Far across the Mediterranean sea is a country called Greece that invented the Pita bread. But many countries along the sea and far across the desert have their take on it as well. Algeria does not have a recipe for pita bread but have many variations such as Kesra or M’semen. The Algerian flat breads could have been easily influenced by the Turks as the country was under the Ottoman Empire for nearly 300 years. In Turkey their variation of pita bread is called pide and you can see the Turkish influence all throughout Algeria in the architecture, food and city names. So it is easy to assume where some Algerian recipes have come from.
For the longest time Pita bread was the only bread that my son would eat. The soft and chewiness of the bread wrapped around a kebab or dipped in hummus. It could have anything and he would eat it. This bread is easily paired with olives or hummus as a snack, wrapped around a kebab at a barbecue, stuffed as a sandwich for on the go, or with any dish in between. Depending on how thick you roll the dough out will decipher how the bread will come out. Roll thinly and let puff completely to split and make a sandwich out of, or roll thick to dip with. Either way you roll it, this bread will be a hit.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl mix the water and yeast together. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and flour.
- Mix together to form a small ball.
- Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Add flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking, use sparingly.
- With the remaining olive oil drizzle into a clean bowl, and set dough in.
- Cover the outside of dough with oil.
- Preheat oven to 300°F for 1 minute and turn off.
- Cover bowl and let rise in oven for 1 hour.
- Punch the dough down and split into 6-8 even pieces (6 if you want thick pita or 8 if you would like to use them thin)
- Roll each piece onto a floured surface into discs of a 1/4 inch thick.
- Between rolling out dough, wipe a flat pan with a napkin saturated in olive oil.
- Turn the stove onto a medium heat.
- Once the pan is hot enough place dough on pan and wait for it to puff up with bubbles.
- Flip bread making sure to not burn one side from the other (1-2 minutes each side)
- Cover with a clean cloth.
*you can stop at step 9 after the dough rises and refrigerate dough. or you can split the dough into 6-8 pieces, roll flat and stack with parchment paper in between for future use. dough can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 1 month. always best served fresh.