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Whole Wheat Pita from a Wood-fired Oven

October 20, 2013

whole wheat pita

Last night my daughters hosted a Halloween teen bash for 12 of their best friends. I am gently recovering this AM.  The music divas of the party played the piano and sang so loud I swear I could feel the vibrations rattle the windows. The rest cranked up the dance music IN the same room and were dancing away.

Just as the cacophony reached an ear-splitting, dazzling crescendo, my older son David and his girlfriend Tory showed up. David is considered a “hottie” by the female experts in the crowd and he became the center of attention. He and Tory kept everyone busy in the living room so I could focus on meal prep.   I fired up my Forno Classico pizza oven with hickory and walnut scraps from our local sawmill.  Everyone made their own pizzas. I fired them off, one and two at a time. The first-timers were in awe of the process.

I had previously mixed up a second batch of dough, this one being whole wheat for pita. After the pizzas were fired, I let the oven cool down to 500 degrees and started tossing in rolled flaps of the whole wheat dough. They puffed beautifully, This morning, I’m chugging coffee and snacking on pieces of pita that are so flavorful, I am not even inclined to layer in veggies or that great eggplant dip I’ve got in the fridge.  You can make pita in your range oven but the wood-fired flavor and texture can’t be beat.

Here’s the eye-ball method that I use to prep and bake-off pita:

2 1/2 to 3 cups of warm water

2 tsp salt (or more, depending on taste preferences)

1 tbsp yeast

3 tbsp canola or olive oil

2 pounds whole wheat flour        I use King Arthur “white” whole wheat flour   You may need more than this though.

Mix,then knead for five to ten minutes, adding additional flour as needed to obtain a lightly firm dough.  I use a dough hook on my mixer these days. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and leave in your microwave for an hour. Punch down and let rise again for 30 minutes. Punch down again. Heat up your range to 500 degrees or as hot as you can get it.  Place a pizza stone or heavy-duty cookie sheets upside down in the center of your oven as it pre-heats. Pinch off ball of dough the size of an egg or a small apple if you are adventurous. Roll out to  3/8″ thick. Dust both sides with flour if a bit sticky. The trick is to use a rolling-pin to get an even layer here. If you try to pat these out by hand, they won’t puff evenly in my experience.  Let rest 10 minutes before baking.

To bake: Sprinkle a bit of flour or corn meal on a pizza peel or the back side of a cookie sheet,  Place dough rounds on peel and slide into oven onto hot pizza stone, cookie sheets, or onto hearth of your WFO. Watch carefully. Baking time can be from two to five minutes, depending on temps and dough thickness. When pita have puffed to max height, let bake an additional 20 seconds or so, depending on oven heat. Some pita, for some reason will refuse to puff up. Don’t despair they’ll still taste amazing. Remove and let cool on an open counter. When all have cooled, store in plastic bags at room temp or freeze.  I bake these as going away gifts for the adults at our pizza parties. These pita taste amazing the next morning with feta cheese, tomato slices, Kalamata olive and fresh basil, cilantro, etc…  As I have been mostly a vegan, these days I make up a creamy dip from sautéed eggplant, onions, and garlic.

Makes 10 or more plate sized pitas.  Happiness factor: 5 stars

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2013 12:48 pm

    Hi Kim, looking forward to have a “friends and family” event in November. Would love for your family to come. WIll keep you posted!


  2. October 20, 2013 8:26 pm

    Sounds like you all had a blast. I remember coming out to your place for a pizza party – one of the best times ever!


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