Homemade Pita for the Barbecue

 

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It’s no secret that food tastes better outdoors. And food-meats, certain vegetables, potatoes and fruit- are also taken to another level after being introduced to the grill for a few minutes. But if your barbecue or grill has a lid, and a mechanism for regulating heat, you can also use it for roasting or baking potatoes and making pita bread.

Pita is the go-to flatbread for dips like hummus, tzatziki and babaganoush, and is amazing alongside shishkebabs, shawarma and souvlaki. But sometimes the ones we bring home can be a little disappointing; they go stale quickly, they are often split or broken and are sometimes too flimsy. Making your own is really simple; once you have rolled out the pita dough it only takes a couple minutes on the grill and voila-you have your own, homemade pita hot off the grill, lovely and soft, perfect for pulling apart or splitting and stuffing to your heart’s delight.

 

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Before rising

 

Making the dough from scratch is not complicated and like most yeast bread requires only a few basic ingredients and a little forethought; plan for about fifteen minutes of prep a couple hours before your barbecue, as you have to let the dough rise for a minimum of an hour. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and roll out the pitas and you’re good to go.

 

Roll them out

Roll them out

 

When it comes to dinner time, pre-cook the pita before you do your mains. Set the heat to 425F and place a pizza stone or cookie sheet on your grill. When the stone has come up to heat place the pitas on the hot stone and close the lid for 1.5-2 minutes, then turn them over and re-close the lid. Let them cook for another 1- 2 minutes. They will likely puff up a bit. Remove the pitas from the grill while they are still soft and white, don’t wait for them to brown or they will be overcooked and hard.

 

Ready to be grilled

Ready to be grilled

Cover snugly with a clean towel to keep them soft and warm. Then remove the pizza stone, return the heat to your required intensity and continue with the rest of your cooking.

 

first cooking on the pizza stone

first cooking on the pizza stone

Once the mains have been cooked, let them rest if needed, and return the pitas to the grill for about half a minute on each side to give them that nice toasty grilled flavor and colour. Serve immediately. Note: if you want a pita you can split and stuff, just roll it out a little thicker, about 1 quarter of an inch thick versus about an eighth of an inch for flat pita.

 

Pita

Makes 9 eight inch pitas

1 cup warm water

1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons yeast
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons olive oil

In a large bowl, mix the honey into the warm eater and stir in the yeast. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes. Stir in 2 ½ cups of the flour, add the salt and mix til smooth. Turn out onto a floured surface, clean and dry your bowl and knead the dough about 5-10 minutes, drizzling in the olive oil. Add up to half a cup more flour if the dough feels too sticky. Place dough back in the bowl and cover with cling wrap or a towel. Leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1- 2 hours. Once risen, punch the dough down and portion into nine balls. (Or however many you want to cook at a time. The dough can be refrigerated for up to a few days.) Roll the balls out to 1/8 or ¼ inch thickness and set aside for a few minutes. They will continue to rise slowly so you will want to cook them within about 15 minutes. Continue with cooking as described above.

 

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