>> Monday, January 26, 2009
My bread recipe makes four loaves at a time. I like using a large recipe because I can keep my freezer stocked with bread, so there's rarely a time that we don't have bread in the house. But some weeks, the freezer's already full, so I only make a couple loaves and use the rest of the dough to make pitas or pizza crust.
Homemade pitas taste sooooo much better than store bought, and it's pretty cool to open the oven and see the dough all poofed up. I'm not an expert pita maker, but I have about a 90% success rate for each batch. Besides, even the failed pitas (the ones that didn't puff up and don't have a pocket) taste really good.
After the first rise, divide one or two loaves into 12 pieces each and let them rest for 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 475 degrees. Roll each piece into a circle less than 1/4 inch thick. Don't roll too hard or the pitas won't puff up. Place on a baking sheet and bake for three minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.
Pizza is an easy option for dinner on the day I'm making bread. I follow my bread recipe exactly, but after the second rise, I roll one of the loaves out onto a pizza pan and bake it for about 10 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven while the rest of the bread is cooking. Then I take it out of the oven, add pizza toppings, and slide it back into the oven for about 10 more minutes.
This method makes a very thick crust. If you prefer a thinner crust, you could just use less dough - maybe dividing one of the loaves in half and using the halves to make two crusts. I haven't tried this, though, because I like my homemade pizza dough thick.