Pita Recipes Thread

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    rottiedogs
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    Pita recipes
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    This is yet another thing I apparently lost my bookmarks for in the Great Firefox Upgrade Debacle.
    I've found a ton of recipes for the "puff" type, pocket pita. But what I want are the soft, flexible pita like they use for gyros and (these days) sandwich wraps.
    The pocket type aren't flexible enough, plus they don't taste anything close to right. Also I keep running across recipes where people say these are the same as naan - they are not! Actual pita of this type are NOTHING like naan, except that both are flat breads.
    Anybody out there have the type of recipe I'm talking about?
    I've got home-made gyro meat cooling in the fridge, just waiting for tsatziki sauce and pita!
    badge posted by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm in Baking, yeast
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    reply by: hickeyja on September 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm
    hickeyja
    Here is another alternative: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/07/16/fast-food-fix-gorditas-wi... Jan
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    reply by: frick on September 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm
    frick
    Zen, Below is the entry Gina posted above in this thread. She made small ones but you can make any size you please.
    "Here's a nice Greek lady who explains that Greek pita doesn't have a pocket and shows you how to make the dough. She includes her recipe."

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    reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    Mrs Cindy
    So? How did it come out?
    ~Cindy
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    Hey, frick, I was just about to post an update! I ended up putting this off because I ran out of greek yogurt for the tzatziki sauce, the boychild just brought some home this afternoon.
    I don't remember which specific recipe Gina posted and I can't see from here while I type the reply, but as I recall it was one of the ones I was seriously considering.
    However, ultimately I went with this one posted on a Greek site
    My guess is the first time through (it's rising now) I'll have problems related first to converting to a weight measure (which I did, but I worked the worst of them out as I went) and second from the fact that flour in Europe is different from flour here in the US.
    I used my KAF AP flour. The measurements I used are:
    12.5 oz water
    2 tsp yeast
    1 T sugar
    1 T olive oil
    1 tsp salt (yeah, half the salt, it was an accident)
    505g of KAF AP flour
    (Yes, I measured the water in ounces and the flour in g, LOL!)
    This gave me a slightly sticky, but cohesive, dough. From my reading I surmise this is a good approximation of the "right" kind of dough. Not too tight, very smooth.
    My guess is that the KAF AP flour is too close to "strong" flour in the EU. So I don't expect perfect results, but I figured I'd try it this way first and see how it comes out.
    Next time around I'll try a 3:2 ratio of the KAF AP and my "AP" flour that is actually 9.2% protein. Well, I'm waffling - between a 4:1 ratio and a 3:2 ratio. I guess I can't really decide that until I see how this comes out.
    According to the originating recipe, these pita dry out quickly and get hard, so I may also experiment with adding something to help keep them soft longer. I'm considering that using a mixture of 50/50 milk and greek yogurt instead of plain water will help with this, and be at lest semi-"authentic".
    But - I have to wait and see how this first stab at it comes out. Maybe it'll be fine as-is. You never know.
    Now I'm off to make the tzatziki sauce ...
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    reply by: frick on September 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm
    frick
    The link to the youtube Greek pita that Gina gave looks pretty good to me. What if you make a pizza dough recipe with soft flour?
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    reply by: PaddyL on September 13, 2012 at 12:14 am
    PaddyL
    Lavash? I've made both the soft and crispy kind.
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    reply by: rottiedogs on September 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm
    rottiedogs
    Any Greek restaurant I've eaten at in the Chicagoland area always has the soft non-pocket pitas. Growing up we had neighbors who were first generation Greek. They never had any pita with the puff either.
    I found the below links. They appear to be a similar recipe but one of them explains how if you leave them in the oven longer they puff and a shorter time they don't. Maybe this will help. I searched Greek Pita to find these.
    http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/greek_pita_flatbread.htm
    http://greekfood.about.com/od/greekbreadspitas/r/pitabread.htm
    http://artisanbreadbaking.com/bread/pita/
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    reply by: Mike Nolan on September 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    Mike Nolan
    A great lesson on Indian breads. Thanks
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    reply by: cwcdesign on September 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    cwcdesign
    There's a take-out place in Providence, RI called East Side Pocket and they use the kind of pita you are talking about. Always very soft and could soak up the juices. I believe the owners are Lebanese if that helps with a direction.
