This is my second month participating in the Daring Kitchen (DK) challenge and I am glad that I did because Mezze was on the menu. You know how sometimes there are things on your to-do list that have been there for awhile, well homemade pita was on of those things for me.
This DK challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. She challenged everyone to make pita bread, hummus and various other recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.
I have made hummus many times before, but this was the first time I decided to rehydrated the beans instead of going for the canned option. The texture was slightly drier an dI used water instead of olive oil to blend. I was a little concerned about the amount of tahini, but the flavors were fantastic!
If you are going to use dried beans you need to soak them overnight and then cook them the next day, which takes about 90 minutes.
1 1/2 cups (300 gm) Chickpeas (Нахут)
3 oz (90 ml) Lemon juice (from 2 – 3 lemons)
2 – 3 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 tbsp (60 ml) Tahini, well-stirred (Тахан)
A large pinch of Salt
Drain and boil the soaked chickpeas in fresh water for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain, but reserve the cooking liquid.
Puree the beans in a food processor (or you can use a potoato masher) adding the cooking water as needed until you have a smooth paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Prep time: 20 minutes to make, 90 minutes to rise
2 tsp (.43 oz) Dry Yeast, not quick yeast (Мая)
2.5 cups (600 ml) Warm Water (110F/43C)
5 – 6 cups (600 gm) All purpose Flour (you can you 50/50 to make whole wheat, which I did)
1 tbsp (15 gm) Salt
2 tbsp (30 gm) Olive Oil
In a large bread bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water.
Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups of flour one cup at a time, then stir 100 times, about 1 minute, in the same direction to activate the gluten.
Let the sponge rest for at least 10 minutes, or as long as 2 hours.
Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well.
Add more flour, a cup at a time until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 – 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Rinse out the bowl, dry and lightly oil. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Place a pizza stone, or two small baking sheets, on the bottom rack of your oven, leaving a 1 inch gap all around between the stone or the sheets and the oven walls to allow heat to circulate. Pre-heat the oven to 450F (235C)
Gently punch down the dough. Divide the dough in half, and then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide the other half into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle 8 – 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick.
Keep the rolled out breads covered until ready to bake, but do not stack.
Place 2 breads or more if your oven is large enough, on the stone or baking sheets and bake for 2 – 3 minutes, or until each bread has gone into a full balloon.
If for some reason your doesn’t puff up, don’t worry it should still taste delicious. Wrap the baked bread together in a large kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft while you bake the remaining rolled-out breads. Then repeat with the rest of the dough.
I also decided to use some of the left over chickpeas to attempt falafel, but I baked them, so they were lacking in the fatty goodness, but tasty!