Doing it the Nile Style way.

I have never made Pita bread. I ventured into the unknown of Egyptian baking. The process of pita bread making was the same as making a standard loaf of bread (kneading, resting, rising), but the intrinsic value was different.

First, I was cooking like an Egyptian, so in that respect it was kind of cool and second, my family thought it was pretty amazing ( I like to be adored by my family, especially around Mother’s day).

Bread is one of the most basic foods and in this instance, the name given to bread in Egypt – “Aish“- is also the same word for life. We all need it in some way, or at least we think we do.

What’s it like to cook or rather bake like an Egyptian? In Egypt and here in the states, you can readily buy pita from any market or grocery store, why make it?  As one friend told me the other day, “don’t settle for copy cat food.”  She’s right!  It’s easy, and I wanted to have the whole Egyptian experience: doing it Nile style and being original, at least in this part of the world. Try it this weekend and see what you think.

Here is the recipe from Amy Riolo, from her cookbook “Nile Style, Egyptian Cuisine and Culture”:

Egyptian Whole Wheat Pita Bread ~~Aish Baladi

Makes 5 Pita Breads

1 cup unprocessed bran

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used reg. whole wheat)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon Olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl

3/4 cup tepid water

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bran on a cookie sheet and crumblebBetween fingers to make it finer. Bake 5 -10 minutes, or until the bran granules are toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.

Mix together all-purpose flour, Whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup toasted bran, yeast, olive oil, water, and salt in a large bowl or one fitted to a standing mixer. Once the ingredients are incorporated, knead the dough for 20 minutes by hand or 3 minutes with a standing mixer using the dough hook on medium speed. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let rest for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Sprinkle a clean work surface and two large baking sheets with the additional 1/2 cup of bran. Shape the dough into an even log with your hands and cut it into 5 equal pieces. From each piece into a flat 6-inch circle with your hands or roll out with a rolling-pin to shape 5 round  pita breads. Place 2 or 3 on each baking sheet and allow to rest for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the broiler in your oven. Place bread under the broiler and bake for 2 -3 minutes per side, until puffed and golden. Serve warm.

Bread Resting

See you later! Araka/ Araki (female) fi ma ba’d   أراك في مابعد


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you and YES!! I would love some Turkish coffee – and some pics! You will love Israel…it is so amazing. When you come back, please tell me everything, or better yet, write a piece for my blog!!!

  2. Christina says:

    Denise, I am always amazed by the stuff you make! I’m going to be in Egypt for 2-3 days at the end of this month (the rest of the time, will be in Syria, Jordan, Israel, & Greece). Would you like me to bring something specific back for you, foodwise (or anything, really)? You’ll be done with your month in Egypt, but it might still be fun to have.

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