Sunday, December 26, 2010

Homemade Pita Chips and Hummus: The Final Make Your Own Monday

The year has come to an end and so have Make Your Own Mondays.  I have had a wonderful time making different "store bought" foods at home all year long, but frankly, there was a lot of pressure to meet the Monday deadlines each week.  In all honesty, I am a bit relieved to see the year come to an end.  There are still a lot of things I want to attempt at home, but without any obligation to do so, it will be a lot more fun.

I have wanted to make pita bread for a long time.  I made naan in 2009 and it was wonderful.  I thought pitas wouldn't be too much trouble.  I was wrong.  It may have had something to do with the recipe.  It may have had something to do with the holidays and a house full of people.  It may have had something to do with the fact that I was in the middle of a rousing game of "Encore" while I was baking them.  Whatever the reason, I rolled the first batch of pitas too thick and ended up with little round foccacia's.  The second batch turned out just right.  The third batch turned into pita chips.  I think we were trying to come up with songs with the word "apple" in them.

Because I had made up a good sized batch of hummus, I decided to just bake all of the pitas too long on purpose and turn them all into pita chips.  All 8 adults in the house loved them and the entire batch was gone in minutes.  It was a relief that the "oops" was saved.  

Hummus (from Cooking Jewish by Judy bart Kancigor)
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup water
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Open up the processor and scrape all the stuff that splashed  down into the hummus and blend again, just to make sure it's all incorporated.  Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerated until ready to serve.  Will keep for 1 week

This tasted just like the stuff you buy at the store.  It was the perfect combination of ingredients.

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead them together until you have a soft, supple dough, about 8 minutes by hand or 5 minutes by mixer.  You want a soft dough that feels tacky to the touch.  Cover the bowl tightly and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. After the dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half.  Divide on half into 4 equal parts and form each into a rough ball.  let the balls rest for 10 minutes while dividing the second half of dough in the same way.  Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a really thin circle about 8 inched in diameter.  Try not to use much flour when rolling it out.  Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes on each side.  There will be little brown speckles on the crust.   After you have baked all of them, cut them into triangles, place them back on a baking sheet and return them to the oven for another 5 minutes or until they are mostly crispy.  Serve with hummus when cooled.

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