Sunday, April 3, 2011

Turkish Pita Bread

It's 3am, you've been drinking all're in front of Kebab Garden and you don't know how you got there. There is only one thing that can make you feel good right's calling to you. The smell of lamb grease and garlic has drawn you to this mystical spot. You are ready to stuff delicious Turkish food in your face, and it will be delivered by this utensil, Turkish Pita Bread. Don't get me wrong, this bread is perfectly delicious making any other type of sandwich, but it is the most superiour of the "drunk foods". Any kind of kebab stuffed into this bread will be heavenly.

Chris adapted this recipe from one he got out of The Sultan's Kitchen. The main differences are the wetter sponge starter and the period of time spent in the fridge following Peter Reinhardt's pain ancienne method. Here is how Chris made his bread---

1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water from tap
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
black caraway seeds (also called nigella or black cumin seeds)

In a bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir very well. Wait 10 minutes. Sift 1 cup of the flour into this liquid. Stir very well. You'll get a soupy batter. Cover the bowl and wait 30 minutes. Now sift the other 3 cups of flour  and salt into this mixture and stir well. Empty out onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth (this should take around 10 minutes). Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it is doubled in size (around 1 hour). Put in fridge overnight. 3 hours before you are ready to bake, remove the bowl from the fridge. Give the dough an hour to take the chill out, then remove it from the bowl. Roll it into a cylinder. Cut it into 6 equal size discs. Gently stretch each disc out into a 6-8" flat bread. Try not to squeeze all the air out of it while doing this. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Give them 2 hours to re-inflate. They are now ready for the oven. The oven should be pre-heated to 450F. Take the egg yolk and beat it into the milk. Cover each loaf with the egg glaze (use a brush or your hands). Sprinkle the seeds onto the loaves (they will stick to the glaze). Now place into the oven. They will take around 10-15 minutes.

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