This is really just my basic recipe for anything bready, you can also use it to make breadsticks, naan breads to mop up your curry, or a base for your home-made pizza. We were having a barbecue one day and didn’t have any bread in the house, so I decided to try making some flatbreads directly on the grill, just to see how they’d come out. Amazingly they puffed up just like pittas, so we stuffed them with hummus and grilled veggies and they were absolutely delicious. You have to try this next time you have a barbecue!
Recipe (makes eight decent-sized pittas, enough for four hungry people):
- 300ml warm water
- 1 teaspoon dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon any kind of sugar
- 250g bread flour (I prefer to use brown)
- 250g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A handful of semolina or polenta
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water in a large bowl and leave to activate. After 10 minutes or so it should have a layer of foam on top, once this appears, mix it into the flours, oil and salt. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Knead the dough for another couple of minutes, then divide into eight pieces. Scatter a handful of semolina or polenta on a large tray. On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll a piece out into a circle about 15cm across then put it on the tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. If there’s not enough room on your tray to comfortably fit all of the pittas it’s ok to overlap them as long as you scatter some more semolina or polenta on each one – it should stop them sticking together. Let the pittas rise for half an hour or so while you light the barbecue and get the rest of your food ready.
To cook a pitta, put it straight on the hot grill. Let it cook until it has completely puffed up all over, this should take less than five minutes. Flip over and cook for another two minutes, until nicely browned on both sides. Split, stuff, and enjoy!