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.