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Great British Baking Show - Paul's Pitta Bread - Tech Challenge week #5


     This week in the GBBS technical challenge is gluten free pitta bread. I’m slightly out of order here. I’ll make Mary’s magnificent meringue Spanische Windtorte from week 4 at some point when I want to gain one million pounds.

      Let’s get to a few things straight right off the bat. It’s not a true challenge. I know that.

     I have clear advantages. From the start, I know what the challenge is. My recipe isn’t stripped down. I know what it’s “supposed” to look like. I’ve seen others make it with successes and failures.

     And here’s why all that doesn’t matter. You can give the same recipe to now 8  different people and 8 different results get churned out.

     So, I’ll attempt to make Paul Hollywood’s Pitta breads. I’ve never made anything like pittas or flatbreads, but today I’ve 2 hours to get twelve pittas, and there’s Sue’s voice in my ear….BAAAAAKE.

     Well, first off – my dough was not very wet. I used all the water and oil that the recipe called for. It was sticky for a bit, but it soon turned into a smooth dough after kneading it for the minimum time (5 minutes).

     My pitta dough is rising on the sunny windowsill with 1:41 on the clock. So far this has been the least messy challenge, and what I thought was the easiest to make. Although, my typical stupid panic started when I didn’t think my dough was rising. Had I killed the yeast? After about 40 minutes it looks like the dough is rising. There’s lots of waiting around with this challenge, nothing else needs to be done except roll out and bake, obviously I put on the GBBS while I wait and watch. Even though I know that the pittas only need to bake for 10 or so minutes, I do the typical thing I do and rush. With 40 minutes left, I turn out the dough, punch it down and start dividing it in the most stupid irregular ways possible. And THEN don’t even try to make them uniform in size, the clock is in my head and just start rolling any which way. Your supposed to knock back the dough so there aren’t any air bubbles, I didn’t do that and as I rolled I heard popping. UGH…I stress myself out for no good reason. Pittas are out of the oven in 7 minutes.

     Verdict – I had 12 completely irregular pitta breads. While I thought this was turning out to be dead easy, it was a little tricky since I didn’t take my time (shocker). Some pittas looked like and felt like flat breads with no inside pocket. Others had a decent natural pocket that could be filled and others, yet, had a pocket that could be forced open. The color was okay, maybe a little light, but they were cooked through.

     To put it in perspective – I would have come in 8th like Alvin. My pittas were irregular, some were thin and slight, but they were tasty not bland.

     Would I make this again?- YES! And will never buy those store bought pittas again. This is a good recipe for the repertoire.


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