As much as I try and stay away from it, I love bread. When we lived in the Middle East, finding new and better bread vendors was a family sport.
The other day, I stumbled upon the blog of Nancy Shehata and her recipe for pita bread. It looked easy and delicious. She said she finds that the kind of pita bread you find in the store is too tough. I find that, too. It’s dry and bears no resemblance to the bread you find in the Middle East.
I thought I’d give the bread a try today only I turned it into Zatar as she instructs at the bottom of the blog. Oh my my. It was amazing! Delicious, soft. I could have eaten all of it all by myself.
I’m good at baking bread but this is not a difficult recipe and I believe anyone can make this amazing stuff!
2+ cups of flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbs yeast
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup very warm water
Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and olive oil into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly add 1 cup of very warm water. Mix on medium for three minutes.
Add another cup (and possibly more to make a sticky but not stiff dough) of flour mix using dough hook for 10 minutes.
Take the dough out and knead for another minute or two by hand to make a smooth ball. Cut the ball into 8 pieces and form into balls. Cover with a towel and let rise for 10-20 minutes while the oven is heating to 550 degrees. If your oven doesn’t go up to 550, I’m sure that 500 is fine. Just be sure to check that it doesn’t burn!
Take each ball and roll into a 6 inch round, place two to three on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 3 minutes.
Make sure they don’t burn! Take them out of the oven and remove from sheet with a spatula. Be careful. If it poofed (to make the pocket) like you want, that steam inside will be HOT!
If you want to make zatar, prick all over with a fork to keep the pocket from forming, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with zatar spice mix before baking for 3 minutes.
Delicious! I’ll bet you’ll want to eat them all too.