I’m an optimist. A cockeyed optimist. But still. I’m a believer. In you! I tend to be foolish. And hungry. After all, I’m a food writer. Occupational necessity. Tell me … more
I’m an optimist. A cockeyed optimist. But still.
I’m a believer. In you!
I tend to be foolish. And hungry. After all, I’m a food writer. Occupational necessity.
Tell me it can’t be done? That’s my call to arms.
But yeast-free, gluten-free pita bread?
We’ve done it with yeast. It’s exciting. And there’s nothing quite like it. But yeast free pita? It’s done so quick, it’s even a fabulous go-to for a quick weeknight meal.
Yes. A weeknight pita. Check it.
So this is the real deal. And you can make it happen! Totally.
Except you’re gonna need a legit all-purpose gluten-free flour. I’m not gonna tell you that you have to get Better Batter. But you have to get something that is the real deal. Or it won’t work. If you toss together a few different gluten-free flours, powder everywhere, wearing a silly grin — it’s not gonna work. And it’ll cost you some coin, with no payoff. You’ll be all sad and pitiable. Feeling sorry for yourself. All mad at me and stuff. Not a good scene. Fact.
I may be an optimist, but I’m nobody’s fool.
Okay, sometimes I’m a fool for you, but you know what I mean, right?
So. Got your ace-in-the-hole flour? It’s go time. You’ll need…
I’m all about the step by steps now. Totally steppin’. And trippin’. Check it.
Remember Step By Step French Bread? I was all, “the secret’s in not adding too much water.” Blah blah blah. This time, more water! This time, we’re all wet, and the dough’s kinda slimy. Ride it out, sister.
But still, start with less water in the mixer, then lather it up in the final prep. You make the dough, divide it into 6 parts, then dip your hands in water. Now place the dough on a piece of parchment paper, and then rub each piece in a circular motion with super wet fingers so it spreads and smooths to about 1/2 inch thick. It’s not kinky! Okay, fine. It is. A little. But mostly, it’s serious. And it’s easy! Then put it in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes, and watch it puff. Then it’s on to cooling for a few on your kitchen counter. Next, slice the round in half, straight down the middle. Since this is not yeast bread, as much as it puffs, it won’t pop like traditional pita. But then there’s no stress! No hand-wringing. Good times.
- 2 cups (280g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (14g) vegetable oil
- 1 extra-large egg + 1 extra-large egg white
- ¼ cup warm milk (can be replaced with ¼ cup warm water)
- ½ to ¾ cup warm water
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while the oven preheats. If not, use an overturned rimmed baking sheet.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or the bowl of your food processor), place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Mix (or pulse) to combine. This is an important step, because if the baking powder clumps at all, parts of your dough will puff too much and others, not at all.
- To the dry ingredients, add the oil and then the eggs and ¼ cup warm milk (or first ¼ cup warm water). Mix or pulse to combine. Then, with the mixer on its lowest speed (or the food processor on), add ½ cup warm water in a slow and steady stream. The dough will be wet. Mix until the dough is fluffy (see the picture). Only parts of the dough will being to pull away from the sides of the bowl, but it will not clump. If it doesn't seem quite wet enough, add up to another ¼ cup water, by the tablespoon. Touch it. Does it seem slimy, but still holding together? Good. Moving on...
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl, and place it on a wet, smooth surface (like a wet silpat or wet pastry board - a wet smooth countertop will do, too). Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Wet your hands well, and form one piece of dough into a ball as best as you can. Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper, and, with very wet fingertips moving in a circular motion and some pressure, smooth the dough into a round about ½ inch thick (see picture above). Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, placed about ½ inch apart on the parchment paper.
- Place the dough, on the parchment paper, in the oven atop the hot pizza stone (or the overturned rimmed baking sheet). Bake for 5 minutes, and carefully flip the pitas. Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly brown on both sides.
- Remove the pitas from the oven, and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they can be handled. Slice each round in half through the center. With a very sharp knife, gently coax open the center of each pita half (see the picture above).
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Once cooled, the pitas will keep for 2 days in a plastic ziploc bag on the counter.
Pita always puts me in a Middle Eastern street food kinda mood, so we had falafel in pita last night, with a lemon-sour cream-parsley dressing. What about you? What do you put in your pita?