Monday, July 12, 2010

Skillet baked Whole Wheat Pita (Using Sourdough)

My search for new ways of using sourdough starter ends here. Since we eat Indian food all the time, naans that too with whole wheat will never go wasted in our house.

Imagine me wondering what to do this week with sourdough stater when I had half a pan of brownies, half a pan of chocolate zucchini cake in the refrigerator. On the top of these two, I had 'Brioche' in the oven to make croutons.

Then I thought of making some 'Naan' - Indian flatbread out of the starter. Then decided against it. Want to know why?  Because I am scared of baking 'Naan'.I am not kidding here. If you really want to know why, here it is. I made 'Naan' once and every time I opened the oven door to rotate the pan or to take the pan out, all the smoke detector alarms would go off. I had so much of dough to make and it almost took me an hour to complete baking. My husband had to finally disengage the smoke detector alarm so that neighbors don't call for a fire engine. I decided that day that I would never ever bake Naan. At least not for awhile.

I wanted to make these a little thinner than a typical pita bread or a naan so that it can be used as a sandwich wrap. I used whole wheat flour for making the dough. You could use bread flour if you like.

Sourdough starter - 1 cup unfed at room temperature
Warm water - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 2 TBSP
Active dry yeast - 1/2 tsp (I used it since I was using unfed starter)
Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Oil - 2 TBSP

In a bowl, combine sourdough starter, warm water, sugar and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and slowly start adding the whole wheat flour. Make a smooth dough and adjust the water and/or flour to get a non sticky dough. Knead for a couple of minutes. Cover and let it rise for an hour or so. Dough doesn't double in volume but will be puffy. Divide into small orange sized balls and let the balls rest for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, start rolling them into flat discs. Thick or thin, your choice. You can let the rolled dough raise for about 15 minutes if you want. I just started baking them immediately. Heat an iron skillet. When hot, start baking these discs flipping to bake on both sides. I used some oil to cook it on the skillet, but you could cook without it and smear some butter later or leave without any fat on it. Little bit of oil or butter helps to keep it moist. Cool and either use as a sandwich wrap or use as naan/kulcha with some curry/side dish. This way of cooking will not give you a pocket in the pita though. If you want to have a pocket, roll it a little thick, cover and let rise and then when baking on the skillet, cover with a lid. Flip and cover with the lid. When cooked, don't stack them on each other if you want to be able to cut and open up a pocket.

You could add some minced garlic or top it with garlic. Could make these spicy by adding chopped green chillies, cilantro to the dough.
For those who do not have the sourdough starter, use 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of yogurt or sour cream, 2 TBSP sugar, 2 TBSP oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp of yeast. It pretty much comes the same way.

Sending these flat breads to Susan's Yeastspotting.

Enjoy!! Pin It


  1. Wow love the whole wheat pita...looks real nice

  2. I droped in from Jayashree's blog.. Girl, I must tell.. Your baking sounds so good for me.. I always had a fancy for baking but I never crossed across the BettyCrockers easy bake mixes. Now I see that baking isn't that difficult when you have someone who shows it in a simpler way. I like it even more by seeing that its mostly Vegan. Thanks !!!

  3. Looks good and yumm. What is a sourdough starter?

  4. RV,
    Sourdough starter is like yogurt culture in basic words. We mix equal amounts by weight of warm water and flour with a little bit of yeast. Let it rest for a day and start feeding it with equal amounts of warm water and flour mixture. We take out 1 cup and add the mixture 1 cup so that it keeps growing the yeast. There are people who keep it on counter and feed it everyday, I refrigerate mine and take it out and feed once a week. That itself is a hassle sometimes. You can even freeze it. Thaw it in the refrigerator and then bring to room temperature and use it.

  5. Thank you so much Champa for explaining it to me. Have a great week ahead...

  6. Great looking pitas, look amazing..

  7. Wow, lovely looking pitas. Never tried making them at home, always use store bought. Thanks for the recipe, will save it.

  8. I have been gone a month on vacation and you have changed your blog layout. Starter is making you bake even more.The pita looks good.

  9. I like making pita at home, and although I like the whole-wheat variety, I must admit I love the recipe where I use a mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat better, because it gives a fluffier texture. Using sourdough sounds like a great idea.

  10. I made these today and they were delicious. I am unsure as to how long to cook them per side. Also, I used my tortilla press to flatten the balls.


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