Monday, February 6, 2012

Almost Everything Free Pitas

After those last two chickpea spreads, I couldn't leave you without something to put them on!! I mean, crackers and veggies are fine and dandy (and trust me, the savoury hummus is the best pasta sauce I've tasted!) but sometimes you need something bready. But what if you need (or want) an allergy-free, homemade alternative to the bakery's pocket-y pita bread?

Well, thankfully there's another option. I actually started looking for a gluten-free, yeast free pita bread that I could easily veganize when I was putting together my Resetting Yourself program in early January. Blundering around in the sea of Google results, I clicked onto a gem of a website called Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. Gluten free goodies, made on the cheap? Count me in! Nicole Hunn (who also authored a book by the blog's name) has a host of culinary delights to browse through, including gluten- and yeast-free pita bread! With pockets! I was so glad you'd think I had just won the jackpot.


And with a few small modifications to her formula, I think I did. The original recipe was gluten and yeast free, but I needed to eliminate the dairy, processed soy, egg and corn ingredients for a client on my program. A mixture of ground flax slurry (my current favourite egg replacer) and prepared ener-G powder stood in for the egg and egg white while adding a little boost of nutrition and fibre, and I used water in place of the milk since I didn't want to buy a whole container of rice or hemp milk for 6 breads. My own blend of GF all-purpose flour (which I call "Gluten Free 'Anything' Flour" and is in both my Dining Not Dying and Outside the Box cookbooks), brown rice flour and millet flour formed the base dry mixture, and a homemade baking powder replaced the cornstarch formula I had on hand. Because xanthan gum is sourced from corn, I relied on guar gum instead for binding. Flavour wise, I bumped up the "Middle Eastern" aspect of pita bread with fruity olive oil, toasted sesame oil and a pinch of cumin for good measure.

The best part about not needing yeast was that it was in and out of the oven in under an hour, and even without a pizza stone fired to a gazillion degrees the finished loaves opened into glorious envelopes perfect to stuff with whatever you might fancy. Of course, you don't have to create pockets - you can also use them as mini pizza bases or cut them into wedges to go with your favourite dip (and might I suggest the hummuses?).

Almost Everything Free Pita Bread
Makes 6 pitas
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp guar gum
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch cumin (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp ener-G egg replacer
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3/4 - 1 cup warm water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and place a pizza stone or an upside down baking sheet inside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together 1/4 cup warm water and egg replacer, then add to the flours with the oils and another 1/4 cup warm water.
  4. Mix to combine, then slowly add 1/2 cup warm water, mixing to make a wet dough.
  5. Keep mixing until parts of the dough begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl (it won't clump).
  6. Scrape onto a dampened counter and divide into parts.
  7. With wet hands, place one piece of dough on a sheet of parchment paper and, with wet fingertips smooth the dough into a 1/2" thick round.
  8. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, placed about 1/2 inch apart on the parchment paper.
  9. Place the parchment paper on the hot pizza stone.
  10. Bake for 5 minutes, then carefully flip and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly brown on both sides.
  11. Allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they can be handled. Slice each round in half through the center. With a very sharp knife, gently coax open the center of each pita half.
  12. Once cooled, the pitas will keep for 2 days in a plastic ziploc bag on the counter, or wrap in plastic, then foil, and freeze up to 2 weeks.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 209.2
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 3.3 mg
Total Carbs: 36.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
Protein: 5.3 g

2 comments :

Deborah said...

I'm impressed - that is quite the list of dietary restrictions, but you did such a wonderful job!!

the wicked noodle said...

WOW - so fabulous that you were able to create this! I'm so impressed!