Pita Bread

2 t dry yeast

1/2 t sugar

1/4 cup w/w flour

2 1/2 cups (approx) unbleached all purposed flour

1 t kosher salt

2 T olive oil

1. Make sponge:  put 1 cup lukewarm water in large mixing bowl.  Add yeast and sugar.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the w/w flour and 1/4 cup white.  Whisk.  Put bowl in a warm place uncovered until mixture is frothy and bubbling, about 15 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil and nearly all remaining flour (reserve about 1/2 cup).   With wooden spoon, stir until mixture forms a shaggy mass.  Dust with a little reserved flour, then knead in bowl for about 1 minute, incorporating any stray bits of dry dough.

3. Turn dough onto work surface.  Knead lightly for 2 minutes, until smooth–  add rest of flour now if necessary.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes, then knead again for 2 minutes.  The dough should be soft and a bit moist.  (AT this point, dough may be refrigerated in a large zippered plastic bag for several hours or overnight.  Bring dough back to room temp, knead into a ball and proceed with recipe.)

4. Clean mixing bowl and put dough back in it.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then cover with towel.   Put bowl in a warm (not hot) place. Leave until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.  On bottom shelf, place heavy-duty baking sheet (I use my pizza stone).  Punch down dough and divide into 8 pieces.. form each piece into a little ball.  Place dough balls on work surface, cover with damp towel and leave for 10 minutes.

6. Remove 1 ball (keep others covered) and press into flat disk with rolling pin.  Roll to a 8-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, dusting with flour if sticky

7. Carefully lift dough circle and place quickly on baking sheet.  After 2 minutes the dough should be nicely puffed.  Turn over with tongs or spatula and bake 1 minute more.  The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.  Transfer warm pita to napkin lined basket and cover so bread stays soft and warm.  Repeat with the rest of the balls.  After I got the hang of this, I was able to do two at a time.

Goes beautifully with my Tabouli.

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