Making Pitta Bread

My bread machine went to Place of Grace. It would mix but wouldn’t rise the dough properly. However, they will get some use out of it, you never know they may even know someone that can fix it.

So here are my first attempts as per my Middle Eastern cook book. It all started off rather well. No need for a bread machine but it was going to take all day, from process to process, waiting for rising etc.,,

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This was the first stage, wow I couldn’t believe how much the dough had risen so all’s well after an hour to start the next stage. knead knead knead..!!! phew, tiring stuff…

photo 2(20)2nd stage, form into balls and leave to rise again

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This is them doubled in size, now to roll them out nice and thin

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But alas not thin enough it would seem coz they still rose too much and nothing like pitta bread at all more like Italian Bread

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So I guess I know how to make Italian bread instead of pitta’s so off to my friends from Syria’s house for a proper lesson in Middle Eastern bread. We had a fab fab day. Starting with a huge chunk of chocolate cake and delicious coffee, made just like my mama makes all milky and tasting like heaven. Made properly, no coffee machine froth in sight.

Of course the quantities are different and normally Issam doesn’t even measure anything, just tips it all in. She has even taught her maid how to make them too so she did all the hard work of kneading etc., first.

I was busy watching and scribbling away in my cook book. In hind sight so as not to make a mess I should have done a rough copy first then written it up properly. Now I have a messy new cook book.bbbbblllllaaaaa……………….

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Here’s the second stage after its been left to rise etc., the separating out and cutting of the dough. Then the maid rolled it really thin, so much thinner than what I had done. It was like paper thin. Then Issam uses a pan lid which is just the right size for pitta bread size as a cutter.

Samer her sister showed me how they make a special tomato and chilli sauce to make tiny pizza’s and also they mixed a dried cheese, soaked in water. They also added to this herbs etc…wow it was amazing.

Samer showed me how they make the pizza’s and samosa’s and tiny nibbles all out of the same dough.

photo 2(21)This is Samer putting out the cheese mixture onto the dough. The oven is very hot ready for the first batch

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The dark filling is Thyme and olive oil. Try it, its wonderful, especially if you put some yogurt on the top when its fresh out of the oven. A new taste for me.

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This is the mini pizza’s going into the oven. Straight onto the shelf, no tins required.

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This is Issam and Samer together, so much work and now all I have to do is eat them….heheeeee….what a great day I have had. Wonderful friends and fantastic food. Thank you ladies.

 

Bread making and improvisation

I hate being beaten. My bread maker sits in the cupboard abandoned due to the fact that it doesn’t make bread properly any more. It was an expensive gift from my brother in law and sister in law when they stayed with us at Baandangmow a couple of years ago. This is the bread that it made in the early days.

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Delicious, well risen, although a bit heavy. Then after a few months the bread stopped rising. Back to Central Department store we went. I think I have already told the story way back but for anyone new, they sent the machine back to the manufacturer who had a base in Bangkok. Now bearing in mind we were jut 1 1/2 hours away in Pattaya. They kept it for over 2 months!! said they had had to move offices bla bla. Anyway 2 1/2months later the machine was returned and its never worked properly since. The bread doesn’t rise. It did for a week then it stopped working properly again. Oh for my bread machine from the UK that is in storage. Don’t buy a FAGOR bread machine. Each person that I know that bought one says their bread machine doesn’t work properly any more.

However……….It does mix the dough and lets it rise to the first stage only. So yesterday I tried this. Then took it out and let it rise in the warm kitchen. It took  well over and hour – hour and a half but it did rise. So I took it out and kneaded it and popped it in the oven!!! WRONG. I should have put it on the tray and left it to rise a 3rd time. Still here it is. Its not bad just really heavy. You can see my baby banana’s in the background.

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If I had left it to rise a 3rd time it would have risen again and been much lighter. Luckily I have another packet of bread flour so I am going to try again later today.

Anyone  who has lived in another country other than the one you called home will know it can hard to find some of the same products or similar that you got at home. Improvise, improvise should be the motto for any expat. There is bread flour, wholewheat, dark rye but trying to find it unless you live in the center of Bangkok is hard. Foodland in Pattaya had a good selection along with dried yeast. Foodland near us stocks none of this except basic bread flour for white bread.

The lack of crusty bread anywhere close by us is why I have to try again to make bread. Wish Eileen was here to show me again how to do it. I remember the Saturday morning spent having coffee at Eileen and Franks.

Frank always made the bread early on a Saturday and it was just out of the oven when I went for my coffee. Lashings of butter and jam. Delicious. Eileen showed me when they came for their holidays how to make bread buns,but I quickly forgot. I am going to write another post about the time Eileen and Liz came for their holidays. I never knew anyone could shop so much………and I have pictures as evidence.

Well, wish me luck for later. I will update with today’s picture of bread when its made.

 

Raw Food Class

Saturday was my second Raw Food Class with Jennifer of De-hydrated: Modern Living Cuisine.

My first last month was amazing. There I was sitting in car with Wendy traveling up to Bangkok. I was thinking to myself. Really, is this worth it? a 1 1/2 hour drive for what? something that you know nothing about. What happens if its a waste of time and money???????

I am happy to say it gave me such a buzz I couldn’t stop thinking of what I could make, how I could adapt what I had learnt and oh the Chocolate class in July.Certainly every penny well spent and I got to meet some new people.

The first class was all about desserts….mmmmmm….my favourite topic. Like me, if you have never understood or even heard of raw food, sign up for at least one class. It is truly amazing. You don’t have to be a vegan or even be health conscious, go along and try it for yourself. The class is a demonstration and hands on experience. Testing what has been made is the best part I think. I never knew raw food could be so good.

OH won’t let me make any creamy curries any more or desserts where cream or pasty is involved. Wow this gives you a different way to cook or not as the case may be. So easy and so absolutely delicious.

I think many people, like me would think vegetables, salad and fruit. What could you possibly make that I don’t make already. Nope, it certainly wasn’t salad or crudites. It was heaven on a plate. This is high end eating at it’s best. White chocolate lavender cheesecake. Parisian chocolate Torte…mmmmmmm and many more. Each class consists of approximately 5 or 6 different recipes. On Saturday I didn’t feel I could eat chocolate for at least another week after our class that morning. Oh boy did I get to eat some chocolate!!!!!!so rich and yet so healthy. For a newbie I certainly couldn’t recommend it enough.

I thought chocolate was that lovely fattening stuff you see in the supermarket. When you read the labels though you will be horrified at some of the rubbish you are actually eating. Raw chocolate is the real thing. We even got to learn the history of cacao- chocolate to you and me.  I also now know what my ice cream maker can do, so I will dust off the cob webs and get it working this week. No more cream required. Nuts made into a milk. so easy.

The classes are small, making it more friendly. A maximum of 10 people per class. I am sure some of the people I have met so far will become friends.

Jennnifer’s website is :-    copy and paste the link for it to work. Sorry not clever enough to get it to click through as yet.

www.dehydrated.com

 

Pictures to follow soon.