Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kitchening: Pita bread, a skillet cookie, and a tart

I've been cooking up a storm and I often take pictures that you just never happen to see so I thought I'd give you a rundown of a few delicious dishes with mostly links because that's easier than pretending that I "adapted" them.

Here you see my very oddly shaped pitas risen.

Once the pita come out of the super hot oven, they get the sauna treatment in a (old) paper bag (obviously I reuse this bag).

I got this highly rated recipe from Obviously mine aren't super round...I don't really try that hard because I usually make them to dip in my hummus, not fill up with falafel. 

I mix these on the dough setting in my bread machine and usually have to add at least a cup of flour or it's too gooey. Might be Chinese flour and Shanghai humidity.

The trick to getting the pocket to form is rolling them out a little thinner than you'd think. And not to worry if your oven doesn't go all the way up to 500 degrees. I set mine on the highest setting and it works out fine.

1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1. Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine, select Dough setting and start. When dough has risen long enough, machine will beep.
2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into a 12 inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle. Set aside on a lightly floured countertop. cover with a towel. Let pitas rise about 30 minutes until slightly puffy.
3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Place 2 or 3 pitas on a wire cake rack. Place cake rack directly on oven rack. Bake pitas 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediately place pitas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft. Once pitas a softened, either cut in half or split top edge for half or whole pitas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.

Great for a crowd...just watch out how long you cook them. They can get a little dry or be undercooked in the center. I like these with half whole, half flour.

Citrus (mostly Lemon) Tart with Ginger Oat Crust
(for Pi Day, of course) 

I mixed two recipes and came up with one pretty delish tart--my first tart ever actually.

The Ginger Oat Crust came from a diabetics website so I switched all the substitutions (margarine, fake sugar) back into the real deal and added some extra ground ginger for good measure. I also use ginger nut cookies because that's what I had. Those have a little extra bite to them as well.

Citrus tart a la Martha. It didn't all fit in my little precooked ginger oat crust and made a bit of a mess getting it to the oven. Also cooked for nearly 50% longer than the directions said, but it tasted good in the end. The filling was essentially an uncurded lemon curd. I think I'll go with a lemon curd next time. I actually used the left over filling on the stove and turned it into curd which I sandwiched between my first ever macaroons (pictures to come).

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