At some time back in 1993 I put out a dish of flour and water at the foot of the biggest pyramid in Egypt. Within about two days I was feeding someone whom I eventually realized was the Queen of the Pyramids. We developed a pretty hot relationship for awhile and she let me call her “La Giza” when no one else was around. She told me she had been busy for a time feeding the guys who were building the pyramids but life had become pretty boring for the last several thousand years. It seemed like a good time to ask if she’d show me how to bake some bread and she asked what kind. I said how about pitas. She said she’d never heard of them so I drew a picture of one in the sand. Oh, that’s a Khubz Arabi like I use as a covering for sandwiches she said and told me I was welcome to pass it along. So here it comes!
Makes 8 pitas (Khubz Arabi)
(Ingredients in addition to above)
Mix 1 cup of fully active culture with 1 cup of flour and sufficient water to produce a thick pancake batter consistency and proof this for 6-8 hours at 65-70oF if you prefer a mild flavor or at 75-85oF if you want it more sour.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Turn on to a floured board and knead until dough is satiny then divide into 8 equal balls.
Roll the balls into flat rounds about ¼ inch thick and form them into two stacks with the rounds separated by wax paper, not plastic. Proof the stacks for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven and baking stone to 500oF. Sprinkle stone with cornmeal or semolina just before transferring pitas with a bakers peel to slide rounds onto heated stone. Bake for about 5 minutes or until rounds puff. Remove with a spatula and cool on wire racks.