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fennel seed & polenta crusted pita bread

February 3, 2011


It seems like not to long ago that I was swanning around in Cairo (ok, sitting on a coach with my nose glued to the window in Cairo), which makes it all the more difficult for me to ignore what is happening there now.

I miss the still, dry air. The smells that swirl around as you walk down a lane way. Spices. Perfume. Dust. Donkey. And bread. Freshly made, piping hot and wonderfully yeasty.

My memories are likely a far cry from the thousands that are gathering in the streets in protest, risking their own wellbeing for the sake of change. Of freedom.

My pita bread is a similarly far cry from the beautifully made, light as a feather, chewy between the teeth breads you’ll find being sold in Cairo or Aswan or Luxor. My oven simply won’t reach heights of 400C. But it’s tasty from the aniseedy scent of fennel seeds and the crunch of polenta and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.


fennel seed & polenta crusted pita bread
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1¾C (6oz) plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp freeze dried yeast
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • ½C (125ml) warm water
  • 1tbsp toasted fennel seeds
  • 2tbsp polenta
How to make it
  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and oil in a bowl. Add the warm water (should be about body temperature) and knead for about five minutes to combine. It will be a very sticky dough.
  2. Oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover in cling film and a tea towel and place in a warm place for an hour to rise. Meanwhile, pound the fennel seed and polenta in a mortar and pestle.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a counter top and cut it into four pieces (I tore it in my video, but that's because I forgot to oil my bowl!).
  4. Spread some cling film onto your benchtop and oil the cling film lightly. Place the dough balls onto the cling film and pat down until they are the size of a small hand.
  5. Sprinkle the fennel seed & polenta on top and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat your oven trays in a 220C oven. When ready, pull the tray out and sprinkle with lots of water to create steam (this will prevent the dough from sticking later). Quickly drop the pita dough top side down onto the tray, sprinkle with more fennel seed & polenta and pop the tray back in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes, watching to ensure they don't burn.
  7. If you've managed to get this far without sticking to your dough or burning yourself, well done! You can eat!

 

 


  • #1
    February 3rd, 2011

    teehee poke poke

  • #2
    February 4th, 2011

    Nice camera work! Can we expect a series of Shez’s Kitchen soon? 🙂 I wonder if flouring the bowl and clingwrap would work better than oil?

  • February 4th, 2011

    Hi Helen! I’ve tried both and found the flour just gets absorbed into the dough because it’s so moist. Oil has worked well for me so far though! (Except for when I’m filming & forget to use it…)

    S

  • #3
    jane
    February 4th, 2011

    lol…ah yee spotted at the final frames..XD
    nice vid btw..:)

  • #4
    February 4th, 2011

    I really see a podcast series happening here Shez. Very multicultural pita and chopsticks hehe.

    I find that oil works a treat in the bowl too. Keep the video (hmm not really video anymore, I am old) blogs coming, really enjoying them.

  • #5
    February 6th, 2011

    Aww so pro! Love your new kitchen! =)

  • #6
    February 6th, 2011

    Making your own bread is great, huh?

    Love how you work through the issues on camera. Has a very Julia Child like feel to it 🙂

  • #7
    February 6th, 2011

    At least you didn’t prove your dough whilst it was covered in moistened paper towel like I did… Dough rose and then got stuck to the paper! Had to pick all the bits off before baking =p

  • #8
    February 7th, 2011

    Great Recipe! I like how you used oil and cling wrap on the bench rather than flour. Also, very nice kitchen. 🙂

  • #9
    February 7th, 2011

    This sounds lovely! I haven’t made my own pita in a while but I’ll be trying this one.

Shez