preheated baking stone or cookie sheet for about 9 minutes. The tops should be barely golden and the dough should still be soft.

To Make Pitas:
Roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds (or ovals or amoebic shapes or whatever) and let rest 5 minutes. Bake on a preheated baking stone or sheet until puffy, about 5 minutes.

Serve the pies and pita with some green salad, and maybe some hummus and baba ganouj, for a gigantic and tasty Middle-Eastern feast.

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