I'm so happy to report that today on a day off from school my 10 1/2 year old daughter decided she wanted to bake some pitas based on a recipe she saw in a magazine, and the results were so fantastic she just finished a second batch! And I have to be honest, this wasn't really baking "with" kids, as she really did everything herself! I stepped in to check the consistency of the dough, and to convince her to wait before putting the pitas in the oven. Oh and of course I also stepped in as a professional taster, and to my surprise the pitas tasted delicious! I'm so proud, and I'll admit, happy to have a little help in the kitchen!
- 6 cups organic spelt flour (or the flour of your choice)
- 4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar/honey/date syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt (or a bit less)
- 2 cups warm water
- olive oil
- zatar (optional)
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with the sugar/sweatener, wait until yeast is activated and starts to form a froth.
- In a mixer, combine flour and salt, and add water. Mix and when well mixed, add yeast mixture.
- Kneed for roughly 10 minutes until a nice moist dough is formed.
- Place dough in a plastic bag and set aside for at least an hour so dough has a chance to rise.
- Remove risen dough from bag and make 16 balls.
- At this point you can turn on the oven and pre-heat to 180c/350f if you haven't done so.
- Roll balls into pita shape, place on parchment lined baking tray, and brush with olive oil and sprinkle on some zatar (if desired)
- To get slightly fluffy pitas, let pitas rise before baking (1/2 to 1 hour) and then bake for around 7 minutes at 180 C/350f.
- Hide the results or they will be devoured, really!
Note: These pitas did not form a pocket, but one can easily cut them in half for sandwiches. Some of our friends have had luck getting the pitas to form pockets by either using the grill in the oven and flipping the pitas over, or putting the pitas at the bottom of a hot oven. In any case, to form a pocket the pitas do need to be rolled out fairly thinly, but not too thinly, which kids may have a difficult time doing. So in my opinion, ditch the pocket!
If you'd like to read about how I make pitas that do form a pocket, and using a recipe that makes a huge batch, check out my whole wheat pita recipe, which can also be made using spelt flour or a combination of wheat and spelt, or any combination of gluten flours that suits you. Enjoy baking healthy and delicious bread for your family....there's no better feeling!