PLEASE NOTE: I've had a relatively large response to the pita bread in my Egyptian Red Lentil Soup post. I thought I'd revisit this bread and update with newer and better photos.
Pita bread ... as it is commonly known around the world is the most unadorned and simplest to make bread around that dates back to ancient times. Pita bread is an even better invention than sliced bread. It is no wonder that this round pocket bread has been a staple of the Middle East for 4,000 years. In fact, pitas have been both a bread and a utensil throughout the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean serving the function of loaves of bread in wheat centric areas of Europe, Africa and Asia.
From what archeologists can determine, the pita originated with peoples west of the Mediterranean. It is not perfectly clear if it was the Amorites or the Bedouins were the inventors. Both the farming and desert society respectively adopted pitas as their own. Soon, its popularity spread as the Bedouin peoples traded and travel across the Arabian and Sahara desert.
Originally, the pita was a combination of dough that was let to sit and collect yeast and fresh dough until the discovery that brewers yeast works. In the Middle East, It is still often made in a backyard stove compared to the store-bought pitas that have spread all over the globe.
But the history of pitas can only really be appreciated through the taste. The pita though has to be tasted with all the different foods that thrive in or enwrapped by pita. And then you will understand that sliced bread is the best invention since pita bread.
It is a rather simple bread that could be made with limited technologies. You simply roll out your favorite non-enriched dough as thin as possible and bake it on a tadjine, cast iron pan or even grill pan.
There is minmial resting time, so you put it together in a matter of moments. Despite its simplicity pita is one of the tastiest breads ever made, too. Perhaps it is all of the surface area and the soft chewy crumb?
Pita is really a great make-ahead bread. You can prepare the dough through the first rise, and then keep it refrigerated for up to a week. The flavor will actually improve with time! You can bake the whole batch at once or cut off just what you need to make one or two flatbreads at a time. When you're ready to bake, cut the dough into portions, flatten them slightly, and let them come up to room temperature before baking. Real simple huh? This blog is not called Simplicity for nothing!
The yoghurt is what makes this bread so soft and chewy ... plus it adds a slight tangyness to it ...This is a Greek style pita bread so it's pocketless. If you're looking for a pita bread with a pocket, consider looking into this recipe that I hightly recommend.
- Looking for another tasty lentil soup? Try this Turkish red lentil soupor even this Algerian soup.
- Or check out this pita bread, it'll go so nicely with this dish.
- Or browse through the recipe index to get inspired.
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