Case in point: my "Greek & Gluten-Free" cooking class at The Midwest Culinary Institute. Two of the students expressed concern when they saw I had pitas made from Chebe bread mix on the menu. They said they did not like the bread due to an undesirable texture. I asked to keep an open mind, since the way the I make it probably differs. For the past say six years, I have been making Chebe so frequently, that I do not bother to read the written instructions on the back of the package. Over the years I have modified the making instructions for Chebe to optimize the end result of the bread. Minimal to no changes were made to the ingredients. These "technical" changes made a difference to win over those students who were initially not fond of Chebe. They kept asking, "What did you do different?"
Basic baking guideline: follow the nature of the ingredients that you are working with. That is, combine wet ingredients with other wet ingredients; combine all the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. From there, if needed based on dough consistency, add more (tapioca) flour or liquid. Here are the step-by-step instructions for Chebe pitas:
- Heat up your grill, or oven to 400F.
- In a medium/large mixing bowl, scramble 2 large room temperature eggs with a fork.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Mix in 5 tablespoons room temperature liquid (milk, water, broth, etc)
- Add in seasonings as desired (chopped fresh herbs like oregano, parsley, chives; garlic, onion powder - use your creativity here)
- Add in Chebe packet. Yellow Chebe variety will rise the most with baking powder in it. If you are using another variety, add 1 teaspoon baking powder for this quick bread to leaven for its puffiest potential. Carefully incorporate the dry ingredients with the liquids to make into a dough that is easy to handle and shape.
- If too sticky, add a little bit more (tapioca) flour/starch. If too mealy/powdery, add a little bit more liquid until dough is cohesive.
- On your working surface, lightly dust with (tapioca) flour/starch.
- Divide the mass of dough into 6 portions.
- On your floured surface, shape the dough into a round pita about 1/4 inch thick. You can use your hands or a rolling pin. Lightly dust each pita to prevent sticking and stack.
- Cook on grill (flip when it puffs up after 2-3 min) or in oven, gently dusting off excess flour/starch. It's ready when golden brown and puffed.
- Store in a tortilla warmer or in a bowl with a cloth on top.
The Sensitive Epicure