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Make your own Pitta bread with Baba Ganoush


When the weather is warm my mind drifts to food I have eaten on holiday. It’s tempting to pick up packs of pitta in the supermarket as they are handy to have in stock for lunches. One squint at the long list of ingredients is enough for me to put them back. They are simple and very satisfying to make and don’t need to have any junk in there to cheapen them.

I mentioned this to Vanessa and she said she had the ideal recipe for pitta that was both quick and easy. She also offered to share her lime and fennel Baba Ganoush recipe with me which makes a simple pitta something sophisticated.

Our olive oil is Greek. It is grown by a small cooperative of Greek farmers producing their artisan oil under the brand Pelia. Regardless of the political machinations, the individuals in Greece are having a tough time, so why not support these farmers with a bottle of their oil?

This lime and fennel Baba Ganoush has been one of my secret recipes for years – but I guess it’s not so secret now! It’s deliciously aromatic and will keep in the fridge for several days – so a great prep-ahead recipe. Pitta breads are so straight forward to make and only take minutes to bake. The Kamut (Khorosan) flour in them has a buttery yellow texture, which makes the pitta bread chewy and flavoursome but it is also a traditional flour from the middle east with which flatbreads from north east Africa are made.

lime and fennel Baba Ganoush

In a large bowl, mix the “00” Soffiata and Kamut flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water, stir and leave for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil your work surface with olive oil and place the dough on your worktop and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover and leave to prove until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 250C/475F/Gas 9.

Place your dough onto a dusted work surface and divide the dough into 6 equally sized balls. Roll each ball into an oval shape, about 5mm thick (you could freeze them at this point).

Dust your baking stone with semolina and place the on the pitta breads.

Bake for 5-10 minutes, until they just start to colour golden. Remove them from the oven, and wrap in a clean cloth until they are cool. They will keep for two days although they are actually best served warm the same day. Serve with the Baba Ganoush.

For the Pitta bread (makes 6)

Ingredients:

150g Mulino Marino “00” Soffiata flour, plus extra for dusting

100g Kamut flour

1 sachet (9g) instant organic yeast or 18g organic fresh yeast 5g sea salt

160g water Greek Olive oil for kneading Semolina for dusting

Equipment:

Large frying pan Pestle and mortar Large mixing bowl Sassafras Rectangular Baking Stone Rolling pin

Baba Ganoush

Summer eating has to be easy, fresh and participative, leaving you with time to spend having fun with your friends and enjoying life. That doesn’t mean compromising on deliciousness, and it doesn’t have to come at the price of your wallet or your health. This fragrant Baba Ganoush, with both fennel and lime can be prepared up to two days in advance and served with warm pitta bread. Fresh pittas have a wonderful texture, and this recipe uses Kamut flour, which adds a softness and golden hue. If you have guests coming and you want to get ahead in the kitchen you can make them and instead of popping them on the baking stone to bake you can freeze them in a plastic container with a light dusting of flour and a layer of greaseproof paper between them, then bake from frozen. That way you can whip them out of the freezer at a moment’s notice, and they just take and extra 3 minutes or so in the oven to bake.

If you have a gas hob, roast the aubergines until blackened by holding and turning over a gas flame until they soften. Alternatively roast in the oven or griddle. Cool, remove the black skin and transfer the flesh into a bowl. Cover and set to one side.

Mix the caraway, cumin and fennel seeds and toast very lightly in a hot pan for a minute. Using a pestle and mortar grind to a fine powder.

In a small heavy based pan, add the olive oil and the garlic and gently cook until the garlic has softened, stir in the tomato puree and harissa paste, cook for a minute on a low heat, stirring constantly.

Roughly chop the aubergine flesh and stir in the with the aubergine and mix. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, mix well. Season well with salt and a spoon of brown sugar.

The Baba Ganoush will keep for 2 days in the fridge. To serve, allow to come up to room temperature, drizzle with olive oil, dust with a pinch of cayenne pepper and scatter with fresh fennel leaves.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 medium aubergines

1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 4 tbsp Greek olive oil and extra for drizzling 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tablespoon of harissa paste

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Half a lime juice, juiced

½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp soft brown sugar Fennel leaves, chopped

OFFER: For 1 week only, buy some Kamut flour and claim your free cube of organic fresh yeast (Put the yeast into your basket and the yeast will be discounted in the checkout).

Kamut flour

Organic Kamut (Khorasan) flour is an ancient ancestor of durum wheat, tasty and excellent for pizzas, bread and pasta.

Pelia Artisan Cold-Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Pelia Extra-Virgin olive oil is a very fresh and grassy olive oil with a very delicate flavour and a smooth aftertaste that doesn’t burn the throat.

Fennel seeds

Organic fennel seeds (actually the fruit) are from an aromatic herb traditionally used in Europe. Organic fennel seeds have a taste suggestive of anise, being warm and spicy with an almost medicinal freshness. 40g packed in a glass jar.

Don’t forget to take a look at our clearance lines.

 

 

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