05 March 2013

Gluten Free Pita Breads - Lenten Communion Host


Our little church holds a special evening service during Lent at which members of the congregation do special readings during the service and then share a candle light communion - it is a very beautiful and emotional take on the Last Supper. This year, I was asked to make small flatbreads to use as the communion host. I found a yeast free quickbread dough on a fantastic foodblog called Gluten Free On A Shoestring and I set out to make pita breads.







The result are six puffed up breads that are about five inches in diameter - golden and sprinkled with Kosher salt and cornmeal to add a bit of interest. They are moist inside and have a chewy consistency. They split easily with a sharp serrated steak knife. Yeah! They'd be easy to split completely and crisp up to have with some hummus. They would also make cute little stuffed pita sammiches with egg, tuna, or a veg salad.

If I really needed GF bread, I'd be jumping up and down that I'd found an alternative to corn tortillas as a sandwich switch-up! If any GF folk make these, I'd appreciate your feedback, as I have played with the recipe from Gluten Free On A Shoestring.

Six Little Pita Breads
adapted a bit from a Gluten Free On A Shoestring recipe


Ingredients:

280 g. King Arthur all purpose gluten free flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tbsp. extra light olive oil
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
¼ c. buttermilk, room temperature
a scant ½ c. warm water
¼ tsp. apple cider vinegar

Suggested garnishes: kosher salt, herbs, poppy or sesame seeds, caramelized garlic or onion, cornmeal.

Making the Breads:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F and put baking stones on the middle rack of the oven.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and have ready at a countertop work space.
  3. Place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a small hand whisk to thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients.
  4. Fit the mixer with the paddle beater. Add the olive oil, egg and egg white, milk, and water and whip for a good two minutes. A sticky gooey dough results.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the apple cider vinegar, beatagain for about a minute.
  6. Clean off a smooth work surface. Using your hands and clean warm water, coat the work surface to make a damp surface.
  7. Turn the dough onto the wet counter and use a pair of spatulas to divide the dough ball into six equal mounds.
  8. Wet hands thoroughly and scoop a ball of the dough onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Use your wet finger to pat the ball out to a round that is about five inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick. Repeat the procedure, making sure to wet your hands between each dough ball pita.
  9. One large cookie sheet should be able to have six pitas on it.
  10. Sprinkle the tops of the pita breads with a bit of Kosher salt, cornmeal, toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced and caramelized garlic or onion pieces, or some other garnish that interests you.
  11. Place the cookie sheet in the oven right on the hot stones. Bake for 7 minutes.
  12. Lower the heat in the oven to 400° F and carefully flip the pitas over. Bake them for another 7 minutes.
  13. At this point, remove the pitas from the cookie sheet and place them right on the hot baking stones, turn on the broiler and toast them until they are the perfect golden color, flip and do the same for the other sides. Keep a sharp eye on them at this point.
  14. Remove them to a rack and cool until you can handle them, then cut them in half and use a serrated steak knife to splits them into pockets. Let them cool a bit more and use them for sandwiches or split them completely and slice them into triangles for toasting up into pita chips.




I'm sharing this recipe with the bakers who participate in the monthly Bake Your Own Bread recipe share; perhaps others might need an idea for communion bread or just want a good gluten free pita for knoshing!

8 comments:

  1. I don't think i've ever made pita before... it looks divine and I must follow your lead and make a basket full... or more... I bet the kitchen aroma was divine too!

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  2. these look yummy. did you try crisping them to make pita chips?

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  3. I have two left, so perhaps I will make pita crisps and hummus tomorrow ...

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  4. that;s awesome, nv thought you could still make pita breads out of gf flour. sharing this with a couple of friends I know will appreciate this. and good idea on making pita crisps out of them later too :)

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    1. Shu Han, I think I'll try putting some yeast in them the next time I make them, as they were a bit too 'solid' in the centers for my liking ... maybe the yeast will pop the centers open a bit more than the baking powder did ... just a thought. The GF flour and xanthan gum combo really worked well, though!
      AND - teasing them apart with the serrated knife worked fine, but an airy pocket would be much better! Also? I'm wondering about the amount of salt ... they were quite salty flavoured ... which I like, but my heart? ... not so much.

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  5. I bet they were a big hit! They look and sound delicious.

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  6. I have made pita before, but not quite like these. I bet everyone loved them at the supper.

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