Pita, also known as pitta or Arabic bread, refers to a circular pocket bread mostly had in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions. It is common across North Africa, the Levant and the Arabian region. The "pocket" of the pita bread is made through steam that is responsible for bloating the dough. A pocket occurs in the middle soon after the bread cools and levels.
History of Pita
Pita, the current connotation is the westernized term to refer to its predecessor which is Arabic bread known as khubz or the ordinary bread made by baking in a brick oven. It is a little raised wheat bread which can be flat, either oval or round and in different sizes. There is a reference to the pita recipe in the Arab cooky book in its Chapter 13, Kitab al-Tabikh tenth-century by ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, containing six recipes of khubz made in a baking device called tannur (more or less the present day tandoor oven). There is an assumption by historians that its history is far behind, owing to the fact that flatbreads are among the ancient made breads. The foremost proof of flat breads has been obtained from about Amorite Damascus.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Pita
Pita bread normally consists of two layers. Besides being flat, the bread divides to structure as an internal pocket after baking. The very high temperature wherein the bread bakes causes the occurrence of the pocket. Ovens in which temperatures greater than 700°F, (370°C) can be attained are meant to be used. The dough inflates rapidly in the high levels of temperature giving rise to a big bubble of air within, upon dividing in the middle. The bread levels out retaining the pocket inside after it has finished baking and is cool. After the bread is severed into half, it gives out two crescent-like bread pockets. The pockets are purposeful for holding meats, cooked vegetables, cheeses and even salads. Traditional preparations resembling pita recipe include souvlaki, kebabs, and falafel.
Serving and Eating Pita
Pita comes of use when scooping out sauces or dips like hummus and for enfolding kebabs, falafel or gyros in the same way as sandwiches. Pita are mostly made by baking at high temperatures (450°F or 232°C), resulting in the levelled rolled circles the dough to bloat up radically. After taking off the oven, the sheets of baked dough stay divided within the deflated pita, allowing the bread to open up into pockets, making room for being employed in many dishes.
Pita recipe gained popularity in the 1970s in the west due to its characteristic pocket that can be made use of for making sandwich. Typically pita is made use of to fill its pockets with many ingredients to make sandwich. They are also referred to as “pita pockets" or "pocket pitas".
The Turkish pita also known as pide, possesses a spongy, rubbery texture and without pockets. There is another pizza type dish known as lahmacun made out of oval-shaped bits of pide dough layered using delicately chopped meat and herbs prior to being baked.
Regional variations in pita recipe can have chicken, potatoes, cheese, beef, garlic and several other ingredients.
In Greece, pita is had with dips, like tzatziki-a chief part of pita-gyros and pita-souvlaki. They contain souvlaki and gyros wrapped with feta, tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes and condiments inside pita bread.
Pita is a greatly popular dish in erstwhile Yugoslavia.
The local Muslims of Bosnia, make pita with a varied pita recipe using a particular type of somun with egg yolk and certain seasonings. It is traditionally made and had through the fast during Ramadan. In some places it is called Pita sa or Pie with mesom or meat etc.
Popular Pita Recipe Variations
In Israel pita recipe includes falafel, chicken shawarma , kebab and lamb or omelette preparations like shakshouka and hummus or salads are incorporated inside a pita.
The Israeli pita variant is known as Sabich.
In Bulgaria, pita recipe also known as pitka is made and had over festive occasions. It is a circular loaf of bread flavored at times. On a pre-Christmas Eve night, it is made by every housewife with decorations of symbols to yield prosperity to the cattle, harvest and members of the family.
There is a belief that the one who gets the coin hidden in it is blessed with a very healthy and wealthy family. It is a traditional welcome sign to a bride to be received inside her husband’s home by her future mother-in-law with a pita as a gift. Typically it is made from flour sifted seven times, so that the future life lead together is as soft as the pita. Pita made for guests using honey and salt is a formal reception in Bulgaria. The significant saying goes as “to welcome someone with bread and salt".