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Pita Bread from Middle East

This bread is the foundation meal all over the Middle East.


1 package active dry yeast 
31/4 to 33/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup shortening 
11/2 teaspoons salt

Yield: 12 rounds


  1. In a large mixer bowl, soften yeast in 11/4 cups warm water ( 110 to 115F or 45 deg C).

  2. Add 2 cups of the flour, shortening, and salt. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.

  3. Stir in as much remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes).

  4. Cover; let rest in warm place for about 15 minutes.

  5. Divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each between hands (coated with flour) into a very smooth ball.

  6. Cover with a damp cloth; let rest 10 minutes.

  7. Using fingers, gently flatten balls. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. (Keep dough pieces covered till ready to use.)

  8. On well-floured surface lightly roll one piece of dough at a time into a circle 7 inches in diameter, turning dough over once. Do not stretch, puncture, or crease dough. (Work with enough flour so dough does not stick.)

  9. Place on a baking sheet. Bake rounds, 2 at time, in a 450 F (230 deg C) oven for about 3 minutes or till dough is puffed and softly set.

  10. Turn over with a spatula. Bake for about 2 minutes more or till dough is light brown.

  11. Repeat with remaining dough, baking one batch before rolling and baking the next batch.

  12. To serve, slice bread crosswise; fill pocket with desired filling.

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