Syrian Pita Bread

Years ago before pita pockets, as we now know them, had become so common and readily available commercially, they were a regular everyday staple in our home. We called these Syrian bread, because we had an authentic Syrian neighbor who baked it regularly for her household and taught my mother how to make it. I have many happy memories of helping my mother shape the dough into the round loaves. I loved watching these magically puff up into inflated discs in the oven as they baked; and then settle back down into their original shapes after they came out of the oven and cooled.

Always we would roll some of the bread up into towels while still warm; when it cooled this way it had a much chewier texture which I especially liked just with plain butter. However there are so many ways to enjoy it. Sisters particularly love it stuffed with fried or roasted eggplant and fresh sliced tomatoes, roasted onions, peppers, and zucchini or yellow squash slices, with a sprig of fresh basil.

Another favorite way we eat it is split in half, brushed with oil, herbs of choice, onion salt and grated Parmesan. Then baked in 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until brown and crisp. It is a fun bread to bake and a fun bread to eat in whatever way you like.

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Syrian Pita Bread
SERVINGS
6-8pitas
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
pitas
COOK TIME
5-7mins.
PREP TIME
1 1/2hrs.
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the water and allow to get bubbly.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt.
  3. With the machine on, pour in the yeast mixture and then the oil and process until the dough forms a ball.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it a few times.
  5. Form the dough into a ball.
  6. Lightly oil a bowl with olive oil.
  7. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat
  8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  9. Take the dough and divide it up into 6-8 sections.
  10. On a floured surface, shape the dough into little flat circles.
  11. Heat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Baking the breads 2-3 at a time bake them for 5-7 minutes. Just till they turn a nice golden brown.
  13. Take them out the oven, let them cool and then ENJOY!

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Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake

As our choir was preparing for our Lenten concert program this past week, we reminded ourselves that the English word Lent is a shortened form of Old English len(c)ten, which means ‘spring’.  This means that Lent refers to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

What could be more spring-like than a warm tart and sweet lemon soufflé?  As I was preparing this dessert as a gift for a friend, I looked out into our snow-covered yard imagining crocuses budding their heads out of the frozen earth as a promise of what lies ahead.

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Rating: 4.4
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Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
40-45mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
1.5hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. A soufflé will work the best if all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and dust with sugar six – 1 cup ramekins or other heatproof bowls or a six cup soufflé dish.
  2. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Place the remaining sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon zest to the sugar. With the beater attachment, grind the lemon zest into the sugar, creating a fragrant, slightly yellow tinged sugar. Working the zest into the sugar will release lots of the essential oils in the zest, creating a super lemony batter.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the lemony sugar and softened butter. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined (do not over mix)
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
  5. In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
  7. Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
  8. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a larger baking pan. Boil a tea pot of water to create a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)
  9. Place the basting pan with the souffle inside into the oven, carefully pulling the oven rack out a bit. Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins or soufflé dish, and carefully slide the rack back into the oven.
  10. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.

This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries or lemon slices.