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    That's exactly what I'm talking about - What Cass is describing above as Tandoori Roti is more commonly called naan. Naan is always supposed to be cooked in a tandoor (super hot clay oven shaped like a funnel, the bread is thrown in and slapped up against the sides, where it sticks, hence the typical elongated shape - the small end is where the guy was holding it when he slapped it into the oven). That's also what gives it the characteristic blisters.
    Naan is hardly ever made with whole wheat anymore. Especially the stuff you can get in the US, especially especially the stuff you buy pre-packaged and ready made.
    He's absolutely right when he says that is one use of the word Roti - but it's not the only use. "Roti" really just means "bread" and it gets used to mean different specific things that have only local relevance. Even Indians can't agree what "roti" is, LOL! I've seen people get together from all over India and start to talk about what "roti" is and confusion reigns supreme!
    Some people apply "roti" only to unleavened flat bread, so they'd be adamant that calling naan "Tandoori roti" is anathema. Naan IS the more common term but people from India do use the term "tandoori roti" to mean the same thing. Other people think roti is the same as chapati, while people who eat lots of chapati regularly (it's a regional thing) insist it's a type of unleavened flat bread similar to chapati, but thicker and larger in diameter. Or there's the contingent that says roti is chapati with oil in the dough, and the OTHER contingent that says roti is chapati WITHOUT oil in the dough.
    There are over 1 billion people in India and even THEY can't agree on what "roti" is! Anyway.
    You can get a pretty decent version of tandoori baked naan by superheating your baking stone and slapping the naan on there one or two at a time. In my heyday I could get 2 at a time on there but these days I'm not so sure I'm fast enough. I haven't made naan in quite awhile. You would put the stone on the bottom rack, turn the oven on and leave the door cracked so the bottom element stays on and superheats the stone. You can get the stone up to at least 600F this way, maybe a little higher. (A tandoor gets up to around 800F surface temp). You have to take the top rack out so you have space to quickly slap the naan on the stone and slam the door shut. I don't remember how long it took to bake, but that's the basic idea.
    Clearly you only want to do this with a REALLY good baking stone - you don't want to risk shattering the stone because of moisture or air pockets in side it expanding. If you've been able to safely clean your stone in the self-clean cycle - and I've no idea how people manage that since you are supposed to take the racks out before you do that and there's certainly not room in MY oven to set it on the oven floor, but I've been told some people manage it somehow - then it'll probably be safe for this trick. Don't try it with refrigerated dough though, just in case.
    Lately I've been trying to get my touch back with chappati and puri. I used to be able to make good soft puri, but I've lost the touch. Lately they're more likely to come out more brittle than they ought. Chapati I never made as often but those aren't coming out as well as they used to either. They should be soft as silk. I'm not sure if its an ingredient thing or a handling thing - I left off making them when we moved to MO in the 90s.
    Oh well, I'll just have to keep practicing.
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    reply by: GinaG on September 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    GinaG
    Zen,
    Here's a nice Greek lady who explains that Greek pita doesn't have a pocket and shows you how to make the dough. She includes her recipe.

    Search instead for Greek pita, that should help.
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    reply by: KIDPIZZA on September 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    KIDPIZZA
    MRSCINDY:
    Good morning. Cynthia my dear friend, I read your post & I thought I would discuss with you you Question about the differance between CHAPATI bread, ROTI, & TURKEY/GREEK pita bread recipe which I have a copy of.
    Now then,ROTI comes in 3 variations they are not even close to each other. But the one that is reasonably close to the pita version of turkish /greek pita bread is the "TANDOORI ROTI" version. It employs ATTA flour or WW flour, ghee,& water.
    The CHAPATI version also employs ATTA OR WW FLOUR,VEG OIL & GHEE.
    Both much different than my recipe of Turkish pita bread.
    Anyway Cynthia, I hope this infomation will help you somewhat. I do enjoy your inquiring mind however.
    Enjoy the rest of the day Cynthia my friend.
    ~CASS.
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    reply by: 4paws2go on September 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm
    4paws2go
    Here's yet another version, done griddle style...:
    http://www.kalofagas.ca/2009/11/11/vefas-pita-bread/
    Oh, and I thought you'd get a kick out of this...makes me hungry just reading it!...:
    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dining/index.ssf/2011/08/harmony_and_pit...
