Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sourdough Pitas On the Grill

* We linked this post at Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS *

I still have no oven, and we needed to have some pitas to enjoy our gyros properly, so I thought I'd give grill baking a shot.  It worked out great!  Now I know how I'll be making some of my breads this summer when the heat gets too intense for indoor baking...

I use basically the same dough recipe as for the English muffins, so you can use that for a starting point.  Let the sponge ferment overnight, then make the final dough the next morning.  Leave it in the covered bowl for its first rise (about 6 hours)

Your dough should be nice and big:

Smoosh it down gently, give it a little kneading (one or two minutes, just to tighten it up), and make any last minute adjustments you might need.  This dough was a little wet, so I added a couple tablespoons of flour and kneaded them in when I did the above kneading step.  When you've got it where you want it, pull off a handful of dough, coat it lightly in dry flour, and roll it into a ball:

Pat, stretch, roll, or throw the dough until it's a circle of about 3/16" to 1/4" thickness.  Repeat this process until you run out of dough, placing the circles on a lightly floured cloth:

Cover the pitas with a wrung out damp cloth, then cover that cloth with dry towels or cloth:

An hour or two before you want to eat, light your grill and put the baking tiles on the grate:

After they've had about 20 minutes to get good and hot, bake your pitas on them in batches.  I was only able to get three at a time on here because I couldn't find my bread peel, but four would have fit.  I used a rimless cookie sheet as a substitute for the missing peel:

Put the lid on and let them bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your grill.  On mine it took about 5.  You can monitor the progress occasionally by lifting the edge of the lid just a hair and peeking in.  When they have puffed, they need about 30 seconds more cooking.  However, it's hard go gauge this without a window, so just make your best guess and it'll work out fine.  When they're fully puffed and baked, take them off:

Put them immediately into a paper sack to cool.  If they cool in the open air they will become dry and won't be very good (they won't bend around pita filling for one thing...):

After at least 10 minutes of this, they're ready to eat.  Enjoy!


  1. I was impressed with the wonderful flavor and texture of the pitas. Erik you make gourmet cooking look so easy!

  2. Great idea! Where did you get your tiles?

  3. @homespunhope: Thanks! As far as a tile source, I had to get the people at Lowe's to order me a box. Any store that stocks tile flooring should be able to order you some. The tile to get is called "unglazed quarry tile" -- make sure you get tiles without any glazing on them, because most of the glazes have lead and other bad stuff in them. I think it was around $15 for a box of 30 tiles. It's been a few years, so my numbers are a little foggy, but that's in the ballpark at least.