Pitta bread is so easy to make at home and my children love to get involved in the process. I would say it is one of the most kid-friendly breads you can make!
It is not only very cheap to make, but the flavour of freshly made pitta is a delight to the senses. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about any plastic packaging.
This pumpkin pitta bread recipe is made with a dough that has some wheat flour replaced with baked pumpkin. This not only gives a deeper and a slightly sweeter flavour to the bread but the starch in the pumpkin makes the bread extra moist. When just out of the oven, the outside is crisp while the inside moist, and it is wonderful to eat with home-made falafel.
This recipe also allows you to diversify your calorie intake away from wheat by as much as 15%. Diversification of food, especially away from wheat, maize and rice is good for you and the planet. We tend to eat too much wheat (rice, maize and wheat make up nearly 60% of calories in the entire human diet that comes from plants) and we are missing out on nutrients from other sources of food. Also growing a variety of crops and moving away from monoculture is better for the environment.
“Diversified diets not only improve human health but benefit the environment through diversified production systems that encourage wildlife and more sustainable use of resources.”Peter Gregory, Research Advisor, Crops For the Future
This pumpkin pitta bread recipe is also perfect for using up any leftover pumpkins to avoid food waste, whether from Halloween pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving meals or any other time you have more pumpkins than you need.
240g strong white bread flour
150g baked pumpkin
5g olive oil
2g dry yeast (this is probably a smaller quantity than you would normally use. If you want the dough to rise quickly, use 3.5g (half a pack of the dry yeast) instead, especially in winter when it takes much longer for the dough to rise – I like my dough to rise very slowly sometimes overnight and using less yeast makes the bread last a bit longer).
How to make pumpkin pitta bread:
Mix pumpkin, water and yeast with a small food mixer.
In a large bowl, add flour, pumpkin mix, salt and olive oil.
Using a dough hook knead with machine (you can also knead with hand) at medium speed for 3 min.
On a dusted surface, shape the dough into the bowl.
With the seam-side down, place the dough in a slightly greased (with olive oil) bowl.
Cover and rest the dough until the size almost doubles.
While the dough is rising preheat the oven at 250C (230C fan/gas 9/475F) with the baking tray inside. Do this about an hour before the dough is ready so that the oven and the baking tray is nice and hot so that the pitta bread will puff up nicely.
Take the dough out onto a dusted surface. Flatten and cut the dough into equal amounts. If you divide the dough into 8, you will get a medium size pitta. In the video and photo example I cut the dough into 12, which is a nice size for children.
Shape them into small balls, cover and rest for 10 min.
Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to approx. 5mm thick.
Slightly dust the baking tray and place the flattened dough and bake in batches for 4 min. You will see the pitta bread nicely puff up (if you mistakenly squash the dough, as the picture above demonstrates following my son’s lego insertion, the pitta will not puff up!).
Just-baked pitta bread has lots of hot steam inside so be careful handling when they are out of the oven.
Cut open the super moist and flavourful pitta bread, fill with falafel or your favourite fillers (or just on its own!) and bite in!