Homemade Pita Pockets

Homemade Pita Pockets

My husband was one of the thousands stranded far from home when the volcano blew in Iceland last week. I was extremely disappointed when his Friday flight home was post-poned until Tuesday with no guaranties that he would actually be able to fly that day.

You would have thought the world was coming to an end with how frantic everyone was getting. I was surprised at how depressing it could be not knowing when you would see your spouse again. It really made me think how much we all take for granted.

Generations before us people were sending their loved ones off to war not being sure if they would ever return. They lived in constant fear that they would be invaded and ripped from their families. People in our own world now are going through the similarthings. Just think of Haiti.

Life in Norway

We, on the other hand, have our plans foiled and the inconvenience of living at an airport and our lives are turned upside down.

I realize it is a real problem, and there are people who are truly suffering because they are running out of medication or need to get somewhere to see a specialist. But, what is the excuse for the rest of us? Has our westernized mentality thwarted us so much that we can’t be thankful we are alive and that the airlines have the sense to not put our lives at risk?

It just really put things in perspective for me. I spent a lot of time thinking about how quickly things can change. How much we need to enjoy the times we have with our family. And, also remembering the good that can happen. Like Norway’s airways opening up and my husband having a direct flight home yesterday even though most airports were still closed.

Life in Norway

I think it should be a gentle reminder that life is unpredictable and not to worry about all the bad stuff that could happen, but to enjoy the life we are given. To not take the little things for granted. And, to forget the petty things.

I often take my little family for granted. Especially all those quiet times we have together where nothings really happening and we are just being. I want to take advantage and enjoy those times more because they will be gone in an instant and I know I will wish for those days again.

I’m so thankful to have my husband back. Even though he wasn’t delayed by more then four days, the prospect of not knowing when he would be back or what would happen is what made it difficult. I want to treasure these times and remember how good we have it.

Homemade Pita Pockets

If you have never made homemade pita pockets before then I strongly urge you to get into the kitchen and make these right away. They are so simple to make and taste ten times better the the cardboard stuff you get at the store. This is the only pita bread my husband will eat.

This is a great project to make with kids because they can help roll it flat and then watch it puff up in the oven. Even I’m excited when I watch them transform before my eyes.

These pockets bake up with a hollow centre and a thin outer shell. Perfect for a portable lunch to take to the park.

Please don’t be intimidated by this recipe. As long as you follow the steps it is really quite simple. And, the process is just too much fun to not give it a go.

Homemade Pita Pockets
 
Makes: 8 whole, 16 halves
Ingredients
  • 1⅛ cup warm water
  • 1.5 tsp. sugar
  • 1.5 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Stir sugar into warm water. Sprinkle yeast over top and allow to proof for 10 min.
  2. Stir in olive oil, 2 cups flour and salt. Add remaining flour and knead until soft, pliable and barely sticky (add a bit more flour if needed). Let rise for 1 hour covered, in a warm area.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a 12 inch rope. Cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball (It is important to do this. One of the first times I didn’t roll the balls because I didn’t see the point, and none of them turned out. I don’t know why but it just works this way) and place under a damp towel.
  4. Taking one piece at a time, roll into a 7 inch circle (do not make it any larger because if the dough is too thin the pita will not puff in the centre). Place back under the damp towel making sure the surface is dusted with flour so it does not stick. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Allow to rise for 30 minutes until slightly puffed. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 500ºF.
  6. Put 1 or 2 pitas onto a wire cooling rack and place it directly on the oven rack (you can place the dough directly on the oven rack if you feel it is clean enough). Bake for 4- 5 minutes until puffed in the centre and just starting to brown on the sides.
  7. Remove and place back under the damp towel to cool and soften. Repeat with remaining pitas.
  8. Once cool put in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a couple days or freeze for 1-2 months.
  9. To serve: Cut in half and fill as desired.

Adapted from allrecipes.