Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mindful Cooking and Perfect Pita

Maybe I've read "Like Water for Chocolate" too many times, but I never cook when I'm in a foul, pissy mood. I don't want that kind of energy going into the food I'm preparing. I prefer to infuse the dishes with love, care, protection, and peace.

Since I've started wearing my head scarf around the house (and to the grocery store, or out to lunch...), I've become more focused in my cooking and crafting endeavors. My Aussie has noticed it and commented on it as well.

I love to bake bread. I usually can't eat it because of my lap band (more on that later, perhaps), but I love to make it for others. It's one of those foods you really have to dig your hands into, and I love that. Kneading dough is my favorite part. It gives me a chance to meditate, to get in touch with how I'm feeling and what I want to put into the finished product. Sometimes I'll sing or chant a little. Today I asked my Aussie to drum and I kneaded the dough as I swayed to the music. What fun that was! And damn, that bread turned out fine!

I like to dedicate my pita baking to Hestia. I normally dedicate bread baking to harvest gods and goddesses, but I feel that this recipe is just for Her.

If you've never made your own pita before, you will be surprised at how easy it is to make at home, and how much more delicious it is than store-bought. As you work the dough, listen to some music. Make some music. Enjoy the feel of the dough. Meditate on getting closer to the harvest deities. Marvel at how a few simple ingredients can turn into such an important staple. Most of all, be blessed in the kitchen.

Perfect Pita
1 package dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 – 1 ¼ cup warm water

Dissolve the yeast and honey in the warm water. Allow to stand 10 minutes.

Mix together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture and stir.

Slowly add the rest of the warm water, stirring to form a sticky dough.

Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead, adding extra flour where needed, for 20 minutes. Dough will be smooth and elastic.

Coat a bowl with a few drops of oil. Turn the ball of dough to coat it and leave to rise for 2 ½ -3 hours.

Take the dough and roll into a log. Divide into 10-12 pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and let them rest for 5 minutes.

Heat the oven and a baking pan to 500 F.

Take each ball of dough and flatten into a 5-6” round.

Place the rounds on the hot pan 3-4 at a time.

Bake for 4 minutes on one side.

Turn over and bake another 2 minutes.

Remove with a spatula and flatten slightly.

Repeat until you have 10-12 pitas.

Store in an airtight bag if not using immediately.

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1 comment:

JustComment said...

I love that your Aussie is noticing these positive changes in you! I've noticed a greater confidence in our (way too few ;) recent exchanges as well. You truly seem to have found that special something that really works for you. I'm so proud of you my lovely sister xxx