Friday, November 9, 2007

Falafel with Homemade Pitas

When I told the boys we were going to have falafel tonight their eyes lit up like I just told them we would be eating cake and ice cream. They absolutely love Isa's falafel and tahini dressing from Vegan With a Vengeance! The other part of the equation is my homemade pitas. These take a bit of time, but aren't hard to make and are totally worth it. They are so tender and soft--not like the dry, crumbly, stale pitas they sell at my grocery store.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 6--feel free to double
- 2 cups white bread flour (substitute up to half of the flour with whole wheat flour if you want)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 tsp olive oil

METHOD
1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, dissolve yeast into water, then stir in olive oil. Pour into flour. Stir into a rough dough.
2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface (or in a counter top mixer with a dough hook) for 5 min, until smooth. Dough will be a bit tougher than regular bread--don't worry, it will soften when it rises. Place in a large clean bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let double in size in a warm place (about 1 hour).
4. Punch down dough, divide into six, and shape into 6 balls. Brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest 5 mins.
5. Roll each ball into an oval or circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Place on a floured dish towel, brush with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 mins.
6. While dough is rising, place 2 cookie sheets in the oven and heat to 450. Heat is crucial here--make sure the oven is good and hot.
7. Remove cookie sheets from the oven. Quickly put 2-3 pitas on each and put back in the oven. Bake until pitas puff up (about 4 mins). This is the coolest part--they inflate like beach balls. Once all pitas have puffed, remove from oven and cool on racks. When cooled, wrap in a tea towel to keep soft.

These pitas don't stay fresh for long. If you won't be using them up in a day or two, put them in the freezer.

8 comments:

Dawn said...

These are beautiful. I want to try to de-glutenize this recipe. If I do and it works, can I post it on my blog too?

If you and vegan mom ever start baking gluten free and want to adopt an adult child, let me know ;-) On second thought, it's warmer in NC than up there...I'll keep cooking for myself

Vegan Dad said...

Dawn,

I am really unfamiliar with gluten-free baking since none of the family has a wheat allergy. If you are able to make a successful gluten-free version please post a link back here.

Yes, it is colder here than in beautiful North Carolina . . . but perhaps our universal health care will lure your north!

Boston said...

Does the yeast need sugar to feed on?

Vegan Dad said...

boston,
No, not in this case.

MannyS said...

you have definitely got to post some of these on www.myblogz.com

the site is cool and they let you make your own channels....being vegan, i would love to see more of this!

Jamie said...

Oooh. They look great.
Do you think I could use all-purpose flour instead?

Vegan Dad said...

Jamie,
No, you need the extra gluten of the bread flour.

Audrey said...

In step 5. Am I suppose to flour or oilach pita as it is ace thetowel and covered?