Baking can be intimidating even for adults, but I believe that fears and doubts should be checked at the door and the kitchen entered with abandon – and ideally with a child or two in tow.
Children are baking with their parents less and less often; with our busy lives, plus the easy accessibility of baked goods at supermarkets, youngsters are missing out on opportunities to learn. I say let yeast and fly, (let’s face it, things may get may be messy), just get in the kitchen together and have some fun.
Pita bread is something my family has been making for as long as I can remember, and is one recipe I continue to make with my children. Our family’s simple recipe is ideal for making with children because it comes together quickly, requires only one brief (30 minute) resting time, and produces almost instant puffing results in the oven. I promise you will be as excited as your children to see these flat rounds of dough balloon to three times their size.
With this recipe, kids can enjoy the fruits of their labors within an hour – perfect for lunch! You’ll find pitas are so fun to make and puff up nicely, leaving a hollow center to fill with grilled chicken, veggies or whatever you desire. They are also pretty amazing just warm from the oven with a drizzle of olive oil.
- assemble ingredients
- measure ingredients
- divide dough
- shape pita
- watch the magical baking process
Recipe: My Family’s Pita Bread
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3- 3 ½ cups flour
- Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. I make all sorts of sizes to suit different snacks and meals.
- Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’.
- Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed. Preheat oven to 425F.
- With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes until light golden. Stick around to watch for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas!
These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks.
Fresh pita. Are you game? Call the kids and mix some up today.