    That one really HAS your 'name' on it!
    Good luck!
    Laura
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    reply by: Mike Nolan on September 12, 2012 at 11:53 am
    Mike Nolan
    Here's a recipe/blog entry PJ posted some time back:
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2009/07/16/fast-food-fix-gorditas-wi...
    These are fried, not baked, and you pop any bubbles.
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 12, 2012 at 11:40 am
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    That's what I'll probably have to do, but that isn't what I'm looking for either. These aren't docked when you get them in a deli or with a gyro. There are usually grill marks on them, but not always.
    The problem with using the "regular" pita recipe is it isn't the same bread. "Regular" has now come to mean "pocket bread" - which wasn't even called pita the first few years it was on the market but just "pocket bread". At least when I saw it, where I lived.
    So it won't make the soft, pillowy, gyro bread (which is, I've since been told, true to it's Greek origins, by someone FROM Greece). Nothing like the Turkish type, I am assured. He says he brings back a "suitcase full" every time he goes. Too bad he doesn't get the dang recipe from someone!
    This IS the holy grail of pita, both in the fact that it is so assiduously sought by so many, and in the fact that it continues to be so elusive, LOL!
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    reply by: 4paws2go on September 12, 2012 at 9:28 am
    4paws2go
    Gosh, I wish I could send you some of the REALLY thin pita I'd mentioned, they feel like silk scarves. The commercial flatbreads commonly sold in supermarkets feel like leather in comparison. The shop I get them from is called simply 'Mediterranean Market', and they carry items from various countries, so I'm not certain of the origin of this type. I 'think' that these might actually not be oven baked, but formed and then baked over a form/griddle of some sort.
    The only other thing I can think of, or suggest, is more along the lines of 'pide', one of several Turkish flatbread variations. These are also available locally here, and are docked, to prevent the pocket from forming. I would stick to whatever basic pita recipe you use, and just dock the dough.
    Laura
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 12, 2012 at 8:33 am
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    From Mrs. Cindy:
    "p.s. Zen, could you use chapati or a modified version of chapati? (my iPad changed chapati to Chapstick😄)
    ~C
    EDIT:Zen, what is the difference between chapati, roti and the thin pita you are looking for? Is it ingredients or cooking method?"
    Chapati is entirely different. It's an unleavened bread; pita are yeasted.
    I've never been able to find out what the difference between roti and chapati is - apparently roti is one of those words that has a local meaning so often, it's become meaningless in the general sense.
    Roti seems to be whatever the most common form of flatbread is in the area. Except where it's used to denote an UNCOMMON form of flatbread!
    My mother-in-law seemed to use the term for any yeasted flatbread, such as naan.
    Other people use it to mean chapati. Still others use it to mean any flatbread at all. Some people tell me it means whole wheat chapati; others that it is applied to any whole wheat flatbread, still others insist it means any NON-whole wheat flatbread.
    The thin type of pita is commonly found in Greece, but not commonly found in the US - at least I've never seen it before, though I've heard of it. I'd be willing to give it a try, but I've not found a recipe for it either, LOL! Though I did come across one reference that stated it's a batter bread, sort of like dosa, that is poured out thin on a griddle, then rolled up with the goods inside.
    No recipe for it either or I'd give it a try.
    What I'm looking for is the Greek-American pita used for gyros and souvlaki, which may or may not have an analogue in Greece (I'm pretty sure it does). Chances are it has been significantly changed though, as gyros have. A gyro in Greece is totally different than the Greek-American version - it isn't ground meat at all, and it's usually chicken or pork, never lamb or beef.
    I don't know if I'd like an "authentic" Greek gyro or not, but I know I like the Greek-American version! LOL!
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 12, 2012 at 11:33 am
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    No, naan is a regular item in this household - I've been cooking Indian food for over 30 years, my ex was from India. Naan is nothing like pita, except that they're both flatbreads.
    I really really really want the authentic soft pocketless pita. I really don't understand why I can't find a recipe for it. When I was a kid, all the pita in the grocery store was pocketless. When pocket bread started showing up it was a 9 days wonder. I guess somewhere along the way in the last 45 years or so, real pita has been totally displaced by the pocket stuff.
