I love this bread because you can cook it on the stove top or grill, so there is no need to fire up or even have an oven. I also love it for its amazing texture,
which is chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. Forget about thin and leathery store bought pita bread. This homemade version will make any sandwich special.
This Moroccan style pita has various names in that country, including batbout, matlouh,
mkhamer and toghrift. The semolina flour is an important ingredient, since this type of
flour is very high in gluten and gives the bread a chewy elasticity. The combination of other types of flours also gives it texture. You can experiment with different
types of flour besides white and whole wheat.
You must cook this in a cast iron skillet or grill. Cast iron can be heated to a higher temperature than non-stick pans, and this will give it the burst of steam that
is needed to form the air pocket inside the bread, as well as the characteristic (and delicious) browning on the outside of the pita.
1 1 ⁄ 2 cups warm water (not hot, just body temperature)
1 tablespoon or 1 packet dry yeast
1 1 ⁄ 2 cups semolina
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Add water to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about five
minutes so the yeast can get soft enough to dissolve.
Stir yeast into water until dissolved, and add the salt, honey and olive oil.
Add semolina, whole wheat flour and white flour. Mix with dough hook until it forms a firm dough and then continue to mix on medium speed for at least 2 minutes.
If you are kneading bread by hand knead for 5-10 minutes, until it is soft and springy.
Place dough back in bowl and cover with a towel, and leave to rise in a warm place for one or two hours. Dough should be double in size, but at this point you can
leave it until you are ready to come back and finish the bread.
Punch down dough, knead a few times on the counter and then divide into 8 equal sized balls. Roll each ball out into a circle about 1/4 inch thick, and 4-6 inches
Heat a cast iron skillet until it is very hot. Do not add oil to the skillet. Place the first round of dough on the skillet and cook for about two minutes. It
should puff up as it gets hot. Flip the bread over with a metal spatula and cook the other side. It will deflate a bit at this stage. cook for at least two more
minutes on this side. Remove from skillet when it has brown marks on both sides and dough is cooked through, and repeat process with remaining rounds of dough.
You can slice pitas in half and cut a pocket into the center to fill as a sandwich, or slice all the way through and eat with butter and honey.