Food

Broke & Bread

So…I’m broke.

It’s the inevitable between adventures gallivanting around the planet.

I understand that compared to most of humanity, I’m ahead of the game.  Even with $$$$$ in student debt.

That being said, I’m done with my seasonal summer stint with the U.S. Forest Service and back in Salt Lake job hunting.  I’ve got to make my minimal weekly living stipend from the summer stretch.

I’ve never been one to live on ramen.  Okay, maybe my freshman year in the dorms, but in the past dozen years it hasn’t happened.

I’m also not one to make a sandwich.  Sandwiches bore me.  Every time I am asked by a friend to decide where we should go to grab lunch or dinner I cringe knowing that they are secretly hoping to chat at Zuppa’s or pay two hours wage at Paradise Bakery.  What is it with 20-something females?  Salad and sandwich places.  Yaaaaawn….

I am, however, a girl who loves toast.  I’m an infidel who never makes it as a breakfast meal, but I crush on it from afar.  My favorite meal?  Ezekiel bread, double toasted, topped with arugula, sliced avocado, olive oil, salt, paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes.  I could gobble that shiz up at every meal.  Delicious.

In case you haven’t noticed, Ezekiel bread is a luxury.  The cheapest place to find it is Whole Foods, so that’s really saying something.

What’s a girl to do?  I’m too much of a snob to just eat loaf bread, or plain white artisan loafs, and my pockets are too empty to care.

Luckily I’m a food hoarder and had a lot of ingredients tucked away while I was gone this summer.  Unpacking them was like winning the lottery at the local food bank.  And I’m not your normal food storage hoard with name brand packaged 100-calorie packs (is that really classified as ‘food’?)…my food storage is full of bags of beans and grains from the Persian market, grape leaves, oils, sardines, a giant cupboard of spices, tuna, Indian spice packets (‘just add tomatoes’), honey, loads of oatmeal and Costco-sized bags of pasta, and lots of canned crushed tomatoes.  Also hidden amongst the culinary delights?  Baking supplies.

I don’t know about the majority of you women, but coming off that featured week of the month usually makes me a ravenous beast.    So what better thing to do than shut the beast up with a unhealthy dose of carbs?

I dug through my trusty hurricane of chicken-scratched recipes and found my favored 1am-pita-making-session-go-to recipe and decided to make a week’s worth of breads.

Pitas are great because they are self-contained.  They don’t dry out into a crumbly mess because you don’t cut into them.  They can serve as flat breads or vessels for mounds of mouth-watering produce.  I prefer just slathering globs of honey on them warm and shoving them in my face.

I’m the worst bread maker because I’m impatient.  Instructions are usually something like “3 days before you want to knead the dough, blahblahblah, 2 hours 37 minutes later spray oil, blahblahblah, cover with plastic wrap, but only the off brand version from the trendiest local grocery store, blahblahblah, sing the half risen loaf a lullaby before punching its brains out”…you get it.  I can’t be bothered.  My bread always turns out as a very dense sort of pain de campagne.  I skip steps in recipes, and pitas are nondiscriminatory.  They want to be born and will claw their way out even after neglect.

If you’re broke, too, or just want to shove your face with warm wheaty goodness, try it out.

pita

Wondrous stack of deliciousness


Pita von Shove Your Face with Deliciousness

3 cups flour (I used 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat)2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast (active dry or instant, or whatever your roommate left behind in the freezer two years ago…)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water

 

Directions:
1. Mix it all together.
2. Slap that wad on the counter and knead it for about 5 minutes.  It’s gonna be a sticky Mickey.
3. Put it in a bowl and cover it.  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
4. Adding a tiny bit of extra flour if needed (no more than 1/4 cup throughout the process), tip that biz on the counter and pretend it’s your ex’s face for the next 15-20 minutes.  He was too pretty, anyway.  Knead away, my friend.
5. Put it back in the bowl.  Pour a little olive oil on top and cover with plastic wrap.  Get out of the house and go do something for yourself for an hour or two.
6. It should be kind of risen.  I’m not going to tell you to wait until it is doubled.  Who cares.  We’re hungry.
7. Divide the dough monster into 12 pieces.  Or less, whatever.8. Roll out each piece.  You can roll it pretty thin.  If you want it to turn into a pocket, roll it thicker.

Now you have two cooking options.  You can either cook each piece at 475*F for 3-4 minutes, or do my method:

9. Heat a frying pan on the stove.  No need for oil, but you can add a touch if you want.  I don’t.
10. Add a disk of dough.  Spray it with water (or sprinkle if you don’t have a spray bottle).  With a spray bottle, I sprayed 4-5 times.  PUT A LID ON IT.
11.  Wait 3-4 minutes.  You’ll see it start to bubble and puff.  Flip it for a few seconds if desired.
12.  YOU’RE DONE.  Repeat with each dough disk.

Slather honey on it hot.  You’ll thank me later.

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