While I’ve been enthusiastically experimenting with my sourdough to make bread, I’d not even considered other applications for it. Thought I’d take this sourdough thing one step at a time rather than going in all guns blazing, for once. Then last month I discovered the Sourdough Surprises blog and a whole world of sourdough possibilities was opened up to me!
This month the challenge was for flatbreads and after a flick through Dan Lepard‘s Short & Sweet I decided to keep it simple & try adapting his Perfect Plain Pitas recipe. Dan explains that once you’ve made your own pita bread, you’ll never go back to the pre-packaged supermarket versions and he’s not wrong.
I read through the recipe and planned out my own version, which I then adjusted slightly as I went along. These turned out to be one of the easiest things I’ve ever made and the end result was a batch of enormous, gloriously soft pita breads with the slightest hint of sour from the sourdough. I think going forward I will reduce the size of the pitas to about 80g each to make them a more manageable size, and I will be making these going forward, in fact this might be a weekly bake from now on!
I heated my oven up to as hot as it will go, which was 230C fan, but I think anything over 200C would be fine. My pitas took about 4 minutes to puff up and I couldn’t tear myself away from the oven door as watching them puff up was weirdly enchanting. I felt proud every time I pulled them out of the oven all puffed up and looking very impressive. It almost makes up for my struggles with oven spring on my proper sourdough loaves. Almost.
Sourdough Pita Breads
Makes about 8 pita breads.
Based on Dan Lepard’s Perfect Plain Pitas recipe.
200g warm water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
260g strong white flower
165g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
Whisk together the leaven, warm water & oil in a large bowl. In another bowl mix together the two flours, sugar and salt. Add the flour to the leaven mixture to make a soft dough. Cover & leave for 10 mins. Stretch the dough in the bowl, following Azelia’s method, and leave for 2 hours at room temperature, covered with a clean tea towel.
Heat the oven to 230C fan with a baking tray on the centre shelf. Lightly flour the work surface, divide the dough into 100g balls and leave for 20 minutes. Roll out all 8 balls to about 5 mm thick. Once you’ve reached the last ball go back to the first and second and roll them out again with lots of pressure to get it nice and thin.
Take the baking tray out of the oven, quickly closing the door, place the two pitas on the tray and put it back in the oven. Bake for 3-5 minutes until they’ve puffed up and are lightly coloured. Remove from the oven, opening the door for as short a time as possible, and transfer to cool on a rack. Place the baking tray back in the oven while you roll out the next two pitas and repeat until all the pitas have been baked.
Don’t forget to check out the other Sourdourgh Surprises flatbread posts. I know I will be.