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Shameless Pita Bares All

Shameless Pita Bares All

Put your hands in your lap, you feet flat on the floor.
You’re feeling very relaxed. Begin to count back from 100.
You’re getting sleeeeepy…Gluten Free Pita BreadPita is easy.
Gluten Free Pita BreadPita is naked. And unapologetic. (but not into graffiti. I was the one who defaced the Lego Career Girl).
Gluten Free Pita Bread
Pita is … eating Middle Eastern street food today.

I went with posthypnotic suggestions today. No good?

I’d like to start today’s episode of The World of the Psychic by … promising not to hurl. I can’t believe I threw up on our date on Wednesday. So humiliating. Can you ever forgive me?

To make it up to you, I’d very much like to “teach” (air quotes) you how to make fresh gluten-free pita bread. But there’s a hitch.

I’m terrible with step-by-step recipe photos and other such demonstrative tutorials.

And there are plenty of reasons why I’m terrible with such tutorials. Unfortunately for you, I’m going to tell you allllllll about ’em. And you can’t even go anywhere, ’cause I’ve got you all hypnotized and stuff, that’s why.

1. It’s very, very hard for me to get past the what-do-you-need-me-for hurdle. Seriously. What do you need me for? I’m just a home cook like you are. No Le Cordon Bleu certification after my name (wait — do you get letters after your name for that? see?! I don’t even know).

Remember that game where someone tells you to say your name (“Nicole”), point to your nose (“nose”), then tell me what’s inside my empty, cupped hands (“nothing”)? Before you know it, you’ve unintentionally admitted what you suspected all along: Nicole nose nothing.

No truer words were ever spoken. I nose nothing.

2. Step-by-step photos often don’t cut it. They tend to be kinda poorly composed, and really just skim the surface of what it is that I’m really doing in the kitchen. So I fear they will give a false sense of the process. And, besides that, are you sure you want to see what I’m really doing in the kitchen? It might not just be the pita that’s nekkid. It might be me, too.

3. I forget. You know, I forget to take the photos at each step. I have a mind like a sieve.

4. My blog design needs some work. My photos are too big. If I did step by step photos, I’m afraid that you’d be afraid. I picture Jurassic Park. I have, indeed, spared many an expense, and I fear that my step by step photos might just visit you in your dreams.

5. It has come to my attention that I have an inferiority complex. It seems that I’m afraid that you’re coming here from, say, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and that my step-by-steps will disappoint you. Kindly see reason #1 above. I nose nothing.

All that being said, it also appears that no one else is stepping up to the plate, and I so want you to be able to make fabulous pita any darn night of the week. There’s already this post on this here blog. It has a recipe for pita bread. But it predates printable recipes on this site by, like, a minute and a half, but I’ve been otherwise occupied and unable (okay, fine, too lazy) to go back and repopulate that post with a printable recipe (even though I think the print button isn’t working properly and I’m on it I swear). And it doesn’t show you the pitas when they’re nekkid. Rather than just reworking that post, I thought nekkid pitas deserved their own post so you can see that this really is very, very accessible.

I may not be your go-to resource for step-by-step photo tutorials, but I can still show you some nekkid pitas before they’re baked, so you can see for yourself what they look like before and after. Think of it like one of those makeover shows. Except with food. And the “before” is naked, so we don’t have to ceremoniously throw away all of its clothes and use the process as an excuse to mock it as it looks at itself in a three-way mirror under fluorescent lighting.

So this time I made some mini pitas. I suggest starting with mini ones, then shaping and baking them in batches. Why? ‘Cause, that way, you can collapse your own learning curve into one batch, that’s why. Why bake off a whole recipe’s worth of failed pitas, and then find yourself saying, oh, I would try to make pita bread again, but I have to wash my hair?

You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Smellin’ what I’m cookin’?

