Saturday, June 28, 2008

again with the hummus

Since I cooked over a pound of chickpeas the other day, we had plenty for hummus. That was pretty much dinner -- all four of us stood around in the kitchen chowing on it -- we never even sat at the table. I made pita chips to eat with it, and I wanted to jot down a few notes about what I did for those, for future reference.

Oh, and I also made a salad, with vinaigrette and the world's dullest feta (Organic Valley) and a few chickpeas thrown in for good measure. Obsessed with chickpeas? Maybe. But there are worse things to be obsessed with ;-)

Okay, the pita chips.

I used the recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, more or less, but I estimated amounts of honey, yeast, and oil. I like her flour proportions, though, 1.5 cups of whole wheat and 2 cups of white. I think she specifies bread flour, but I use all purpose (King Arthur, of course).

I let the dough rise once, and then divided it. I used 90-95 gram pieces, which I shaped into balls and then let rest for maybe 20 minutes or so? I made 7 balls and put the rest of the dough in the fridge to use as a starter in the next day or so.

I rolled them out quite thin, as I've been doing for the past couple of years. I used to make them too thick and then they puffed unevenly -- the top would be really thin and the bottom would be too bready.

I heated the stone in the oven to 450 for about a half hour.

I decided to experiment -- I've seen recipes that call for letting the rolled rounds rest for awhile before baking them, and I always do that, but it's a hassle to find places for all the doughs to rest, keep track of which one is "oldest," and then I wind up with half a dozen cookie sheets and cutting boards all gritty with cornmeal and cornmeal spilled all over the floor . . . sigh.

SO. I tried to streamline. I rolled one out, and stuck it in the oven for 3 minutes, during which time I rolled the next one, and as soon as the first one came out, in went the next. It worked out really well! The whole process went really fast.

Well, except for the little girl who wanted to help me roll dough. I let her play with two of the dough balls, which I then attempted to rescue after she was done. Those two puffed unevenly despite my best efforts, but I still think it's worth it to let her "help."

After they'd cooled, I split them, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, cut them into squares, and baked them on sheet pans at 350 (using the convection setting) for 10 to 15 minutes. I've done that with leftover pitas for years, but I think I finally have a process in place. I would like to do this often enough to have them around for regular snacking.


Sandy Feet said...

Hi Kate. I am in Mass., too. You sound like a great cook. I am also happy to be getting the fresh wonderful produce from our CSA.

Tall Kate said...

Thanks for your kind comment, and welcome! I am running off to check your blog, too ;-)