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Perfect Pittas


1kg strong white flour

10g active dried yeast

80ml olive oil

10g salt

600ml water

Activate the yeast with a little of the water and while it's getting going mix the oil and salt into the flour.

Make a well in the flour and add the now foaming yeast, gradually adding and mixing in the water.

Knead for around 10 mins or longer until the dough is stretchy and silky smooth.

Set the oven at around 250 c or as hot as it will go and put an oven stone about a third the way from the bottom.

When the dough has doubled or more in volume knock it back and put it on the working surface.

Weigh out 80gm of dough and form into a ball. Hold your finger and thumb in a circle and push the dough ball through this ring with your other thumb, stretching a skin around your dough. Crimp the open side closed with your fingers and drop the ball onto a generously floured surface.

Flatten the ball with your hand and then with a rolling pin roll it out into a long oval about 3mm thick. Work through your dough lining them up in order until your first one has risen a little. Then you can start baking.

My oven stone takes three pittas side by side so I take three, lay them on the stone and close the oven door. In a couple of minutes they will inflate to delightful cushions of dough. Turn them over and cook the other way up for about another minute or so until just slightly coloured. Lay them on a wire rack to cool.

As the first pittas are cooking I continue to roll the dough until it's all done.

Take care!! The steam that the inflated pittas jet out is super heated and will inflict a painful scald if you get in the way. I use a spatula to turn them over.

When cool I bag the pittas up and freeze them. To use I defrost at room temperature then heat, cut in half, in the toaster set at its lowest.