Saturday, June 22, 2013

Whipping It Together

Since we’re such masochists over here, we are toying with the idea of making our pita bread for the market. We make pita bread all the time, it’s very easy, and the kids love the stuff. Throw on a little olive oil and tomato, or with hummus, and you’ve got a meal. We usually make it when we are having dal or lentil stew, it’s nice to dip the stuff in or clean up your plate (I know, bad etiquette).

This is probably getting too ambitious, but it’s nice for a number of reasons. First, it will probably save us some money, because as it stands now, our pita bread is our biggest expense. We order it from Massachusetts and shipping kills us. I know what you’re thinking, we could pita bread from anywhere, but it’s hard to find the right size. We even considered driving down and buying hundreds of them and freezing them, which would require another freezer, not to mention a call to my mentor to get a ride.

Anyway, we are adapting our model, and have a new plan. With this new plan, we won’t need big pitas, so we can buy any pita bread we can get our hands on. This will lower costs significantly. We then thought of making the breads ourselves, which would lower it even more. It would also give us a good marketing angle - who doesn’t love fresh homemade bread. For the record, homemade pita bread is superior to anything I’ve found in the stores, maybe because it’s fresh out of the oven, but it’s killer.

I’m not sure we’re up for the extra work, but we are considering it. In fact, the other day, I whipped up a batch in about an hour and a half. I’m talking mix, knead, and bake. The kids had friends over (what else is new?) and I needed to come up with a vegetarian lunch. I thought pita bread pizzas, which are a hit, but I went to the store and they were sold out of pita bread. I decided to just make it, then use it to make the pizzas. This was very ambitious because I didn’t have much time, but that’s what separates the men from the boys, right?

I mixed the dough and decided to forgo the rise because I was pressed for time. I rolled the breads into pitas and let them sit while the oven heated. This was almost of enough time to get a decent rise, though a good hour would have been better. The pitas didn’t all puff like they’re supposed to, but that didn’t matter since I was making pizza. As I pulled each pita out, I threw some sauce on it, then cheese, and back into the oven it went.

Before I knew it, I had lunch ready. My point to all this is that making pitas isn’t hard, it’s just one more thing to do. It could be fun if all of us took part, and again, I think people would be impressed with our product if they knew it was homemade bread.

Just a quick note, this whole situation came about because the bakery screwed up order and didn’t send us the bread. On market day, we had no bread, so we had to scramble and buy the stuff at the store. Since it was too small to make sandwiches, we served platters, instead. They are falafel salads in a bowl, and people seemed to like them. I thought they looked good, and with sections of pita bread, they could always make little sandwiches. If we could get away from the bigger, more expensive bread, we could save money and it would make our lives more predictable.

We’ll have to ruminate on this one. I love the idea, just not the time and work it will require.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to aloalo for the pic.

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