Pita Bread

Cooking With Nick Stellino
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Ingredients:

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Cornmeal for dusting the pans
Makes 8 Rounds
Printable Version
Mix the yeast with 1 1/4 cups of the warm water and let sit to dissolve for a few minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm location for 4 hours to rise. The starter can rise overnight if you prefer starting it before you go to bed.
Stir the remaining warm water, the salt and 3 1/2 cups of the flour into the starter. Stir or mix the dough with your hands until the onsistency is thick and sticky. Sprinkle the remaining flour on a cutting board or work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead. Incorporating the flour, until the consistency is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Oil the bottom and sides of a large bowl with the olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
The oven to 425 F. Punch the dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece on a floured board briefly to push out the air pockets, then form into balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into an 8 inch diameter circle. If you have trouble getting the diugh to roll out into a circle, simply cover the balls of dough with a damp cloth and let them rest for 15 minutes. It is important that the dough be rooled to a diameter of 8 inches. If it is considerably less, the separation of the dough will be very uneven. If it is much more, the dough may not separate at all.
Place 2 of the circles of dough onto a large baking sheet that has been dusted with the cornmeal. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Push down on the bread to flatten and they're ready to serve. Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
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