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Making Tortillas, Wraps and Pita Bread

Pita, Pita Bread

Making your own pita bread, tortillas and wraps is simple and fun. While the dough for tortillas and wraps is made the same way, pita bread varies slightly. Wraps and tortillas do not contain a leavening agent, while pita bread is leavened with yeast. The cooking methods are also different. Pita bread is cooked in the oven while wraps and tortillas are cooked in a dry frying pan. The best part about making your own bread from scratch is knowing exactly what is going into your bread!

Around my house, we experiment with different flours, grains and oils. The recipes in this article are the basic recipes, but do not be afraid to change them around to meet your dietary needs. For instance, we like to use coconut oil in our tortillas. Coconut oil is an excellent oil to use in cooking and it also has many added health benefits. You might find that you prefer canola or even olive oil.

The recipes we use are recipes that we have adapted to our personal tastes from King Arthur Flour recipes.

Pita Bread

3 cups flour (we love to use whole wheat flour or a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour)

2 teaspoons yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 cup water

2 tablespoons oil (we use olive oil or coconut in our pita bread)

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and then knead for ten minutes. Let rest for one hour. Separate the dough into eight pieces and roll into circles of about five to six inches. Cover and let rest uncovered for about fifteen minutes. Place the circles of dough in a preheated 500 degree oven for about five to seven minutes. They should puff up nicely. If they do not puff up, this means that your oven is not hot enough. When they are brown, remove them and wrap them in a towel to keep them soft. We usually serve them warm, straight from the oven with hummus for a special treat!

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2 cups of flour

3 tablespoons coconut oil

¾ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

Knead ingredients until smooth. Divide dough into eight pieces. Depending on what you want to do with your tortillas, roll the eight pieces of dough into balls and flatten to the desired thickness. For Mexican dishes, I flatten them until I can see through the dough. I find that the dough springs back a bit when I lift to place it in the pan for dry frying. Keep this in mind when you are shaping your dough. Thicker dough makes these tortillas more like a pita bread or flatbread. Once you have your dough rolled to the desired thickness, let rest covered for thirty minutes – though I need to note that I have made this recipe without letting it rest at all and the tortillas turn out just fine. My boys are usually very hungry and waiting for me to get them done!

While the dough is resting, heat a DRY frying pan on medium heat. I use my crepe pan to make my tortillas and wraps. Heat for forty-five seconds on the first side before flipping and cooking on the other side. Your tortillas and wraps should have a mottled brown appearance when done. Place in a covered dish or tin foil to keep warm while you make the others. My tortillas usually go straight into a hungry boy’s mouth!