So please refer to the hunk of pita dough in the photo above. It’s fluffy. And then please refer to the shaped, naked rounds of raw pita dough, stacked up next to a defaced Lego career girl. See how they’re far from perfect, but they still made their mama real proud. And realize that, if you have to choose between making them too thick and too thin, choose too thick. That way, you can always split them with a knife if they don’t pop completely. If they’re too thin, and don’t pop, you’re going to kill yourself trying to split them. Trust me. And by ‘trust me’ I mean I’ve killed myself trying to split ones that didn’t pop ’cause I made them too thin. It’s nothing short of a miracle I’m even here to hypnotize you.

And I also speak from personal experience when I tell you that … this dough works just like pizza dough. You can (and should, if you like) make it at the beginning of the week, shape it, stack it up with alternating pieces of wax paper, put it in a plastic bag and pop it in the fridge. Then, plan a meal around pita one night that week. When you get home that night from work, turn on the oven first thing. When you’re almost ready to serve dinner, pop the pitas in the oven. Serve warm.

Once again, from my insane mind to your computer, and hopefully to your kitchen, followed closely by your belly, I give you ….

Shameless Pita Bares All
Recipe Type: Bread
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 12
Gluten-free Pita Bread
  • 3 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, divided (I use Better Batter)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast (if you have it – if not, active dry is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola (or vegetable) oil, plus more
  • 2 1/2 cups warm milk, about 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (low-fat is fine, non-fat is not) (nondairy is fine provided it has some fat)
  1. You’ll need a pizza crisper, or some other pan to put in your oven that has enough holes to allow air to circulate on both sides of the pita. As long as you have the crust on top and the crust on the bottom of the pita, you can split it open and make a pocket. That’s your fail-safe.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place 3 cups of flour and the xanthan gum, along with the salt, and mix to combine well. Add the yeast and sugar, then the oil, mixing well to combine after each addition.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk in a slow pour. The dough should begin to come together. Continue adding the milk until it’s all in there.
  4. Add enough additional flour so that the dough is thick and kinda creamy looking – not dry, and not really sticky, but tacky so if you touch it some of it sticks to your finger. You can always add more flour. As a guide, I almost always have to add at least 1/2 cup more flour.
  5. Dump the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over a few times to coat with oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, humid place for about an hour, or until nearly doubled in size. It will look dimply, and will be a bit tough to handle.
  6. Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (if you have a silicone mat, this would be a great time to break it out). Divide the dough into 12 to 15 pieces.
  7. For each piece of dough, roll it into a ball and press it together, squeezing out the air. Then, with the heel of your hand, press it into a disk. Press from the inside out, taking care not to make it too thin (especially at the endges). Sprinkle flour lightly on any sticky spots. Rotate the round of dough on the floured surface, and flip it frequently. If you have added too much flour at any point, drizzle in some canola (or vegetable) oil. And don’t be afraid to oil up a piece of dough and start again. It’s more forgiving than you think. They should be about 1 1/2 times the thickness of a pancake.
  8. Place only as many pita-to-be rounds on your pizza crisper (or pizza screen) as can fit without touching. Stepping lively, place the crisper in the preheated oven and shut the door right quick. Bake for between 5 and 8 minutes, taking care not to allow the pita to burn. It will be darker on the underside than on the top.

These directions assume a stand mixer. If you do not have one do not despair. Use a large bowl and a spoon, and just do your best stand mixer impression. You can also use a food processor.
For the love of Mike, please don’t use Pamela’s mixes (bread mix or baking mix). They are not designed to be all-purpose flours. They are multi-ingredient mixes.
If you use bean flour, you’re (sadly) on your own. I can’t work with that stuff.


Comments are closed.

  • August 18, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Nice work. As and amateur blogger/baker/ w/e, you’ve gotten a lot farther than I have – I only talk to people about trying to eat this stuff on a budget. This is cool. And really? Considering cooking is a lost art nowadays, the photos are good. Most people have no clue anymore what a batter consistency is, let alone what bread dough is supposed to look like. In fact, most people that I’ve tried to teach basic cooking and baking skills to don’t have a clue that it’s right until they get it out of the oven. Step-by-step is good. But it’s completely lost when they don’t know the in-between stuff. And the sense of humor is an added bonus.

