The following recipes no longer buy bread from the bakery


full body bread|take photo: Bim Lake, good food

Independence Day brings with it a huge influx to the city where I live, Jaffa. People come to Jaffa to buy meat, charcoal, chickpeas and even bread. There are some famous bakeries selling bread here, and hippos know exactly who is the best and where is the best to buy.

I haven’t bought pitas for several years, but I make them myself at home. I also don’t go to fires or stand in traffic jams – I invite friends and family into my house and host them at home. True, this can be bypassed – but not unless you technically know what it does. I stand by the stove, and when I see them puffing up no one is happier than me.

This week I decided to offer you two recipes for the country’s most famous bread – classic pita bread in the oven and baked in a frying pan – and assure you that the result is simply amazing. You will be very proud!

Kirin Agam Petas (Photo: Kirin Agam, Good Food)
Lake Beta Betas Foundation|take photo: Bim Lake, good food

What is important to know when baking bread at home?

** Bake pita bread in a very hot oven (230-240 degrees). This means that you will need to run the oven for 30-40 minutes before inserting the bread. By the way, bread in the oven is not baked on turbo mode, but only on top and bottom heat.

** It is recommended to place the bread on an oven-heated stone or on an inverted, heated tray that resembles a crumbled stone. The mold is placed on a relatively upper portion of the oven, and only one mold at a time. The pancakes swell from the heat from the top and bottom, and if there is more than one pan in the oven, this process can go wrong.

** If the heat comes out of the oven while baking, the bread may not swell (ie no pocket will form). To prevent this from happening, it is important to work quickly as the molds are inserted and removed from the oven.

** If you want to create a moisture-rich baking environment, place (along with Arabic bread) a pot of boiling water (in the bottom of the oven) or place a few ice cubes in the bottom. This will give the bread more juice.

** It is important! In a home oven, not all bread is puffed. True, this can be bypassed – but not unless you technically know what it does. When I bake in the home oven, I usually 70-80 percent of the bread swells to my satisfaction, and the rest I get as is. Not all ovens are created equal, in all of them the success rates are slightly different, but in principle if your oven does not turn over the goods, try to increase the oven temperature to 250 and bake in a top grill program. This can help.

** Do you have an oven? You got it right! There is no pita bread that does not puff in the oven, and the baking time is shortened to 30-45 seconds on each side.

** Another excellent option is to use an electric grill pan (they cost about NIS 100 in the market). It has a strong top grill heat and inflates the bread quickly and well: heat the pot and put it in pita bread. When it swells (note that this happens very quickly!) flip it over for a few seconds, and take it out. Cover it with a towel and move on.

Kirin Ajam Bread (Photo: Kirin Ajam, Good Food)
Bread from Horn Lake|take photo: Bim Lake, good food

How do you prepare for baking?

Unlike bread, loaves are not baked but rather toasted in a hot frying pan. Since this process is done without oil, it is highly recommended that the frying pan is of high quality and with a good coating. As with baking, here too the pan has to be very hot – so put on fire for a few minutes before you put your first laba on it.

keep it fresh

Both bread and lapa are best when they come out of the oven/fryer. To keep them soft, take them out on a tray or plate and cover them immediately with a towel. Not planning to eat it right away? You can freeze the bread/loaves while they are fresh and reheat them before serving.

upgrades

You can add chopped herbs or even crushed garlic to the dough – both pita and papaya, it will give a wonderful aroma! You can also add feta cheese to the loaves (without pita bread, as it will hurt the bloating).

Pita bread before baking (Photo: Kirin Ajam, Good Food)
Pita bread before baking|take photo: Bim Lake, good food
A pile of bread (Photo: Kirin Agam, Good Food)
A pile of kids!|take photo: Bim Lake, good food

pitas recipe

Ingredients (serves for 11 large or 14 medium buns):
Kilo bread / pizza / Manitoba flour or plain white flour
1 tablespoon (10 g) dry yeast
3 and a half tablespoons (35 grams) white sugar
1 heaped tablespoon (35 g) fine salt
550-600 ml of tap water
¼ cup (50 g) canola oil

For decoration (optional):
a little sesame

to prepare:

Sift the flour into the mixing bowl. Add yeast, sugar and salt and mix a little.

2. Add three quarters of the water and set for about a minute. Add oil and continue kneading.

3. Slowly add more water – I’m not sure you’ll need the full amount.

We put the dough in total for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and roll so that it is coated in all directions. Cover with cling film and swell at room temperature for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Put the flour in a large tray or an oven tray lined with baking paper.

7. Divide the dough into balls weighing 150 grams for the large pita or 110 grams for the medium pita. Arrange the balls on a floured surface and cover with a towel. Swell for about an hour, until double in size.

8. Place the inverted stoneware oven or inverted baking tray in the oven and heat to 240 degrees.

9. Roll each ball of dough into a circle on a floured surface using a rolling pin and, if desired, sprinkle a little sesame seeds. When the circles are ready, carefully arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet (this quantity requires 3-4 rounds of baking).

Bake the bread for 8-9 minutes, until it swells and turns slightly golden. Remove it to a tray and immediately cover it with a towel.

** You can convert half of the flour into whole wheat flour. In this case, we add a little water to the dough.

** You can make the dough in the evening and blow it in the refrigerator overnight.

Bake it fresh under a towel (Photo: Keren Agam, Good Food)
It is important to cover it immediately with a towel|take photo: Bim Lake, good food

bread recipe

Ingredients (8 for baking):
4 cups (560 g) bread/pizza flour or white flour
1 tablespoon (10 g) dry yeast
spoon of honey or sesame
tablespoon fine salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup (120 ml) of soda water
1 cup (240 ml) of tap water

to prepare:

Sift the flour into the mixing bowl. Add yeast, honey, salt, olive oil, and baking soda.

Start kneading and slowly add water (if necessary, add more water).

We put the dough in total for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and roll so that it is coated in all directions. Cover with cling film and swell at room temperature for an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half, until doubled in size.

4. Lift the dough from the air and divide it into balls weighing 130 grams.

Arrange the balls on a baking tray or large tray lined with baking paper and sprinkled with flour. Cover with a towel and let it swell for half an hour until it doubles in size.

6. Heat a large frying pan (preferably with a non-stick coating).

7. Place a ball of dough on a floured surface and roll it with a dough roller in the shape of a large circle. If necessary, flip the circle a few times while flattening to get a thin, large circle.

8. Put the dough circle in the pan and wait for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until golden on the bottom. Meanwhile bubbles will appear on top.

9. Flip the laba to the other side and simmer for another minute and a half.

Transfer each prepared loaf to a wide plate and immediately cover it with a towel to keep it fresh.

>> Here is a recipe from Keren Agam for soft, soft bread made from wholemeal flour

Happy independence!

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