Friday, June 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Pitas & Tzatziki

On the first Sunday of every month I am responsible for preparing the meal for my extended family. This month I asked for requests. You know, to give me an opportunity to hone my skillzzzz. (Not really I just couldn’t think of anything I wanted to make.) Dad suggested I make something easy, "like kebabs" he said. I laughed. Kabebs aren’t really “easy” I mean they aren’t hard, they just take a little bit of time to cut all the meat & veggies and then get them skewered. Of course I said yes and began planning…

First, which meat?...
I have issues with making decisions - remember how the enchiladas came to be? Yeah, so after much deliberation I narrowed down my options to shrimp, lamb, beef & chicken. (Don’t worry I’ve got this on my list of things to discuss with my therapist.)

Next I needed seasonings and marinades...
            Naked shrimp
            Salt and pepper w/ olive oil for the lamb
            Carne Asada marinade for the beef
            Annie’s marinade for chicken gyros – nope ran out of time, chicken gets a  bottled teriyaki marinade. 

Veggies on the skewers (onions and bell peppers on the red meat)
How about pineapple on the chicken?  Sure!
That all seems to work. Anything else?

Yes, a side of Asparagus Gratin

How about bread? Sourdough? Rolls?...PITAS! Whole-Wheat Pitas with Tzatziki!

Perfect! Thanks for the suggestion Dad…now please get a new grill so that I can cook the meat evenly next time. ;)

Whole-Wheat Pita Bread
Yield: 8 pitas
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast

1 tbsp. honey

1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided

1½ - 2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Cornmeal, for sprinkling (optional)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, honey and ½ cup of the water.  Stir gently to dissolve the yeast.
  2. Once yeast is dissolved, whisk ¼ cup of the bread flour and ¼ cup of the whole-wheat flour into the yeast mixture until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or lid and set aside until doubled in bulk and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and return the bowl to the mixer stand, fitted with the dough hook.  Add in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water, 1¼ cups bread flour, 1¼ cups whole-wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Dough should be slightly loose but more flour may be needed in order for the dough to come together properly. Knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. 
  4. Shape dough into a round a transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk. (if you get busy and cannot proceed with the recipe after the dough has doubled, deflate the dough, shape it into a round and let it double in bulk again – usually 30- 45 minutes)
  5. Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Place a baking stone on the rack and preheat to 500˚ F.
  6. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a bench scraper or serrated knife, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. With a rolling pin or your hands, flatten each ball into a disk that is a 6 ½ to 7 inches in diameter. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet or other work surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal (if using. – I just let mine rest without the cornmeal).  Once all the rounds have been shaped, loosely cover them with clean kitchen towels or plastic wrap. Allow them to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
  8. Carefully transfer one flattened but puffy dough round at a time onto the HOT baking stone. Place as many as will fit on the stone.  Bake 2 minutes, until puffed and pale golden.  Gently flip the pitas over using tongs and bake 1 minute more.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining pitas.  
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Source: Annies-Eats

Yield: 1 cup
8 oz. plain Greek style yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1-2-cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)

1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

splash of (fresh) lemon juice

Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Shred cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the cucumber in a thin bread cloth a squeeze to remove as much water as possible.  
  2. Mix together the Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Serve as a spread or dressing with pitas & gyros.
Source: Annies-Eats


The Harried Cook said...

Great post! I posted about Pita breads too recently, and yours look so awesome! And I love that they're whole wheat... Must try the Tzatziki too! Thanks for sharing :)

Roxana GreenGirl said...

I made few days ago my own pitas, thinking of posting the recipe later today. Yours look so great, love that home made tzatziki sauce, mmm

Thanks for sharing Gwen, happy weekend :)

Baking Serendipity said...

Kebobs have always been one of my summer grilling favorites. I love the variety in yours! And homemade pitas sound fantastic! Wish I was around for this cookout :)

kankana said...

Super great meal . I like pita bread but never tried at home. Like how puffed up yours look!

Simply Life said...

NICE WORK! This came out beautifully! I made my own pita bread and love how fresh and warm it is when homemade!

Jamie said...

I have made pita several times, but never whole wheat. This looks so good especially with the tzatziki!

Rivki Locker said...

I have always been hesitant to try pitas. It's hard to believe mine would puff the way they're supposed to! But you are inspiring me!!! Bookmarking this and hope to try it soon!

Polka said...

I am not really a cook, at least not yet, but those look super delicious :)


Trac said...

WOW- I can't wait to try these!

Myrna said...

That blown up pita pic looks amazing not to mention delicious! Yum! Never tried making pita but I will now=) BTW chicken and pineapple skewers are a favorite regular in my home Great mind think alike=D

Tamara said...

Tzatziki and pita, yumyum!

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