You can say one thing for our recipe posts – they’re definitely international!
We’ve gone from China, via the USA to this week where we’re in the North Africa/Middle East region with pitta and hummus recipes.
Pitta and hummus is a mainstay in our house. It’s a quick, healthy snack when you don’t feel like cooking.
They’re both fairly inexpensive to buy – both less than a pound for a standard pack.
Being so easy to pick up in the shops, I’ve never really thought to make my own at home.
What was I waiting for? Home made versus shop bought – now I know – there’s no comparison, home made wins hands down!
So long as there’s a tin of chickpeas in the larder and a jar of tahini in the fridge, you can whip up a delicious batch of hummus in 5 minutes flat… and make it just to your taste. As much or as little lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper as you like – and the consistency you prefer.
Lots of people insist on making hummus using dried peas. Yes, it will probably turn out even better – but unless you own a pressure cooker (I don’t) which will cook the beans in under half an hour, that quick snack will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll make some using dried beans some day soon to see how it compares.
You can spice things up a little (or as they say on the X Factor, “Make it your own”). Add a little smoked paprika, ground cumin, caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped chillies, coriander or parsley – just not all at once mind!
You can make and cook off a big batch of pitta and store the excess in the freezer – just defrost as needed and pop them in the toaster.
I have to say that they were delicious straight from the oven though…
… and there weren’t any left from this batch for the freezer!!
- 1tbs instant dried yeast
- 350ml/12 fl oz lukewarm water
- 375g/13oz wholemeal bread flour
- 1tbs tahini
- ½tbsp olive oil
- 1 300g/10½ tin chickpeas
- 1 small clove garlic
- ½tbsp lemon juice
- ½tbsp sea salt
- pinch of ground black pepper
- pinch of smoked paprika or ground cumin (optional)
- few sprigs of coriander or flat leaf parsley (optional)
- In a measuring jug, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour and form a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture
- Bring the flour and yeast mixture together to form a dough
- Leave the mixture to rest for 15 minutes before adding the olive oil and salt and mixing well again until the dough begins to stiffen
- Using the dough hook mix on a low speed for 5 minutes (or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes) until smooth & elastic
- Cover the bowl in cling film and leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size (at least an hour)
- - You can use this time to make the hummus -
- Once risen, preheat the oven to the highest setting, placing a knock back before dividing the dough in half
- Divide each half into 4 equal pieces and flatten each piece into a ovals around ½cm thick
- Layer & wrap the ovals loosely in a clean, damp tea towel preheat your oven to the highest setting and put a baking stone or griddle pan inside to heat up
- Carefully put 2-3 pitta ovals onto the stone/pan leaving space between each
- Bake for 3-5 minutes until the bread has puffed up like a balloon
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving
- Put the tahini & olive oil into a mini food processor and whiz for 30 seconds
- Rinse the chickpeas under cold running water and, if you have the patience, pinch the husks from each chickpea (it took me about 15 minutes); this gives the hummus a smoother consistency
- Add the chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice to the mini food processor and purée for 30 seconds
- Take the lid off the processor and scrape the mixture down off the sides and whiz again to remove any lumps. If the mixture is stiff, add a tablespoon of water and pulse for a few of seconds
- Add salt & pepper and adjust to taste
- Sprinkle with smoked paprika or ground cumin, drizzle with olive oil, garnish with coriander or flat leaf parsley and serve