Thursday, June 16, 2011

Whole Wheat Pita Bread


I have made this whole wheat pita bread twice now and I love it! I don't really think I will ever buy store bought pita bread again...this recipe is so much better that I probably couldn't eat the store bought kind. This bread is soft, chewy, and so amazing. My husband can testify to that seeing as I made this pita bread today and he came home, ate two for a snack and then   ate another piece as part of his dinner. He says it's the best pita bread he has ever had! Works for me! Now, this may seem like too much work for you, but I assure you it is quite simple! If you have a day where you will be home for a few hours, you can complete many tasks in between all the rising of this dough! I really hope you give this homemade pita bread a try, it's so worth it!

2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 TBS honey
1 ¼ Cups warm water, divided
1 ½ Cups bread flour, divided
1 ½ Cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ Cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Cormeal, for sprinkling
More flour for dough, if it is too sticky


In a bowl of a stand mixer add the yeast, honey and ½ Cup of warm water. Stir gently to blend. Whisk ¼ Cup of the bread flour and ¼ Cup of the whole wheat flour into the bowl until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Add in the remaining ¾ Cup of water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole wheat flour, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 tsp. salt. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and not too sticky.( I had to add about another ½ Cup of bread flour and ½ cup of whole wheat flour to my dough to get this consistency. You may or may not have to do this, just check your dough and if it is too sticky and not pulling away from the edge of the bowl, add more flour a little at a time until it is smooth.  Put dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let sit in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. You will know that your dough is dough if you poke it and a dimple remains in it, if it springs back it needs more time to rise.

Preheat your oven, with a rack in the middle, to 500 degrees with a pizza stone it in, if you are using one.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 9 equal pieces, roll them into a ball and then flatten into circles using a rolling pin. They should be about 6 inch circles. Transfer disks of dough onto a surface sprinkled with cornmeal and cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until puffed up a little.

Transfer 4 pitas at a time into the oven on your pizza stone or set them on a flipped over baking sheet surface and let sit for 2 minutes in the oven until slightly puffy. Turn them over with a tongs and let cook 1 minute more. Remove from oven and put the rest of the pitas in and do the same. Transfer pitas to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

The Dough after it is rolled into balls 

My flattened out disks of dough

 There are tons of things you can do with this pita bread, like gyros, pita pockets, dip in hummus, and much more, but our personal favorite....Individual Pita Pizzas! Top with sauce, cheese and seasonings, and place under broiler for a few minutes and you have a quick and delicious dinner!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars or Granola

I am excited to share this recipe with you since I absolutely love granola bars and granola! I have yet to find a really good store bought granola bar that I love....I am just not very happy with them and the long list of questionable ingredients in some of the varieties can be somewhat scary! I would much rather eat something without all the additives and "junk"! I love granola as an afternoon snack or with my breakfast on top of yogurt and fruit! Also, a granola bar is a great snack to have around the house when you are running out the door or are in the mood for a sweet treat! These bars have only a few simple ingredients and are very tasty! Enjoy! 

2 Cups Rolled Oats 
2 Cups Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal (I used the honey almond flax flavor) 
1/3 Cup Almond Butter (could use peanut butter too) 
1/3 Cup honey (I used half clover and half raw cinnamon honey I bought at the farmers market-AMAZING) 
1 tsp vanilla 
1 handful semi-sweet chocolate chips 

Place Rolled oats and cereal in a bowl. In small saucepan, melt almond butter, honey and vanilla together until hot and well combined. Pour over cereal mixture and add in chocolate chips! Place in foil-lined square baking dish and press down mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and then remove from pan and cut into bars. 

A few of my bars were slightly crumbly, so I decided to make granola out of them, and crumbled them into a storage container! A perfect topping to fruit or yogurt! 

adapted slightly from: