Thursday, September 11, 2014

Homemade Pita Bread & Eggplant dip recipe

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 The Gourmandise School  
 Sweets and Savories

This little eggplant went to the market.
And then came home and sat in the crisper. And sat. And sat....

Until he hear us call his name. Hey! Aubergine! Split it and join us for a dip! Ah, the call from garlic and sesame were all too powerful and eggplant soon found himself cut, roasted and bathed in olive oil and his equally toasted pals.
The party wouldn't be complete without a vessel to carry this powerful dip. So today, we give you our favorite late-summer lazy dinner sans plates and forks recipe: Eggplant with Homemade Pita. While we generally favor the smaller fruits and vegetables to late-picked ones, the advantage of the larger eggplant is that you'll be scooping out the flesh, so more is more here.

Eggplant Dip
1 large eggplant (or two smaller)
1 red pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsps tahini
a little touch of salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut the end off your eggplant and cut lengthwise in half. Rub the open halves with olive oil and bake face down on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with your pepper. Wrap your garlic and pepper in a little foil or parchment and place these next to the eggplant.
2. Bake these in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until you just see the bottom of the eggplant beginning to brown and the skins buckle.
3. Let the eggplant cool a bit, then scoop out the flesh and place that in a food processor (if you don't have one, a blender will do, as will a little elbow grease and a potato masher).
4. Add the garlic and pepper, half the lemon juice and tahini and pulse until the mixture is smooth.
5. Transfer to a bowl and taste. Add more lemon juice if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Pita Bread
This recipe will make you a bonafide rock star.

Place in the bowl of a stand mixer in this order:
1-1/2 cups room temp. water
2 tsps fine sea salt
3 Tbsps olive oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 envelope yeast (7 grams)

1. Using the dough hook, knead this mixture for 3-4 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then knead for another minute. 
2. Let the dough rest, covered, for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone or upside-down cookie sheet in your oven and crank up the heat to 400.
3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces using a bench scraper or knife.
4. Lightly flour a work table and rolling pin. Roll each piece of dough as thin as you can. Remember that perfect circles belong in factory breads. You're going for the artisanal touch.
5. Open the oven door carefully and, using a floured spatular, pizza peel or a really great twist of the wrist, place your this pitas directly on the hot stone/pan.
6. Close the oven door and wait 3 minutes. Open and gasp. How cool, right? Don't get these too dark- just a little hint of golden. Remove and watch them deflate a bit.
7. Serve with eggplant dip.

Wishing you a delicious day, 
ClĂ©mence and Hadley