In an effort to get healthier I've made a midyear resolution to not eat any more "junk" food....unless I make it myself ;-). This way if I really have a craving I can still have treats, but without all the extra salt/preservatives/high fructose corn syrup. I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as homemade "junk" food. If it's made with love, how could it be junk!? Well, we'll see how long this resolution lasts, but I'm having fun so far.
Pita chips have been a weakness of mine ever since I started snacking on them during my lab meetings. Salty and crispy and perfect to dip in hummus. Luckily it turns out they are super simple to make at home and even better than the ones in the bag. I love that I can flavor them however I want when I make them at home. Spicy AND garlicky? Yes please!
Perhaps I should make a "you too can bake bread!" series. This recipe would certainly been in it. The pitas by themselves are easy and super delicious.
For the pitas, adapted from Good Eats n Sweet Treats
Makes 8 pitas
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 packet instant dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Make a little well in the middle and add the warm water. You are supposed to add 2 tablespoons of oil at this point, but I totally forgot and the pitas still turned out amazing, so I'll continue to leave it out in the future.
With a wooden spoon stir the water into the flour until it forms a ball. If it is too dry (not all the flour is incorporated) add more warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet (you can't knead it without it sticking to everything) add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes. I kneaded it by hand, you could probably also use a stand mixer.
Place the ball of dough in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size--this should take between 1 and 2 hrs. Punch down the dough and divide into eight equal (or if you are me kind of similarly sized) pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then let the balls sit, covered, for 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting place a cookie sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 450F. Take each of the balls and stretch by hand until they are about 1/4" thick and 6' in diameter. You know, pita shaped!! =] Throw them (so you don't burn yourself!) two at a time onto the hot sheet. Bake for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Pull the done ones out with a set of tongs and throw the next batch in.
Cool and enjoy!
For the pita chips
Pitas, homemade or store bought
Spices--black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, or any other combination
Preheat oven to 350F.
Massage the whole pitas with olive oil, just enough so that the spices will stick on the outside. Sprinkle with spices. I used sea salt, cayenne and garlic powder. I didn't measure, I just sprinkled.
Cut the seasoned pitas into chip sized pieces. Bake for 15 minutes on a cookie sheet, stirring once, until the chips are very crispy and browned.
Cool a bit and enjoy. :-) They are GREAT with fresh hummus or salsa. ooooh, or guacamole!