The 2010 February Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums.
Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford, and Naomi Dugid.
Mezze is a bunch of small dishes that are all served at once – sort of like a Middle Eastern tapas.
The required parts of the challenge were to make pita bread and homemade hummus. I also chose to make kafta (spiced meatballs) and tabboule salad.
I’ve made pitas before, but I really loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again.
Homemade pitas are so much better than what you can buy in the store. They’re soft, fluffy pillows of goodness.
I found this recipe to be really easy to follow and the result was pure perfection.
They tasted just like the pitas that I get at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants!
They were really cheap to make too, and I loved how they puffed up in the oven.
Since I was planning to use them as a wrap, I flattened them while they were still warm. But if you want a pocket that you can fill, Leave them in the balloon shape to cool. The inside will be hollow, so you can cut them in half and fill just like a store bought pita pocket. As written, the recipe will yield 16 breads. I halved it and had no problems.
The hummus that was required for the challenge was also a great recipe, although some people felt that it was too lemony.
I love lemon though, so I couldn’t complain! I thought it was great – very smooth and creamy.
Instead of adding the garlic that the original recipe called for, I threw in 5 garlic-stuffed olives. The olives gave the hummus a great flavor, and we loved it!
I was worried about the proportions, but it was just right – not too much garlic and just enough olive so that it was a predominant flavor without being overpowering.
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a large bread bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, and then stir 100 times, about 1 minute, in the same direction to activate the gluten. Let this 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 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic (I found that after 10 minutes of kneading by hand the dough still wasn't ready, so I transferred to my Kitchen Aid with a dough hook for another 5 minutes). 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 ½ 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 sheets and the oven walls to allow heat to circulate. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- 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 to 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 to 3 minutes, or until each bread has gone into a full balloon. If for some reason your bread doesn't puff up, don't worry it should still taste delicious. Wrap the baked breads 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.
- 15.5 ounces chickpeas drained
- 2 lemons juiced
- 5 garlic-stuffed olives or 5 cloves garlic and 5 large green olives
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- Puree the beans in a food processor adding water as needed until you have a smooth paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
24 thoughts on “Homemade Pitas and Hummus”
These all look amazing! Can I substitute turkey burger for beef? We dont eat beef.
I have to try your Kofta, I have not made pita before, only naan bread, another bread to try to make.
I am middle eastern and I make Kofta very often. For more variation, you can add one cup of flower and two shredded zucchinis, one cup of finely chopped tomatoes, one medium size mashed potatoes, one table spoon of curry spice (instead of coriander and cumin), and another finely chopped onion. Add the above ingredients to the original kofta mixture, and mix well. Shape the mixture into flat rounds and fry. You will love that one too!
Thanks for providing the pita recipe! I will go ahead and try making it. I never made one before as I always bought it from bakeries 🙂
ive missed your yummy posts lauren…and what a great one to start with!
I am craving some falafel! mmmm