  • Funky Momma ( A.K.A. Tina
    August 14, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    You are so funny I think I’d read your blog even if you didn’t cook! So glad I found you. I teach seminars on how to live glute-free and I am adding your website to my list of recommended sites I give my students :-) You have the gift of the gab, and apparently the floured baking finger too! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    Funky Momma

    • Nicole
      August 15, 2011 at 7:07 AM

      Hi, Funky Momma,
      I’m so glad you’re having fun here. That’s awesome that you teach seminars on how to live gluten-free. In what sort of institution do you do that, and who are your students, generally? as far as I know, there’s nothing at all like that around here. Thanks for recommending my site!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Cheryl
    August 13, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    I so enjoy your blog! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Nicole
      August 14, 2011 at 9:11 PM

      Hi, Cheryl,
      Aw, shucks. :) Thanks for coming by. Let me know how the pita turns out.
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 13, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Oh my goodness, I leave you alone for one day, and you get sick from that which hereafter will never again be mentioned by any party! I’m so sorry about that. I am glad that your beautiful family took good care of you. Ai-yi-yi. Anyway, now that I have Better Batter flour, I really should attempt the gf pita again. I’ll wait until my mom arrives, as it does help to have company when making yeasted bread.

    • Nicole
      August 14, 2011 at 9:13 PM

      Hi, Farida,
      Yes, I should not be left alone. I get into all sorts of trouble. Keep that in mind, please. :)
      I agree. It is good to have company (provided it is the right company) when making yeast breads. Then again, the right company is always good to have.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    August 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Cool! That’s EXACTLY what my dough looked like! Thanks for posting.
    Um.. and regarding that Pioneer Woman link (it didn’t work but Google did), uh.. does Mr. GlutenFreeOnAShoestring wear chaps, perchance?

    • Nicole
      August 14, 2011 at 9:12 PM

      Hi, Darlene,
      It was you and your [lazy] teenager ways that made me realize that it was time for another pita bread post. :)
      Oh, and yes, on occasion. But a**less ones.
      xoxo Nicole

    • Darlene
      August 15, 2011 at 5:12 AM

      LOL. Bad Nicole! Please don’t post those pics. Nothing against Mr. GFOAS (thank goodness “shoestring” is one word), but those pics would change the entire blog and you’d get a whole different kind of crowd and mostly anonymous.
      Thanks for the pita posts! They have become a staple here. I now just need to make pita chips out of them for hummus dipping.

    • Nicole
      August 15, 2011 at 7:05 AM

      Hi, Darlene,
      I couldn’t agree with you more. Nothing would change this blog faster than a picture of my husband’s nekkid posterior. Don’t worry. You’re safe. No need for chaps in the suburbs. :)
      Mmmm pita chips. Hummus dipping.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sarah D
    August 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    Mmmmm….Now all I need is some gf falafel to go inside that pita with some hummus and pickled cabbage. Life would then be complete. Must. Make. PITA!

  • August 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Hehe! Nichole cracks me up! Thanks for the good laugh :) Can’t wait to try the recipe <3

  • Pamela G
    August 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    regarding #3 – As my one girlfriend says “If there wasn’t a lid on it, it’d be all gone!”
    as women, we can relate. too much to remember….
    I am going to try these this weekend

    • Nicole
      August 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Ain’t that the truth, Pamela. And even with a lid, a lot seeps out.
      Let me know how the pita turns out. My gluten-free dog (yup, mine too) likes it very much.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tracey Gonneau via Facebook
    August 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Ah, it was the lovely pita recipe that drew me in too your web.

  • Paula Kurth via Facebook
    August 12, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    You are a riot! How about a step-by-step video on You Tube?

    • Nicole
      August 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Do you need that? I could consider doing that. Do you really need or want it?
      xoxo Nicole

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