Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flatbread Heaven 4

It's hard to believe that summer only has less than two weeks remaining.  The weather has turned towards fall but my thoughts are still occupied with summer.  That is why I had to grill some more flatbread.

I was watching Mark Bittman from the New York Time demonstrate his Grilled Lebanese Pita Bread recipe.  It looked inherently easy and delicious.  His recipe called for all-purpose flour and za'atar spice mix.  I decided to improvise a whole wheat recipe with my own spice mix.

I like this recipe because it has more flavor than chapati.  Chapati is unleavened bread and this recipe has a tablespoon of yeast to help the dough rise.  You will be amazed, with a little advanced preparation, how simple and delicious this flatbread is.

Natalie was my videographer again, so if you hear heavy breathing on the video, you know who that is.  Likewise, Michael was my consultant in this recipe.  He helped me figure out how to mimic the za'atar spice mix.  Ben and Tim just watched and waited until it was time to eat.

Here is my version of grilled pita bread:

1 cup filtered water, room temperature
2 tsp table salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp yeast

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
olive oil for brushing dough

1.  Combine water, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl.  Stir and let sit for five minutes.
2.  Add flour mixture and stir.  Use hands to combine lingering flour.  The dough will be somewhat dry. You can add a tablespoon of water at a time to combine all of the flour.  Cover bowl and let sit in a warm place for an hour.
3.  Preheat grill for fifteen minutes.  Turn out rested dough onto a floured counter.  Knead dough by hand for five minutes until soft and pliable.
4.  Cut dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  With rolling pin and more flour, roll out each piece into a 6 inch diameter circle.  Place each disc onto a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Brush each pita disc with olive oil.  Prepare spice mix* listed below.
5.  Scrape off grill with cleaning brush.  Turn grill down to medium heat and brush grill grates with cooking oil.  Place pita discs onto grill, olive oil side down and cook for about a minute.
6.  Brush uncooked side with more olive oil.  Turn pita bread over when bubbles are visible and grill marks are present underneath.  Cook second side for about a minute.   Sprinkle spice mixture on top of pita while cooking second side.  Pita bread is done when second side shows browning and grill marks.

*Diane's spice mix

sea salt
black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
couple sprigs of fresh thyme

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