Sunday, April 21, 2013

What's Gotten Into Me?

I'm beginning to wonder what has gotten into me.  I mean, I have, for the past 15 years, been on the organic side of living, but I think I have reached a crazy high...chickens in my backyard? Really??  Hopefully that is the craziest idea that slips through my mind!  Today I roasted a chicken in the slow cooker, and the plan is to use the leftover chicken for chicken salad pitas tomorrow.  After looking at the ingredient list on packaged pitas, I decided to try making my own. (I can't believe the stuff they put in bread!) I hate the idea of making bread though because of the time involved, but I have to say these were super easy and super delicious!  (Recipe is below.)  I then began to think that maybe homemade bread wasn't really all that tedious.  I found a recipe that I hope to try next weekend.

As I was making the dough for the pitas, my mind began to wander as I pictured myself in an old farmhouse kitchen making bread, looking out the window at my free-range chickens roaming around the yard and the Monkeys sitting at the table doing their school work.  Doug then came into the kitchen and woke me up out of my daydream and asked what I was doing.  I told him I was making pitas and then asked him once again if we could move out in the country to a farm, where I don't have to work, can make homemade bread every week and can homeschool our girls.  I got the look again.  His reply: "I'm not a farmer."  Yea, no kidding.  Anyone who knows my husband knows how true this is....he refuses to eat outside because of the bugs, if that tells you anything.  **Sigh**  I guess I'll have to make the most of my suburban palace.

Budget Update:  After a quick trip to Giant Eagle today, I only have $22.50 left in my monthly budget. The challenge is on!

Pita Pocket Bread
Makes 8 whole pitas

1 c. warm water (110º-115º)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar (or honey)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast

In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients.  Add 1/2 cup of each of the flours, along with the yeast and stir to mix.  Add remaining flour gradually and knead until it comes together in a soft dough.  Put the dough back into the bowl and lightly oil the top and cover.  Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each into a ball.  Roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.  Set each round aside on a floured surface and cover with a towel.  Allow it to rise for about 30 minutes.  The rounds will still be flat but should be slightly puffy.  

Preheat oven to 500º.  Place two rounds on a baking stone and bake for 4-5 minutes until puffed up and slightly golden.  (Do not brown too much or they won't flex for filling.)  Remove them from the oven and immediately wrap and layer pitas in a damp towel.  Continue baking all of the rounds, layering them in the towel as soon as they are done baking.  Allow them to cool in the towel.


Cut pitas in half and fill as desired.

Let me know if you try these out!  Enjoy!

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