Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Yield:8 pita
I reallly love good, fresh pita bread. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to purchase where I live now and the supermarket bread is so brittle and dry that it breaks when it's filled. So, I've had to learn to make my own. True freedom was discovering that I could freeze the dough and bake as needed! This recipe originally comes from the King Arthur Flour Whole-Grain Baking book. The only change I made was to use white whole wheat flour in place of traditional whole wheat flour as I like the flavor of the white whole wheat better. These pita are not only great for sandwiches, but also as mini-pizza crusts and for eating with hummus.

1 3/4 c white whole wheat flour *
1 1/2 c bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 c warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

* King Arthur Flour's white whole wheat flour can be found in most grocery stores these days or at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. If you can't find it, go ahead and try the regular whole wheat.

Mix all ingredients and knead by hand or in a mixer (8 min by hand, 5 min in a kitchen-aid mixer) until the dough is soft and supple. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has risen, place a baking stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. If you don't have a baking stone, use a non-insulated cookie sheet.

Divide the dough into 8 portions and form each into a rough ball. Let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Roll out each ball into a 6 inch circle that is less than 1/4 inch thick. Use just enough flour to prevent sticking. Keep the other balls covered while you work.

Load 2 pita at a time directly onto the baking stone. It should take 3-4 minutes for the pitas to balloon. Turn them once while baking to assure even coloring.

Remove the pita from the oven and repeat with remaining pieces. Stack warm pitas together in a kitchen towel to keep them from crisping as they cool.

Directions for freezing dough:
Follow the recipe through the rise and the making of the balls. Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and put them into a freezer-bag and freeze them. To make them, take as many balls out of the freezer as you want and defrost them in the refrigerator (I put them in the fridge at bedtime and bake them in the morning) leaving them wrapped in the plastic wrap. Take them out of the refrigerator when you turn on the oven to preheat. When the oven is ready, roll the dough out and bake as directed by the recipe. They may need a minute or two more baking time.