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City Palate Recipe: Asian Rice Paper Wraps

Rice Grains and Pastas

Pita Bread

July/Aug 2010

2 c. flour

2-1/4 t. quick-rising yeast

1/2 t. salt

1-1/4 c. hot water

1 to 1-1/2 c. flour

Combine first four ingredients in a bowl and beat about 1 minute.

Mix in remaining flour, using just enough to make a soft dough that is slightly sticky (i.e., don’t overdo it with the flour). Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 5 minutes. Let rise for a half hour, then knead a couple of minutes more and divide into 8 to 12 balls. Roll out each ball to about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal or flour, to prevent sticking. Cover and let rise for 15 to 20 minutes.

You can cook the pitas two ways. If you bake them in the oven, preheat the oven to 450°F and slide the cookie sheet with the risen pita dough in. Bake the pitas for 2 minutes per side, or slightly longer if you’re making bigger (fewer) pitas.

My niece prefers to make them on top of the oven in a cast-iron skillet, a trick she learned from Israeli camp counselors one summer. We tried that recently and decided that stove-top pitas taste better. The skillet has to be very, very hot. We sprayed ours with no-stick vegetable spray and turned the pitas after two minutes (or less if we could smell burning).