I have mastered the pretty-good-pita, and I'm much happier than when I posted this:
My quest now is for a pita that is puffy, spongy, and also a bit chewy, with a slightly sour flavor. I've been using this recipe, which gives me a nicely chewy and sour result. But it is not puffy or spongy enough.
2 ¼ tsp yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast and sugar in a ½ cup of warm water and let the mixture sit until the water is frothy. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast water and an additional cup of warm water and mix with the beater attachment until combined. Change to the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil. Roll the dough in the oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Then roll the dough out in a rope and pinch off 10 small pieces. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and let sit, covered, while the oven preheats to 425 degrees, with baking steel on the lowest rack.
Roll out each ball of dough with a rolling pin into circles about 5-6 inches across and ¼ inch thick. Bake each circle for three minutes, until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 90 seconds more.
So I tried another recipe, very similar to the above, except that there's a tablespoon of oil in the dough and a cup (rather than a cup and a half) of water. And it calls for rolling the pitas out and proofing them for 20:00 before baking. That left me with pitas that were very puffy, but cake-y rather than chewy, and not sour at all.
Any ideas to bring me closer to my Platonic pita ideal? Your help is appreciated!
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