    Apparently the pocket sort is an Arabic flat bread and the pocketless stuff is the authentic Greek stuff. There was a huge Greek community where I grew up, so maybe that's why I'm so partial to it.
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    reply by: PaddyL on September 12, 2012 at 12:06 am
    PaddyL
    Have you tried naan bread? That's what we use as wraps here. Homemade, of course.
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    reply by: robinwaban on September 11, 2012 at 11:04 pm
    robinwaban
    I know exactly what you like! Costco sells pocketless pita, but they're not thin. Have no idea how to make them.
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    reply by: toffee on September 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm
    toffee
    I want a recipe like the ones that Kronos makes. Zen, I think that is what you are looking for. Non pocket, soft and delicious. Anyone? Please?
    Patty
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    Mrs. Cindy, here is the whole gyros meat thing.
    Here is a picture showing the difference between the pita I want and "regular" pocket pita:

    So you can see, there is NO POCKET. These happen to be whole wheat but I'm looking for the regular white flour variety.
    Then these are the "regular" pocket pitas that are so common in the US:

    The pocket makes the walls thin and you lose the soft silky pillowy center in a properly made pocketless pita.
    Soooo, that's the difference between the pita I can find and the pita I want. There are a ton of people out there LOOKING for the proper recipe, but nobody seems to have found it. I want the holy grail of pita! LOL!
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    reply by: Mike Nolan on September 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    Mike Nolan
    You must not have seen the other thread on gyros, complete with a picture of her gyros meat.
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    reply by: 4paws2go on September 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm
    4paws2go
    I've been lucky to find a marvelous Middle Eastern restaurant/market down here, and ran across the MOST fantastic pita I've ever eaten...small local bakery. These are just as you describe, a silky texture, thin, thin, thin, and about 14" wide. They're almost to beautiful to eat! The ingredients are just wheat flour/water/yeast/salt. Commercial, or not, these are sooooo amazingly good. I've no idea, other than maybe a sheeter, or a press of some sort, how they get the dough so very thin. They're almost, not quite, translucent.
    Laura
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    reply by: Mrs Cindy on September 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    Mrs Cindy
    However, going back to the original post, didn't anybody but me notice the phrase 'home-made gyro meat'? Zen! You've been holding out, girl! Home-made gyro? Man, oh, man, would I love to sink my teeth into that!
    I seem to have a very bad case of the drools today. First Mrs. Chiu's pork steamed buns, now home-made gyro meat..........
    ~Cindy
    p.s. Zen, could you use chapati or a modified version of chapati? (my iPad changed chapati to Chapstick😄)
    ~C
    EDIT:Zen, what is the difference between chapati, roti and the thin pita you are looking for? Is it ingredients or cooking method?
    ~C
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    reply by: Mike Nolan on September 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm
    Mike Nolan
    I alerted PJ to this thread, maybe she'll be inspired by it.
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    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    It sure seems different when I get it at a Greek deli. Much softer, silky feeling in the hand, and I've never seen any sign of a cavity in it. It wraps softly and naturally, no pocket pita I've ever tried will do that properly.
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    reply by: frick on September 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm
    frick
    Zen, I wonder if the common pita which typically puffs up and splits is different from the type you want, really a round, soft flatbread. Sorry, no time today, but tomorrow I'll look in my books. Good luck.
    REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
    reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on September 11, 2012 at 7:26 am
    KitchenBarbarian aka Zen
    The ones in the grocery store are also nowhere near soft enough for this sort of thing. A real pita wrap is silky smooth, and very, VERY soft and flexible. The vast majority of the store-bought sort are pocket pita, with stiffer sides because they're intended to be sort of bread tacos stuff with, well, stuff.
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    reply by: Mike Nolan on September 11, 2012 at 1:07 am
    Mike Nolan
    My understanding is that the soft non-pocket pitas that are used for wraps are made using something similar to a tortilla press.
    Heavily docking the dough might keep it from puffing up. Maybe PJ will see this thread and experiment with it in the KAF test kitchen!
    I haven't found a recipe that I'm really excited about the flavor of, either, and the ones in the grocery stores are even blander.

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