Saturday, March 30, 2013

Homemade Pita Bread

1 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour, more if needed
1 cup pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP applesauce
1 TBSP olive oil

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and applesauce and knead. Dough shouldn't be sticky, but it shouldn't be dry either. If too sticky add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour until you get the right consistency. If too dry, add 2 tablespoon of water t a time until you get the right consistency. 

3. Roll the dough out into a rope and cut into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll out to a 6- to 8-inch circle. 

4 To bake pita: Preheat oven to 500 degrees and put a pita on a wire cake rack. Place the rack in the oven and cook for 3 minutes or until the bread stops puffing up. When you take it out, smash down the pita (careful - it's hot) and quickly put it in a plastic freezer bag.

5. To fry pita: In a skillet over high heat, heat oil. When almost smoking, place a pita in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side, until brown spots begin to appear. Put in a plastic bag one it has cooled a bit.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 red bell pepper
6 TBSP tahini, stirred well
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed (about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp table salt
Pinch cayenne
3 TBSP lemon juice from 1 to 2 lemons
2 TBSP sliced almonds, toasted
2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Roast the pepper: Place pepper directly on a gas flame or on a chili roaster (or under broiler). Roast until completely black, turning to char all sides. Transfer pepper to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin. Cut the pepper down the middle and open flat. Remove the stem and scrape out seeds (discard seeds). Chop, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil.

3. In a food processor, process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and cayenne until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula  With machine running, add lemon juice in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle almonds and parsley over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread.