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Whole Wheat Khubz, Khoubz or Khobz (Pitas)

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Beer-B-Q View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 February 2010 at 19:35
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Whole wheat pita bread is perfect for those looking to add more wheat to their diet. This recipe contains both white and wheat flour and is so simple to make!

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preparation:
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  • Add honey and stir until dissolved.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
  • Combine white flour, wheat flour, and salt in large bowl.
  • Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.
  • Slowly add warm yeast water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until dough becomes elastic.
  • Place dough on floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.
  • When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
  • Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl.
  • Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated with oil.
  • Allow to sit, covered, in a warm place for about 3 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces.
  • Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to preheat your baking sheet also.
  • Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.
  • Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up.
  • Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.
  • Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.
  • Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.
Storing Pita Bread
  • Pita bread can be stored for up to a week in a pantry or bread box, and up to a month in the freezer.
  • Be sure to use freezer bags when storing in the freezer.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 April 2011 at 10:22
a gal i went to school with was looking for a pita recipe ~ natrually, i suggested that she try beer-b-q's recipe, and she did, using their own home-grown whole wheat flour.
 
she said it turned out great! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 11:40

This recipe works very well - I've made it twice now, using white flour (which is all I had at the time), and both times I have been impressed with how easy and tasty the home-made pitas are - much better than store-bought.

I did use this recipe when creating a greek-style feast a couple of years ago, and they turned out very well:
 
 
For those interested, there is a good step-by-step account of making these, along with some true humour, to be found here:
 
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Daikon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 12:27
Okay, a few things:

There's pita and there's not pita, even though there's not (or shouldn't be) a lot of difference if they are well-made.  What I mean is that "pita" is actually a Greek word, and really shouldn't be used to refer to the flatbread used in, e.g., the cuisines of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Arabian peninsula.  Arabic for common flatbread is khubz, khoubz or khobz, depending on how you transliterate it.  The preparation of khubz is similar to that of well-made pita, but khubz is also often baked in a tannÅ«r, which is the Arabic equivalent of a tandoor, as found in India.  Bread made this way is fairly similar to Indian naan.  However, the best khubz I ever had was formed by hand, something like shaping pizza dough, and then baked over an open fire on the back of a cast iron skillet, much like making a tortilla.  That stuff didn't require anything more than a little salt from the nearby Gulf of Aqaba to taste absolutely fantastic.  This kind of bread is made with white, hard wheat flour.  The most similar stuff you are likely to find in a store near you is sold as bread flour.

Anyway, the more important point is that much of what is sold in the U.S. as pre-packaged pita bread is crap, nothing like the real thing.  It is usually tough, dry, and tastes like nothing except maybe cardboard.  Making your own is not that hard -- you'll figure it out quickly from any of the many recipes that are available online for what is really a very basic dough.  And the results are much, much better than you will get from a plastic bag at the store.  Keeping this bread for a week, as the recipe mentions, is craziness in my mind.  If you've made it well, you'll never manage to hold off on eating it for a week; but more importantly, it won't be nearly as good after even one day.  Older stuff you can use for things like summac chicken, but getting a stack of fresh bread every day or every other day is the typical practice, and you will commonly see people in Middle Eastern countries walking around with their stack of fresh bread somewhat in the manner of seeing people with their fresh baguettes in France.

Enough of the lecture.  Make some yourself, fry up some falafels, and enjoy a sandwich made fresh. Or grill up some kebabs, using whole khubz kind of like an oven pad to protect your hand as you swipe the cooked meat off the skewers, ready to serve in a single stroke.  Either way, you'll find yourself wishing that you could always get these fresh from the baker instead of only what gets called pita at your grocery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 13:10
Outstanding post, Daikon, and I greatly appreciate the wealth of information you've shared. I modified the title of the post to reflect your information.
 
I have to agree completely with your assessment of store-bought "pitas;" I used them last weekend and noticed the difference in a graphic way - that's what I get trading quality for convenience!
 
Quote However, the best khubz I ever had was formed by hand, something like shaping pizza dough, and then baked over an open fire on the back of a cast iron skillet, much like making a tortilla.  That stuff didn't require anything more than a little salt from the nearby Gulf of Aqaba to taste absolutely fantastic.
 
Very descriptive language here - taking me straight to the Arabian Peninsula:
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 13:33
Well, that bottom picture is a little romanticized, but the pair of them do give you some sense of the dramatic landscapes near Aqaba, the Wadi Rum, etc.  Really amazing places, especially at sunrise and sunset with the red light filtered through dusty air, accentuating the red sandstone of the mountains and dunes (okay, not really mountains to a Montanan, but still pretty dramatic.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 13:44
Sounds like another great place to put on my list of "would-love to visits."
 
Speaking of the red light and the sandstone, I caught a couple of other nice images during my search for the two above; at first, I thought these images were from a whole different location (farther north and east), but I must have been wrong, since they came up so often:
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 13:55
Nearby, but not exactly the same place that I was mentioning.  Those photos are from Petra, which is a bit north of the city of Aqaba (but still within the Aqaba administrative district), about a third of the way back to Amman from Aqaba, and located deep in a secret gorge (the Siq, or shaft) with one of the most dramatic entrances to any site of human habitation anywhere.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 14:02
gotcha - looks like beautiful country, but i can only guess at the heat. i remember petra, of course, from the indiana jones movie - and there's a documentary on netlix that i have in line behind a couple of others. i will have to move it forward on the list.
 
>>>one of the most dramatic entrances to any site of human habitation anywhere.<<<
 
....and then there's the front walk to my house, with its collection of detritus from the kids, my smoker AND my grill, and my poor wife's attempts to lend a feminine touch to a home and yard with 5 males......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 14:17
Yeah, well most of the really dramatic architecture at Petra is actually tombs, with the much less dramatic domestic areas located a little apart.  Unfortunately, it's a constant battle to keep this magnificent site from filling up with detritus from tourists.

i can only guess at the heat.

Much like the deserts of the American Southwest, but the dust in the air has a different smell and taste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 14:33
I'll bump that documentary forward to this weekend - it sounds like something definitely worth seeing, and learning about.
 
Thanks again for the information, Daikon - when I get to the falafel project, it looks like I'll be making some of these to go with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 August 2012 at 22:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 August 2012 at 02:30
Buon Giorno, Good Morning  Daikon,
 
I am writing to tell you that you have conveyed the exoticness and immemorial ancient culture in your wonderful photographic and authored feature ...
 
Thanks so much for posting, and I am quite a fan of Flatbreads ... Certainly shall give your recipes a whirl when we return to Madrid Capital 5th September.
 
We were in Jordan five years ago, and it is an amazing country with some of the most beautiful beaches we have encountered in our profound love of the awesome turquoise aqua seas, Jordan possesses.
 
Again, thanks for posting such an enjoyable and informative article.
 
All my best regards.
Margi.
 
 
 
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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