Last Updated : Jun 28,2018
Viewed 15308 times
Also Known As
Pita, Pitta Bread, Pide Bread, Pitka, Pite
Pita is a Greek term, which means flat. Pita bread is a round, leavened flat bread which is generally made with wheat, but can also be made with multiple grains and whole wheat to enhance nutrition. Pita breads are pale white in colour, are soft to touch and spongy.
Once pita bread is baked, you will notice that the interior has two layers, which separate to form internal pockets. This pocket occurs because of the high temperatures at which it is baked. During baking, the dough expands very quickly, separates in the middle and creates large bubbles of air inside. Once the bread is baked and cooled, it flattens out but maintains the internal pockets.
Pita bread is commonly cut into halves, which yield two crescent-shaped bread pockets. These pockets are used in a versatile manner as a base for many recipes all around the world.
Pita bread cubes
Pita bread is the basic and widely used bread in the Lebanese cuisine. It is used to make falafel, pita pockets, or had with hummus or cut into pieces and tossed into a salad. So to get the perfect cubes, place this pita bread on a chopping board. Take a knife and cut the pita bread into equal sized strips first. Then cut it horizontally at equal intervals to form cubes. Cut them into smaller cubes or bigger cubes as per the recipe.
How to select
• If buying from a bakery, ask for a freshly-baked batch.
• If buying from a supermarket, check the date of manufacturing and expiry before buying.
• Verify the freshness by feeling whether it is soft and spongy. Also, there should be no mould formation or discolouration.
• Pita bread is traditionally used to prepare the famous Falafel. Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish,wherein spiced chickpeas and fava beans are ground, shaped into balls and deep-fried. These patties are then stuffed into pita pockets and topped with a tangy sauce.
• Pita bread is also served alongside hummus, the famous chickpea dip.
• You can grill or toast pita bread till crisp and serve with tossed salads.
• Stuff pita pockets with kebabs or tikkis and have an appetizing snack.
• Stuff the pockets with coleslaw or Russian salad for an alternative to sliced bread sandwiches.
• Loaded with chilled salads, cheese, tandoori tikkas and patties of various varieties to make a complete meal.
• Cut pita into triangles and toast. Season with salt and herbs if required. These pita chips are a healthier alternative to potato chips.
How to store
• Use them fresh, on the same day they are baked.
• However, if made in excess, it can be packed in plastic film and stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days.
• The nutrient content will differ according to the flour and grains used to make pita bread.
• If whole grain is used, then it will be loaded with fibre and other essential nutrients. Fibre helps manage diabetes better, reduces risk of heart disease, helps combat constipation, etc.
• Eating pita bread with olive oil and hummus is also beneficial. The amino acids in chickpeas and the bread complement each other to make complete proteins.
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