Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to make Homemade Pita bread and Hummus

One of our favorite dips and foods is Hummus.

Friday with the Bakereoose (our kids cooking class) we will be making the classic Pita Bread with Hummus. I thought I'd share it here too. It's a great way to get kids thinking outside of the peanut butter sandwich.
How to Make Pita Pocket Bread

T dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.

Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
Make a small depression in the middle of flour and pour yeast water in depression.
Slowly add 1 cup of warm water, and stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until elastic.
Place dough on floured surface and knead for 4-minutes.
When the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic, it has been successfully kneaded.
Coat large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated. Cover bowl.
Allow to sit in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and pinch off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your baking sheet.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.

Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.
Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.

Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.
Hummus 101
I explained this to the kids, but it's something a lot of adults don't know. Hummus is a dip or spread made from chickpeas. Hummus is in fact the Arabic word for chickpea. Hummus has been eaten since ancient Egyptian times. Over 7,000 years ago. In almost every culture the use of mashed beans in some form are used.They are an excellent form of protein. Coupled with pita bread they provide all the essential components of a complete protein. Many people around the world don't eat meat to get their protein. The combine grains and legumes (beans and grains) to get all that their bodies need. It's a wonderful way to eat. There are not any set in stone recipes for hummus. When you don't have tahini, you may use sesame oil or sometimes we use sesame seeds. Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds. It's very strongly smoky flavored from the sesame.

Hummus with Tahini
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup -3/4 cup roasted red peppers (depending on taste)
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas (15 oz.), drained
3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes in oil
2 teaspoons parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice


In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon water until desired consistency.

thank you to for the useful hummus recipes in this post:


emalina49a said...

I have tried the recipes and they have not worked well for me. I must be missing something because I enjoy commercially prepared hummus and have loved it when visiting the middle east. Are these recipes really the ones you use? I might need some more tips.

aswesow said...

What causes it to create a pocket and not just a big flat bun? If I don't understand that I'm afraid I'll end up with oversize biscuits.
I want to try this

Salsa Mama said...

Hey, I left you an award on my blog. Just because I love reading about you and all your recipes, and don't feel obligated to do it if you don't want to. :) Hugs!

Chef Tess said...

Emilina, yes these are the recipes I use for hummus and I really like the one with tahini best. I like adding more garlic and especially love the addition of fresh cilantro in the making of the hummus. The fresh lemon has an amazing flavor that totally sets it apart from the commercially prepared hummus. I like it much better. Aswesow, making sure you oven is very hot (500) I use a baking stone on the bottom of my oven when I make them. Keep the oven closed for the full 4 minutes...and be sure to not roll them out too thin, maybe 1/4 inch at the thinnest. Follow the directions about not letting them to dry out. This will give you a good pocket/puff. It takes a little practice, but it's well worth it.
Salsa Mama...I love you!!

Goob said...

mmm, now I want some hummus! Emalina, you really need to use the Tahini to get an authentic taste. And no matter what ANYBODY (not even Betty Crocker....) tells you, you cannot substitute peanut butter for tahini....ewwww gross. (yes, I've had a recipe that suggested it, yes I tried it, yes I regretted it!)
Oh, and shopping hint! Fresh and Easy sells a nice sized jar of tahini for less than $5, which is a great price! (i've seen it at the grocery store for as much as $12)

Chef Tess said...

YES Tahini is a must. I've used 2T sesame oil in it's place in a pinch and it was great too. But you must use the sesame. I've seen organic tahini here for less than 7$ a bottle. Well worth it.

Anonymous said...

just want to add something for the hummus: a tablespoon of yogurt will make your hummus like the arabs do. and dont substitute the tahini. when serving, add a pinch of cumin and a drizzle of olive oil. enjoy!

Tia said...

Can you tell me if you have a hummus recipe using the cooked and dried food storage garbanzo beans ? I would like to makea mix and store it on the shelf. Any ideas????? Ps bought a dozen of your meals in a jar books and we have a little club making your recipes for food storage!!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a recipe to make hummus with the precooked and dried garbanzo beans like honey like sells? I would like to make a mix in a jar for food storage. Ps I have bought over a dozen of your meals in ajar books, given them away and we have a little club where we get together and make your recipes!!!! Thanks so much!!!

Chef Tess said...

Tia, there is a "chick-nut" recipe here that walks you through how to dry them at home. These can be hydrated and cooked like instant beans (shelf stable about 5 years with an oxygen absorber) Cook 1 cup beans with 3 cups water and simmer 20-25 minutes.