I do enjoy making bread for my family. I have a bread machine but I most often make bread by hand. This is good relaxing therapy. The dough I use for this is just a basic white bread recipe. If you would like to make this wheat bread you can substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white flour. I have also heard it works well with totally replacing the white flour with wheat. Although I have only tried the half and half method.
Bread Dough Recipe
1&1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil (substitute vegetable oil)
1 tablespoons sugar(substitute 2tablespoons honey)
1 teaspoon salt
3&1/2 cups flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
First add 1/4 cup warm water(105° F–115° F) and sugar to a small bowl. Add yeast to the warm sugar water stir gently. Allow the yeast activate.(bubbles form and mixture becomes frothy). Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add water, olive oil and yeast mixture. Mix with hands until the dough forms a ball.
If the dough seems sticky add flour very slowly until a soft dough is formed and is easy to knead. Knead the dough gently for a few minutes. Place the dough in a bowl that has been oiled with a little olive oil. Roll the dough over a couple time to allow the oil to cover all sides of the dough. This will seal the air out so the dough will not form a dry crust.
Set the bowl in a warm place and cover with a towel.
Tip for a drafty kitchen: Fill a pot 1/4 of the way with warm water(110° F.)Set the bowl of dough over the pot of water do not set the bowl in the water. Cover with a towel.
Allow the dough to rise about double in size. (45 min. to 11/2 hrs.)
Remove the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface. Preheat oven to 400° F. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece into a flat circle.
Allow the pieces to sitcovered with a towel and rise about 10 to 15 min. Place the pita circles on a cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven. The dough should puff up slowly.
Baking time about 7 to 10 min. Until slightly brown.
Tip to keep pita bread soft. When the bread is taken from the oven it will harden as it cools. To prevent this place the pitas right out of the oven on a sheet of waxed paper and cover with a kitchen towel. Add more pieces under the towel untill all pieces are baked. Allow the bread to cool and seal into a ziplock bag.
Tip to serve warm pita bread. When pita bread is rewarmed in the oven on a tray or in a microwave it will cool down very quickly. I rewarm my pita in a hot oven for a few seconds then place it back in a ziplock bag and place on a serving plate. A guest can remove a warm piece and reseal the bag the pitas will stay warm and soft.