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Pita Bread

Flatbreads are likely one of the first meals constructed by humans. Archaeologists now think that bread-making (and specifically flatbreads, since equipment to compose loaf bread was not around yet) has its roots circa 25,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic, around the same time native Americans were crossing the Bering Strait. This claim is suggested by earliest evidence of flour procession—the crushing of wheat or barley grains into powder. Though no remnants of cooked bread have been discovered so early, the date does coincide with evidence of grain cultivation in Israel based on an ancient storage site for crops.


Prep: 1 hr 25 min | Cooking: 20 min | Total: 1 hr 45 min


INGREDIENTS

  • Water, lukewarm (1 cup)

  • Active dry yeast (2 tsp)

  • Granulated white sugar (2 tsp)

  • All-purpose flour (3+ cups, divided)

  • Salt (1 tsp)

  • Olive oil (1 1/2 tbsp)


DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix together water, yeast, and sugar until dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and place bowl in a warm (or at least not cold) area for 15 minutes or until it appears to bubble.

  2. Add salt, oil, and 2 cups flour and stir until sticky and stretchy. Add a bit more flour and lightly knead in the bowl until dough no longer sticks to fingers. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. Clean a large, flat surface in your kitchen and dust with flour. Punch dough into a roughly square shape. Make two cuts vertically and two horizontally so that you have 9 pieces of dough. Mold pieces into balls.

  4. Begin heating a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Form discs out of the balls, about the diameter of your hand (lengthwise) and .5 cm thick. Cook one pita at a time, flipping occasionally, until little brown spots begin to form on the bubbles. Cut into fifths and serve with hummus or pimento cheese.


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